Gov. David Paterson's decision to suspend state funding for construction projects could have major implications for the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, which is undergoing a $407 million renovation.
The owner of the construction company in charge of the repairs told the NY Post he'd "make preparations to shut the project down" if he doesn't receive confirmation he'll be paid.
Paterson says he's suspending funding until the 2010-11 budget is approved, or emergency funding can be arranged.
Citywide, 12 construction projects could be affected. Of these, the Alexander Hamilton Bridge one is by far the most expensive. (Work started last summer with goal of improving safety and relieving congestion.)
In a statement released this morning, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said:
This is a bad decision, and it has the potential to cost the Bronx and the entire region even more jobs. The Alexander Hamilton Bridge is a crucial link between the Bronx and the rest of the region, and this bridge reconstruction not only provides jobs but will greatly improve the flow of commerce in and out of our borough while making this crossing much safer for drivers. To suspend construction now would not only perpetuate a traffic nightmare, it would stunt the economic growth of the entire Bronx. This long overdue project was first proposed in 1992, and it is about time we see it to completion. Governor Paterson must reconsider this decision.The bridge, part of Interstate 95, spans the Harlem River and connects the Cross-Bronx Expressway with the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in Washington Heights.