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SENATOR FUSCHILLO: STATE BUDGET WILL INCLUDE INCREASE IN HIGHWAY FUNDING FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

 

Increase is the First in Five Years and Will Help Create Jobs, Promote Economic Development, and Improve Infrastructure

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, today announced that the 2013-14 New York State Budget will include over $438 million in state highway aid to local governments, a $75 million increase from last year’s total.

     The funding increase, which is the first in five years, will enable localities to further invest in road and bridge improvement projects that will improve safety, create jobs, and grow the economy. The funding is included as part of a multi-billion dollar two-year statewide transportation capital plan.

     “Local governments maintain the overwhelming majority of roads in New York State. At a time when both the need and costs for projects is growing, this funding increase will help localities make additional infrastructure repairs and improvements, create jobs, and promote economic development. This is a smart and much needed investment that will benefit counties, towns, and villages throughout the state,” said Senator Fuschillo, who strongly advocated for the aid increase.

     Local governments will receive over $438 million in Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) funding for the construction and repair of their roads, highways, and bridges. Prior to this year’s $75 million increase, funding for municipalities under this program remained flat in the previous four state budgets.

     Local governments play a vital role in maintaining transportation infrastructure throughout the state. 87 percent of the roads and 50 percent of the bridges in New York State are maintained by local governments. Local roadways sustain over 63 billion vehicle miles of travel, which accounts for 48 percent of the travel on the statewide highway network.

     "Our vast county systems of roads and bridges are aging and must be continually repaired and maintained to ensure that they function safely. This increase in local transportation infrastructure funding is a critically important investment that will greatly benefit municipalities, especially at a time when local highway departments are struggling with reduced federal transportation aid and escalating costs for construction materials, fuel and equipment. We greatly appreciate Senator Fuschillo's strong support for this funding increase," said William Wright, President of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association and Ontario County Highway Superintendent.

     “On behalf of our organization's more than 900 elected and appointed transportation professionals, who maintain over half of the state's roads, we applaud this much needed funding increase and greatly appreciate Senator Fuschillo's efforts in leading the fight for it,” said William Weller, Highway Superintendent for the Town of Florida and President of the New York State Association of Town Highway Superintendents of Highways (NYSAOTSOH).

     “Senator Fuschillo’s tenacious support for infrastructure funding is paying off and is clearly demonstrated in this proposed state budget,” stated Long Island Contractors’ Association Executive Director Marc Herbst. “Allocation of $75 million is not only above current funding levels, it exceeds the proposed budget that maintained existing funding level and will be an important boost to our skilled workforce and regional economy, as well as our roads.”