Speaking last Friday in Woodbury before the Long Island Association, Gov. Kathy Hochul devoted much of her speech, delivered with characteristically biting humor, to touting the array of projects now in the planning stages that were made possible by the Biden administration’s signature achievement to date, the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The measure, passed late last year, will mean tens of billions of dollars for infrastructure improvement across New York state, including here on Long Island.
For starters, Hochul said, New York will invest $1 billion in short order to fix potholes on our state thoroughfares. Potholes, she noted, cost New Yorkers an average of $635 a year in repairs. “I have a personal experience with every single pothole,” the governor remarked, half-jokingly.
The infrastructure bill will also provide $32.8 billion to repair and restructure New York’s crumbling roads and bridges, including $103.4 million for Nassau County.
New York will receive $9.8 billion to modernize public transportation systems, making them cleaner and more efficient. Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, for example, will receive $40 million to improve and further develop terminals, improving the flight experience of many Long Islanders there.
Some $500 million will go to develop sustainable offshore wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean, providing clean energy for New Yorkers for generations to come and helping to protect Earth against climate change. The wind farms will also mean hundreds, even thousands, of high-paying, high-tech jobs for Long Islanders.
And New York is set to receive $175 million to build out a network of electric-vehicle charging stations across the state, reducing or eliminating gasoline costs for those with electric cars and helping to fight climate change.
We could go on and on.
The federal investment in New York transportation and electric systems will reap benefits for years, even decades, to come. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act tells us, in no uncertain terms, that good things happen when Democrats and Republicans work together. We, the people, expect — demand — more such examples of bipartisanship in Congress.