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Officials Meet in Elmsford to Force Congress' Hand

ELMSFORD, N.Y. – A mix of elected officials is calling on Washington to immediately reauthorize a federal law they say will support the continuation of thousands of jobs in New York and may lead to major projects in Greenburgh and Elmsford.

Standing at Flooring Liquidators in Elmsford Thursday, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) was joined by elected officials throughout Westchester County calling for action by Congress on the federal transportation bill that provides highway and transit aid that's set to expire June 30.

One of goals of the bill is to obtain federal money for a major road construction project that could reduce traffic congestion on Route 9A in Greenburgh, supporters said.

“It is absolutely vital for the House and Senate to reach agreement on transportation reauthorization,” Lowey said. “Kicking the can down the road with another extension fails to provide businesses with the certainty they need to invest and hire workers to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure."

The House of Representatives is operating on its ninth transportation extension since the law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, expired in 2009. Supporters say passing the law is a top priority and would maintain 113,000 transportation-related jobs in New York.

“While much of today’s discussion about transportation needs of the Hudson Valley region centers on the Tappan Zee Bridge, reauthorization is key to the success of New York State and local governments’ ability to keep state and local highways safe and in a state of good repair,” said Ross Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley, Inc.

Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner said passage of the bill was very important to the town.

“This has been a top priority for the town for decades,” Feiner said. “Everyone agrees that we need the bypass — the county, the state, local governments — and while the bypass is ready to be built, the money is not there.”

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