Schumer saves infrastructure projects from funding axe

Sen. Charles Schumer has rescued two Manhattan infrastructure projects from massive budget cuts proposed by the House of Representatives, DNAinfo reported.

If the cuts proposed by the 2012 transportation/housing and urban development appropriations bill had gone ahead, they would have eliminated nearly 50 percent of funding for the East Side Access project, an initiative to dramatically expand the underground rail tunnels at Grand Central Terminal, Schumer’s office said, and cut $197 million in funding for the Second Avenue Subway.

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“While the cuts passed in the House put the project on life support, I am pleased we were able to beat back these cuts and keep the [East Side Access] project moving forward,” Schumer said. “East Side Access is a transformative infrastructure project that employs thousands of New Yorkers and will shave off commute times for tens of thousands of commuters.”

Construction is already underway on the East Side Access Project, DNAinfo said, which is slated for completion in 2016. Work on the Second Avenue Subway began in 2007. [DNAinfo]