WASHINGTON, DC – Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in support of the Hurricane Disaster Relief Appropriations Act pending in the U.S. Senate:
“I urge the Senate to quickly pass emergency legislation that will help regions devastated by Hurricane Sandy recover from this historic storm and fortify the infrastructure so that future risks are minimized as much as possible.
“Among the urgent needs faced by New York, New Jersey and other parts of the Northeast is the rebuilding of major segments of the decimated transportation network that millions of commuters and businesses rely on every day. Transit systems, rail lines, airports, air traffic control equipment, highways and seaports all suffered damage during this unprecedented storm and must be repaired and improved if the region is to truly recover.
“New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) saw the destruction of 12 subway stations and major damage at other facilities and systems. Fifteen miles of signaling and bridge connections were likewise devastated. Interstate commuter rail links that carry 77 million riders among Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken, and Manhattan were completely devastated by flooding. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor took a direct hit in the form of damaged infrastructure and flooding of four out of six tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers for the first time in history.
“LaGuardia Airport was flooded by 100 million gallons of water and Newark, John F. Kennedy and Teterboro airports all suffered significant flooding and power outages. The damage extends to air traffic control tower roofs, approach lighting systems, radar and navigational aids. And at ports, emergency dredging at inlets, harbors and channels must be performed.
“The legislation before the Senate provides $12 billion for these vast transportation needs and is an integral component of the overall post-Sandy recovery, response and mitigation package being considered by Congress. In times of devastating events, whether natural disasters or acts of terror, our nation has always come together, regardless of region, to support those in need.
“The legislation before the Senate keeps faith with the tradition that Americans always come to the aid of fellow Americans. It is the right thing to do and the health of our economy depends on it. We urge passage without delay.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 31 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org or on Facebook and Twitter.