Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Comptroller John Liu and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Wednesday announced changes to New York City’s four-year capital commitment plan to accelerate work on more than $1 billion of critical infrastructure projects citywide.
Accelerating start and construction timetables will enable New York to take advantage of low borrowing interest rates and construction costs, they said, estimating that the move could save taxpayers more than $200 million over the life of the bonds.
According to a study Liu’s office released in May, the estimated true interest cost of a new money transaction was 3.37% as of April 30, which represents a significant discount to the city’s 10-year average true interest cost of 4.32% between fiscal years 2002 and 2012.
The move affects projects in progress or are ready to begin and, in many cases, could be finished within 20 months.
Authorized projects include road and bridge repairs, waterfront infrastructure development, and improvements to schools and libraries.
Liu proposed such a plan in February, during his State of the City address.
“Throughout our administration, during good economic times and bad, one thing has remained constant: We’ve continued to invest in New York City’s future,” said Bloomberg said at a City Hall press conference.
“Put simply, this plan will deliver a much-needed shot in the arm to our city’s economy,” Liu added.
The program will fund projects that are a part of the four-year capital commitment plan. City officials on Wednesday also released an update of the plan, which the city charter requires.
New York will move up capital commitments to fiscal 2013 and 2014 for certain projects that were to be done later in the capital plan.
Earmarked projects include $175 million in fiscal 2013 and 2014 for repairs and upgrades to 100 school buildings; $59.8 million to resurface additional 300 lane-miles of roadway; $37.7 million on street reconstruction; $19.1 million for vehicular and pedestrian bridge repair; and $13.2 million for waterfront infrastructure.
Moody’s Investors Service rates the city’s GO Bonds Aa2, while Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s rate them AA.