What Gov. Hochul’s State of the State proposals mean for the city of Albany
In her first State of the State speech Wednesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul's list of proposals included some long-talked about initiatives in the city of Albany.
Hochul's vision for the capital city includes projects that have been on Albany’s “wish-list” for some time: modernizing the Wadsworth Center Laboratory, replacing the Livingston Avenue Railroad Bridge and finishing the Albany Skyway. Mayor Kathy Sheehan says the city is already on a roll with the new Albany For All plan to distribute federal American Rescue Plan funding and the soon-to-be-built wind turbine facility at the Port of Albany.
"When you look at what is shovel ready, the Livingston Bridge, rail bridge, is one of them," said Sheehan. "I know we all want to see 787 de-densified. You know, there are lots of really creative ideas about ways to even further enhance and transform downtown. But there's money that's available right now. We've got shovel ready projects, and we're excited to have the support of moving them forward."
Fellow Democrat John McDonald agrees. The Assemblyman represents the 108th district.
"As you know, Pat Fahy and I have been advocating with Senator Breslin for the building of the new Wadsworth facility here in Albany, something that's been talked about for years," McDonald said. "Instead it sits and it sits, but in conversations with the governor's executive staff, they are focused on making this a reality."
McDonald says investment in Wadsworth is critical to New York's post-COVID recovery. He also points out that the Livingston Avenue Bridge, built in 1902, has long been in need of repair or, preferably, replacement.
"That train bridge is the major connection from New York City to upstate New York, including Buffalo," McDonald noted. "So a lot of ramifications if that bridge fails. It's been on the books for the last 20-25 years. It’s time see that get going."
Sheehan says a new bridge will go hand-in-hand with the Albany Skyway, a $13 million dollar project aimed at transforming an Interstate 787 ramp into a park and pedestrian bridge, linking downtown to the Hudson River shoreline.
"The goal is to create not only faster rail service and improve Amtrak service, but also to create pedestrian and bicycling access across the river," Sheehan said. "Right there where the Skyway is connecting to the Empire Trail. It's to me a winning project all the way around."