FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES THE CITY’S LATEST INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE AND NEW RECORD TOURISM NUMBERS IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, August 15, 2010
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“There’s something about seeing a new bridge go up that’s just as exciting today as it was more than century ago, when so many of our city’s great bridges were first constructed. Over the past few weeks, many New Yorkers experienced that thrill first-hand, as they watched the new Willis Avenue Bridge make its journey down the Hudson, and then up the East River to its final destination in the Harlem River. On Monday, that journey came to an end when the 2,400-ton bridge was finally floated into place.
“About two months from now, the new span will open to traffic and replace the original Willis Avenue Bridge, which has served our city since 1901. The new bridge features improved, direct connections to the FDR Drive and northbound Major Deegan Expressway, and is part of more than $5 billion in bridge investments made by our Administration since 2002. We have continued to make essential investments in our transportation infrastructure, even in tough economic times, because these projects strengthen our city’s quality of life and our global competitiveness.
“Great cities also need great gateways – and last week we stood with Delta Airlines as the company announced a major, $1.2 billion modernization and expansion of its international terminal at JFK Airport. When it opens in 2013, the new terminal will welcome millions more international passengers to our city.
“The Delta expansion will create an additional 10,000 jobs in the metropolitan area over the next three-and-a-half years, and increase the company’s impact on our regional economy by almost 50 percent, to $19 billion annually.
“Investments in our city’s transportation infrastructure will pay returns many times over in increased Broadway ticket sales, hotel room nights, retail and restaurant business, and all the many jobs that these industries help support. In fact, the latest tourism numbers show that more visitors are coming here than ever. During the first six months of this year, some 23.5 million people visited New York City. That’s an increase of nearly 9 percent over the same period last year. It puts us on track to exceed our record-setting 2008 tourism number of 47 million visitors, and also to meet our goal of hosting 50 million annual visitors by the year 2012.
“While tourism in other cities is also rebounding, no city will come close to us in terms of total visitors this year, except for Orlando, Florida. It was just last year that New York beat out Orlando as the nation’s top tourist destination. And if we finish the year strong, we may well do it again.
“The fact that our city is rebounding further and faster than other cities is no coincidence. The momentum we’re seeing now is directly tied to the investments we continued to make, even in the deepest months of the national recession. And if we can keep improving our city’s quality of life, if we keep building the roads, airport terminals, and bridges that will bring our city through this century and beyond, we can continue making our city the world’s greatest place to live, work, and visit.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address