© Reuters. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces a $ 1.8 billion project to transform the South Bronx in this brochure photo
By Ian Simpson
(Reuters) – Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $ 1.8 billion highway reconstruction plan in New York City’s South Bronx on Sunday aimed at benefiting one of New York City’s food markets. largest in the world and an area that was once considered a symbol of urban blight.
It was the last public works plan announced by Cuomo at a time when these types of projects are increasingly on the national agenda. Republican President Donald Trump has promised to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, which the American Society of Civil Engineers has called near-disapproving.
The Cuomo Freeway project in the Bronx, the poorest of New York’s five boroughs, would rebuild the Bruckner-Sheridan freeway interchange to allow the area’s mostly black and Hispanic residents easier access to parkland and the Bronx River on the other side, Cuomo said.
The plan also calls for new road ramps to give vehicles direct access to the Hunts Point market, one of the world’s largest food distribution sites. Residents have long complained of respiratory problems from the 13,000 daily trucks spewing exhaust fumes as they rumble through local streets.
“The best future for the Bronx lies ahead and we are going to lead a Bronx that is better than any Bronx that has ever existed,” Cuomo said in announcing the project.
The project is expected to create 4,250 jobs and will be completed in multiple phases, he said. Cuomo has earmarked the $ 700 million needed for the first stage of this year’s state budget, which is expected to be voted on April 1.
Cuomo’s emphasis on public works projects includes a phase of the New York Second Avenue subway, the renovation of LaGuardia Airport and the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River.
Hank Sheinkopf, a strategist for the Democratic Party, said in a telephone interview that the South Bronx project would power Cuomo at the local, state and national levels. The second-term governor faces re-election in 2018 and has been up for a possible presidential candidate in 2020.
“It makes him the type that people should pay attention to nationally on urban issues,” Sheinkopf said of Cuomo, son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
New stores and homes have helped the South Bronx rebound some of its reputation for crime and urban blight in the 1970s. On its annual “52 places to go” travel list last month, the New York Times included the area at 51.
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