Mayor-elect Eric Adams laid out his priorities for the billions in infrastructure funds headed to the Big Apple — and they include improvements to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Second Avenue Subway and public housing.
“We need to look at the BQE that is eroding. We know it’s almost at a dangerous state,” Adams said at an unrelated press conference in Brooklyn Tuesday, a day after President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bill into law.
“I love the concept of former Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna with the BQE Green,” Adams said about Reyna’s support for a decades-simmering, ultra-ambitious plan to create an elevated park above the expressway.
Adams also wants to extend the Second Avenue Subway beyond its current Manhattan terminus at 96th Street.
“I thought it was an injustice just to end [it there] and not go into Harlem. Many of those areas have been dealing with transportation issues for a long time,” Adams said.
“And we should zero-in on NYCHA— that’s long been overdue– fixing NYCHA in a real way,” he said.
Beyond traditional infrastructure projects, Adams said he’d like to see a “real green bond program” that would put people to work in the energy sector.
“These are some great dollars Senator Schumer and the entire congressional delegation should be applauded,” Adams said.
However, the fate of the transit projects and a rescue of New York City’s public housing agency — the city’s largest landlord — remain in other hands.
Officials at the state-run MTA have already signaled they plan to use much of the $10.7 billion they expect to receive from the feds to extend the Second Avenue Subway into East Harlem, a project that’s come under criticism for its record-setting $5.5 billion price tag.
Meanwhile, NYCHA’s potential federal rescue remains tied up in Congress as lawmakers continue to hash out the details of Biden’s $1.75 trillion package of broad social services spending, dubbed Build Back Better.
Adams said he hasn’t discussed his spending plans with Mayor de Blasio, whose priorities are markedly different.
During his daily press briefing Tuesday de Blasio laid out a list of projects.
They include $2 billion for bridge and tunnel work, $685 million for the region’s airports, $100 million to further expand broadband internet access, $175 million to install new charging stations for electric vehicles and $50 million for “Vision Zero” street safety efforts like improving bike lanes.