NYC Mayor Adams Announces $120m in Federal Infrastructure Grants

The city will benefit from new rail and forest projects.

Source : Flickr

March 26, 2024

Author : Alex Bustillos

In a major win for New York City’s infrastructure revitalization, Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city has secured $123.6 million in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program. This investment will be directed to creating more connected, greener, and equitable communities across the city.

The largest share of the funding, a record-breaking $117 million, is earmarked for the ongoing development of the QueensWay- a project transforming the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch rail line into a 7-mile linear park and greenway. The grant will create the Forest Park Pass section, extending the greenway by 1.3 miles directly into Forest Park. This expansion will include the construction of new greenway bridges, recreational facilities, and improved park access.

“Our infrastructure should be bringing communities together, not tearing them apart, and that’s why we aggressively pursued these Reconnecting Communities grants, to reshape our city in a way that unites us,” said Mayor Adams. “The next phase of the QueensWay will add more greenway miles, vibrant parks, and outdoor amenities to neighborhoods across Queens, and the BQE Corridor grant we won moves us closer to undoing some of the damage that Robert Moses caused and invests in beautiful, interconnected new public spaces.”

The remaining $5.6 million will go to a collaborative planning effort between New York City and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) to improve the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). Historically, the BQE has been a source of division for adjacent communities. The funding will support a comprehensive study to identify and advance solutions focused on reconnecting these neighborhoods while improving pedestrian and cyclist safety. Potential solutions might include partial or full highway caps, space activations adjacent to the BQE, and redesigned intersections. In fact, just last year, the NY tunnel project received $6.8 billion in federal funds.

Once complete, the QueensWay will transform 47 acres of unused land into vibrant park space across the Queens neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Forest Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and Ozone Park. NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue emphasized, “This innovative project will create a new signature park in the heart of Queens... New Yorkers can enjoy all the health benefits of time outdoors.”

Since December 2022, DOT has worked closely with community-based organizations across sections of the BQE, resulting in various potential proposals for revitalizing the corridor.  These efforts form an integral part of Mayor Adams’ BQE Corridor Vision, making sure the voices of impacted communities are at the center of the planning process. 

Governor Kathy Hochul commended this collaborative approach, stating, “Across New York, we are reconnecting communities that have long been divided by highways and building healthier and more accessible neighborhoods. Thanks to support from the Biden-Harris Administration, we are developing a shared vision to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers living near the BQE, and I’m committed to working closely with the community and our government partners on this transformational initiative.”

The successful grants are a testament to the Adams administration’s proactive approach in securing federal funds, furthered by initiatives like the Federal Infrastructure Funding Task Force formed under Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. Previously, NYSDOT set DBE participation goals for 2023-2025, including a 18.37% allotment to all federal highway projects in the region.

These projects demonstrate New York City’s commitment to creating more sustainable, equitable, and connected communities, reflecting the goals of recent federal legislations like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Category : Federal Government Local Government

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