As part of the New York Crossing Project, the state will implement new tunnel barriers to control major floods for the Queen-Midtown tunnel and the Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Previously, New York’s tunnels were built to protect against a 100-year flood, but the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene demonstrated a need to enhance protections to withstand a 500-year flood. Tunnels will have new barriers installed to block floodwater from entering with water-tight barriers to protect the tunnel and its facilities. Additionally, tunnels will have increased submersible pumping capacity to protect against flooding.

The plan will also institute state-of-the-art automatic tolling at all MTA bridges and tunnels – reducing traffic congestion and decreasing emissions, the governor said. The state will also deploy technology and security personnel to high-profile crossings in New York to enhance public safety and fortify anti-terror efforts.

Along with adding LED lighting, the MTA said it will provide a renewed focus on public art “to ensure our infrastructure projects reflect the grandeur of the Empire State.” Under the Governor's plan, New York will redesign tunnel plazas with cutting-edge veils equipped with LED capability, and gantry structures supporting the new electronic toll equipment will feature artistic "wave" designs that will vary in size and scale.

"By investing in New York's transportation network today and equipping it to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we are cementing our state's position as a national leader in 21st century infrastructure and cutting-edge innovation," governor Cuomo said. "From speeding up commutes and reducing emissions on key roadways with automatic tolling to bolstering resiliency on our bridges and tunnels and increasing security at key checkpoints, this transformational project will revolutionize transportation in New York and ensure that our state is built to lead for generations to come."

Funding for the bridge and tunnel improvements is allocated as part of the MTA's USD 27bn capital plan.