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Sen. Schumer Discusses Infrastructure Package At Albany Airport

Senator Chuck Schumer at Albany International Airport (August 18, 2021)
Dave Lucas / WAMC
Senator Chuck Schumer at Albany International Airport (August 18, 2021)

A week after the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in the Senate, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stopped by Albany International this morning with good news for the airport.

Schumer, a Democrat, said the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 includes more than $28.5 million dollars in federal funding for the airport, which has been undergoing a series of renovations in recent years.

He says the funding will alleviate long security lines that often back up through the pedestrian walkway from the parking garage.

"The $28 million I fought for in the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide much needed funding to make improvements at the TSA security checkpoint, and that can usher in more speed, more community development and more economic opportunity. When people can come in easily and out easily of an airport, they use it more, they travel more. But also businesses will come here more to the region and stay here more in the region. We're booming here in this area in certain ways, we we're likely to become one of the two or three chip fab manufacturing centers in the whole country. So we need this airport to grow with our new industry."

Schumer says the money will also enable the airport to kickstart efforts to expand the terminal.

The infrastructure bill includes increased funding for roads and bridges, clean water, and upstate passenger rail. There's also $113 million dollars over the next five years for the Capital District Transportation Authority.

"CDTA is estimating that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will increase their annual funding by 30% every year for the next five years, from an average of 21 million to 27 million. There's also $8 million in national partner programs, including small starts that funded the CDTA like Bus Rapid Transit initiatives. And they'll be eligible to a secure funding for the purple line along the Washington and Western corridors"

Schumer says the bill also will bring "thousands and thosuands" of good-paying jobs to the Capital Region and "lift us out of the COVID induced pandemic."

With its own infrastructure priorities, the House is expected to take up infrastructure after the August recess.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.