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New York City to speed up $1 billion in capital projects

(Reuters) - New York City will speed up spending on more than $1 billion of infrastructure projects to take advantage of record-low interest rates, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference on Wednesday.

The road, bridge, school building and other projects are part of the city's long-term capital plan after fiscal 2014, and some of them have already begun. But now spending on them will be accelerated to within the next two years.

The projects could create about 8,000 jobs, mostly in construction, and save more than $200 million in debt service because of historically low interest rates, New York City Comptroller John Liu said at the press conference.

Liu first proposed a detailed acceleration plan in May, though it originally called for the city to speed up $2 billion in infrastructure spending, rather than the $1 billion announced on Wednesday.

"These are not high profile, big ticket items. In fact, the bulk of them are completely unglamorous," Bloomberg told reporters.

About $290 million will be spent to fix school buildings.

(Reporting By Hilary Russ; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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