By AMANDA PURCELL
While touting the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s plan to expand its runway at its international airport Monday, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said the federal government is on track to awarding a grant that would allow for much-needed repairs to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.
Mr. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, both D-N.Y., said in June that they were pushing to secure over $2 million from the federal Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program, which provides funding for road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives.
“Right now we know that there are about 32 applications up for approval, including Ogdensburg,” Mr. Schumer said. “TIGER grants are flexible, and I am told Ogdensburg’s application is one of the highest priorities. The application has been submitted and we are pushing for it to be approved by September.”
Mr. Schumer told officials gathered for the airport news conference that he is “doing everything I can to get that grant.” He said the loss of the 50-year old superstructure would be “devastating” to the local economy.
The $2 million TIGER grant will go a long way toward ensuring that the St. Lawrence River span remains a viable commercial link between the United States and Canada. Federal funding would continue the restoration of the suspension bridge, which handles over 800,000 vehicles annually and moves billions of dollars in goods across the border each year. Mr. Schumer said he has made U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx aware that the bridge is in dire need of repair.