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Second Avenue Subway may be one of Trump’s infrastructure priority projects

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Leaked documents offer insight into the air, rail, and road projects that may get funding

Max Touhey for Curbed

The Trump administration has promised a so-called “trillion-dollar program” for infrastructure improvements across the United States, and now, leaked reports have shed some light on what specific projects may benefit from that.

According to documents obtained by two McClatchy newspapers, the Trump team has singled out approximately 50 different infrastructure developments, with an estimated cost of around $137.5 billion, that could be shortlisted for funding. These have been earmarked as “Emergency & National Security Projects,” according to a congressional aide, and would be developed as public-private partnerships.

And three New York City projects have, apparently, made the cut: The second and third phase of the Second Avenue Subway; the Gateway Project, which affects both New York and New Jersey; and the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), which would feed power from Canada to NYC via the Hudson River.

The leaked documents include a projected cost for each project, along with the potential number of jobs created. Per the report, the cost of extending the Second Avenue Subway from Hanover Square to Harlem would be $14.2 billion, with around 16,000 jobs coming from that. The Gateway Project, which seeks to replace the aging rail tunnels connecting New York and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River (among other rail improvements), is said to cost as much as $12 billion, with 15,000 direct jobs and 19,000 indirect jobs created as a result. And the CHPE has an estimated price tag of $2.2 billion, with 1,000 jobs created.

But there’s no way of knowing if those figures represent each project’s true cost: Early estimates for the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway, running from 96th to 125th Streets, are around $6 billion, and the MTA has yet to finalize anything as far as planning and construction goes. Given the MTA’s history of budget overruns, it’s possible that the number could rise. A plan has yet to be put forth for phase three.

As far as the Gateway Project goes, other reports have put the price tag for this much higher—last year, Amtrak said it could cost as much as $23.9 billion to complete the entire project. It already has a lot of moving parts—Amtrak, the Port Authority, and the U.S. DOT are all involved—and both NY and NJ are expected to cover what the federal government does not. And reports say that the $2.2 billion price tag for the CHPE is “wildly underestimated,” according to Politico.

One other New York State project—upgrades to the Peace Bridge, which connects Buffalo to Canada—also ended up on the list. But this is all conjecture at this point: the Trump administration has apparently “denied the authenticity of the list,” according to the New York Daily News.

Senate Democrats also put forth a trillion-dollar plan that would allocate funds to some of New York City’s aging infrastructure, including LaGuardia Airport.