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Op-Ed: New York Needs a New Deal

Infrastructure backlogs: burden or opportunity?
November 11, 2017, 7am PST | Elana Eden
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Infrastructure Investment

Matt Chaban, policy director at the Center for an Urban Future, argues in Crain's that New York should take its maintenance and repair backlog as an opportunity to create good-paying jobs.

From water mains to public buildings, much of the infrastructure in use in the city today is 60-80 years old, Chaban explains. New York would need to spend $47 billion just to reach a state of good repair across the board, he writes, noting that "any major expansion or sweeping modernization would cost billions more."

While the de Blasio administration is investing in infrastructure maintenance, the piece details just how short those efforts fall of addressing the scale of the problem, and suggests several schemes to raise more funds:

Smart rezonings that tie growth to public improvements should be part of the equation. The Move New York congestion pricing plan is another idea whose time has come, as are storm-water management fees, which would encourage landlords to take some of the burdens off the sewers. Public infrastructure dollars also need to go further than they do today. The state benefits from design-build contracts that can cut costs and time, but Albany should extend the same authority to New York City, which could save billions over the decade ahead.

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Published on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 in Crain's New York Business
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