Today, the delegation and I received a comprehensive overview of infrastructure projects in Leipzig, the largest city in the state of Saxony. Similar to Dresden, Leipzig has focused on economic renewal and redevelopment over the last 20 years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
Sven Morlok, Saxony's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State at the State Ministry of Economics, Labor and Transportation, led the delegation on a tour of Leipzig's City Tunnel Project. I first met Deput Prime Minister Morlok when he visited Massachusetts in 2010 for a renewable energy trade mission. Now, two years after I hosted him in the Commonwealth, Morlok hosted me and the delegation of lieutenant governors in his state. The City Tunnel, almost $1 billion (euro), is a critical infrastructure project connecting two of the city's rail stations, providing a missing link for in Leipzig's rail network.
Lieutenant Governor Murray and Lieutenant Governor Roberts of Rhode Island discuss airport services in their states while overlooking the Airport Leipzig/Halle.(Photo: Lauren Jones/Lieutenant Governor's Office)
Governor Patrick and I have invested $500 million in the Commonwealth's rail system, much of which has helped to improve downtown district for cities and towns. Just last week, I released a progress report on investments in our rail system, that included the historic CSX agreement that will lead to increased and improved service between New England's two largest cities, Boston and Worcester.
Like in Massachusetts, investing in transportation helps residents and businesses in Leipzig get from point A to point B. These investments yield new jobs, economic development, and a clean environment. As a result of Leipzig's investment in the City Tunnel Project, at least 100 construction jobs have been created and the soon to be complete improvements are attracting new businesses to the downtown, including a shopping center expected to open next week. With more and more people depending on this improved transportation service, less cars will be on the road in Leipzig and surrounding communities.
After visiting the City Tunnel project, we also toured Leipzig's airport, the largest (in terms of acres) airport in all of Germany. By partnering with Lufthansa airline, DHL and other carriers, the airport serves not only passengers but international cargo. The airport also welcomes American soldiers who often stop through the airport en route to training camps in Europe by providing sleeping quarters and a prayer room before flights. As Leipzig considers growth, there is a tremendous amount of land on-site for future expansion opportunities for the airport.
Our last stop was a visit and tour of the "Leipziger Neuseenland," (LMBV) the largest brownfields redevelopment in East Germany. Formerly a mining community of approximately 650 square miles throughout the greater Leipzig region, the land is currently being reclaimed by LMBV. Of this land, over 150 small and large holes leftover from the mining industry are being filled by neighboring waterways to create lakes after significant clean up on the contaminated land. The $9 billion (euro) project is expected to be complete in 2014. As East Germany continues to revitalize its cities and towns, life is certainly returning to the great landscapes in the Central region thanks to this project. Beyond the aesthetics, the brownfields clean up and transformation is helping to support agriculture by re-cultivating the land with rich soil and the replanting of hundreds of trees.
From transportation to brownfields to water, investing in infrastructure supports significant economic and community development.
More From the Lieutenant Governor:
- Local Government in Saxony, Germany
- Dresden: Meeting BU Students, Touring the Technical University & NOVATIC
- Guten Tag from Dresden, Germany
- View photos on Flickr