In his fourth state of the state address, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday laid out a plan to redevelop Penn Station by adding eight more tracks, including two cross river train tunnels. Credit: NY Governor's Office

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday said he wants to continue a major revamp of New York's aging infrastructure, calling it key to reviving a state economy battered by the pandemic.

The Democratic governor, concluding what was a four-day rollout of his State of the State address, said he wanted to accelerate, continue or complete a range of projects around the state — many of which have been underway already. The governor said following through on these projects must be a mandate for 2021.

He wants to complete a massive transportation-based development project in Manhattan, highlighted by acquiring lands for a new "Penn Station South" to expand train capacity, an initiative previously announced.

Another would expand capacity of the Javits Center by 50% — part of what he called a new "Manhattan Mid-Town West" development. Another proposal focuses on overhauling the Port Authority bus complex.

For Long Island, the governor said the state would complete improvements at 30 Long Island Rail Road stations, some of which are already underway. Some would focus on parking, some on station overhauls and some on street crossings. He said the new Belmont Arena, another initiative underway, would be completed in time for the New York Islanders' 2021-22 hockey season.

In addition, work will continue on the "Bay Park Conveyance Project," which is designed to reduce nitrogen pollution and connect the Bay Park sewage plant to an existing ocean outfall. This year, construction will begin on the outflow system.

The governor touted the recently completed Moynihan Train Hall — adjacent to Penn Station — as a first step in his midtown Manhattan vision.

"Moynihan Train Hall is just the beginning," Cuomo said from the State Capitol. "We will turn to redeveloping Penn Station’s current cluster of catacombs into a world-class transportation facility and add eight new train tracks."

The governor said he believes a building boom not only would help the economy but boost New Yorkers' morale amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Building new projects, enhancing day-to-day life, also lifts spirits," Cuomo said.

The State of the State address is the first milestone of the 2021 session of the State Legislature, which runs until June 10. The next major step is Cuomo's proposal for the state budget, expected on Tuesday. Legislators and the governor are supposed to adopt a state budget by April 1, the start of New York's fiscal year.

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