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MTA’s East Side tunnels will create jobs: Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D−Astoria) issued a report Tuesday that she said indicated that the city already has its own economic stimulus program, creating mega−billions of dollars, with much of it going on below the streets.

“The Second Avenue subway and the East Side Access are moving forward and creating thousands of jobs, literally beneath our feet,” Maloney said. “While these projects won’t cure everything that ails our economy, they are a huge help in getting us back on track.”

Maloney has long been a champion of the two huge transit projects, both heavily supported by federal money and both scheduled for completion in 2015.

Both are almost entirely in her congressional district, which covers the East Side of Manhattan and parts of western Queens.

Minna Elias, chief of staff in Maloney’s office, said the report was circulated to make the public aware of the benefits of the two projects.

“We wanted everyone to understand that all this work is even now helping our economy and will do so for years to come,” Elias said. “The benefits will go on even after we recover from this present economic slowdown.”

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D−Manhattan) said, “I commend Congresswoman Maloney for the report, which shows the economic benefits of moving forward with both these projects.”

Much of the construction on the East Side Access is still going on in Queens, including tunneling to Manhattan. The project also is to include a new Long Island Rail Road station in Sunnyside.

Among elements of the report:

• Every dollar spent on public infrastructure increases the gross domestic product by $1.50

• The Second Avenue Subway project has already created 16,000 jobs, generated $842 million in wages and produced $2.87 billion in economic activity

• The East Side Access has created 22,000 jobs, generated $1.176 billion in wages and produced $4 billion in economic activity

• During construction of the two projects, the Second Avenue Subway will generate $4.347 billion in economic activity and the East Side Access will generate $12.275 billion in economic activity

• Transit projects generate approximately 570 direct and indirect jobs for every $10 million in capital expenditures. Transit projects produce roughly $30 million in sales for every $10 million in capital expenditures.

Joining Maloney were Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Manhattan Council members Daniel Garodnick and Jessica Lappin, both Democrats; and Elliot Sander, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Second Avenue Subway — long planned but canceled several times — will relieve crowding on the city’s most congested line, the Lexington subway, which accounts for 40 percent of all city subway patrons.

The East Side Access will save commuters who now must make their way across town by foot, taxi, bus or subway after arriving on the LIRR at Penn Station. Estimates are that straphangers will save up to a half−hour daily.

The East Side Access will provide LIRR trains with a new station 110 feet below Grand Central.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e−mail at news@timesledger.com or phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 136.

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