1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Highway
  4. Article 2: Commissioner of Transportation


Section 10 General powers and duties of the commissioner of transportation relating to highways

Highway (HAY)

General powers and duties of the commissioner of transportation relating to highways. The commissioner of transportation shall:

  1. Have general supervision of all highways and bridges which are constructed, improved or maintained in whole or in part by the aid of state moneys.

  2. Cause surveys, maps, plans, specifications and estimates to be made for the improvement, construction and maintenance of state highways.

  2-a. In consultation with the commissioner of commerce and the commissioner of parks and recreation, cause the preparation and distribution of a highway map for the state, including but not limited to a representation of the state highway system, the thruway system, the principal bikeways and highway systems of the municipalities within the state. Such map shall be intended to facilitate travel and promote tourism throughout the state, and shall not be admissible in any proceeding as proof of ownership, location or condition of the highways represented thereon.

  3. Cause investigations and reconnaissance surveys to be made for the purpose of ascertaining and determining the practicability and feasibility of extensions to the system of state highways by the construction of possible branches or cut-offs from state highways for the purpose of affording by-passes around cities, villages and hamlets of the state to relieve traffic congestion therein, and also for the construction of additional routes to relieve traffic congestion on present main routes. The expense of such investigations and reconnaissance surveys shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways.

  4. Approve and determine the final plans, specifications and estimates for state highways and cause a contract to be let for the construction or improvement of same after due advertisement.

  5. Direct and cause to be made such repairs of state highways as he deems necessary, within the estimates and appropriations made therefor.

  6. Cause an inspection and examination to be made of all work on state highways.

  7. Annually cause to be inspected all improved state highways, and shall require a complete report of such inspection which shall show the condition of the highway inspected, the necessary work to be performed in the repair and maintenance of such highways, and the estimated cost thereof.

  8. Approve and certify to the monthly estimates of allowances for work being performed under any contract let for the construction, improvement or maintenance of state highways.

  9. Prescribe rules and regulations not inconsistent with law, fixing the duties of county and town superintendents in respect to all highways and bridges and determining the method of the construction, improvement or maintenance of such highways and bridges. Such rules and regulations shall, before taking effect, be printed and transmitted to the highway officers affected thereby.

  9-a. Prescribe rules and regulations not inconsistent with law, fixing the duties of county and town superintendents, in respect to oil spill control, pursuant to authority given the commissioner in section one hundred seventy-seven of the navigation law.

  10. Compel compliance with laws, rules and regulations relating to highways and bridges by highway officers and see that the same are carried into full force and effect.

  11. Aid county and town superintendents in establishing grades, preparing suitable systems of drainage and advise with them as to the construction, improvement and maintenance of highways and bridges.

  12. Investigate and determine upon the various methods of road construction adapted to different sections of the state, and as to the best methods of construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.

  13. Compile statistics relating to the public highways throughout the state, and collect such information in regard thereto as he shall deem expedient.

  14. Cause public meetings to be held whenever he deems it advisable, in each district or county, for the purpose of furnishing such general information and instructions as may be necessary, regarding the construction, improvement or maintenance of the highways and bridges and the application of the highway law, and the rules and regulations of the department, and also for the purpose of hearing complaints. He shall notify the county engineer or county superintendent of his intention to hold such meeting or meetings, specifying the date and the place thereof.

  15. Prepare tables showing the total number of miles of highways in the state, by town and county, and file a copy of the same in the office of the comptroller.

  16. Aid at all times in promoting highway improvement throughout the state, and perform such other duties and have such other powers in respect to highways and bridges as may be imposed or conferred on him by law.

  17. When the corners of the boundaries of counties, cities, villages and subdivision lots of towns shall have been located, as provided in subdivision ten of section one hundred and two of this chapter, the commissioner shall cause a monument to be accurately set at each such corner, except in cases where the improvement of such highway or road has been completed prior to the location of such corners as provided in such subdivision. Such monuments shall be of some durable material and shall be so set that the top thereof shall be on a level with the surface of such improved highway or road. The cost and expense of such monuments and the setting of the same shall be a state charge.

  18. Include in his annual report to the legislature a statement of the condition of the highways and bridges, the progress of the improvement and maintenance of state highways, county roads and town highways, the amount of moneys received and expended during the year, upon highways and bridges and such matters, as in his judgment, should be brought to the attention of the legislature, together with recommendations as to such measures in relation to highways as the public interests require.

  19. During the construction or improvement of a state highway, if such highway be closed to the traveling public and another existing highway is caused to be used in lieu of the closed highway as provided in section one hundred and four of this chapter, provide, erect and maintain a sufficient number of detour signs so that the temporary route or detour shall be clearly indicated throughout its entire length, and upon the discontinuance of said temporary route or detour, shall cause such signs to be removed, and the cost of all thereof shall be paid out of any funds available for the construction, improvement or reconstruction of state highways.

  20. Whenever the construction or improvement of a state highway or section thereof under a contract shall be completed and the final payment therefor shall have been made, prepare a statement of the cost of such construction or improvement, including engineering expenses, inspection and all charges and expenses properly chargeable thereto, showing in detail the date of each payment, and the purpose and amount of such payment. Such payments shall be grouped as far as practicable by dates and the total thus obtained shall be deemed the cost of such construction or improvement.

  21. Provide for the separation of highway-railroad crossings at grade under the act known by the short title of "grade crossing elimination act." He shall also provide for such work as he is authorized to perform under the provisions of the railroad law, and the portion of the cost of such work which is payable by the state under section ninety-four of the railroad law shall be paid out of any funds available for the construction, improvement or reconstruction of state highways.

  22. Provide for the construction of sidewalks adjacent to state highways outside of cities and incorporated villages, when he is of the opinion the same are necessary. He shall have full authority to determine the type, width, location with respect to the highway, and the general construction details of such sidewalks. The expense of such construction shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways.

  23. Provide for the installation and maintenance of lights on such state highways as he is of the opinion are necessary. The expense of such installation and maintenance shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways.

  24. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it is necessary as a result of work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, to provide at the expense of the state for the removal, relocation, replacement and reconstruction of water mains, sewer pipes, communication systems, fire alarm systems, street lighting, traffic control systems and any other similar facilities that are owned by any municipality and are maintained for public use and to participate in the expense of the removal, relocation, replacement and reconstruction of all other types of facilities or parts thereof that are owned by any municipality and are maintained for public use, the state's share of such expense not to exceed the appraised value of such facilities or parts thereof, as the case may be, as determined by the commissioner of transportation. However, in connection with any federally funded highway project, the commissioner of transportation may agree to pay an amount not to exceed the state's share, based on its proportionate share of the cost of the entire highway project, of the functional replacement cost of any of the aforesaid facilities owned by any municipal corporation, school district, board of cooperative educational services, public benefit corporation or any other state or municipal governmental agency where the federal government agrees to pay its share of such functional replacement cost, which shall be based on its proportionate share of the cost of the entire project. If such work requires additional property or if it is necessary that the relocation of such facilities be made to other property, he may acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, and he may enter into a written agreement with the municipality involved to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such municipality on terms beneficial to the state. The expense of such removal, relocation, replacement and reconstruction or the state's share thereof, as the case may be, shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, and such work may be performed by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor. However, if the commissioner of transportation deems it to be in the interest of the public, he may contract with the municipality, upon such terms as he may deem advantageous to the state, to have such work performed (a) by the employment of the forces and the use of the equipment of such municipality and by the use of any material on hand or necessary to be purchased by such municipality or (b) by such other method as such commissioner of transportation shall approve or (c) by a combination of the methods provided in this subdivision. Any such municipality is hereby authorized to enter into such contract for the purposes of this subdivision. In all cases pursuant to this section where the state is to pay part of the expense of removal, relocation, replacement and reconstruction of any facilities that are municipally owned and that are maintained for public use, the commissioner of transportation, if he deems it in the best interest of the state, may offer to remove, relocate, replace or reconstruct such facilities and may prepare plans, specifications and estimates of cost of such projects, together with an estimate of the share of the expense to be borne by the municipality, which shall be submitted to the governing board of such municipality. If the municipality approves such plans, specifications and estimates of cost and share of the expense, it shall by resolution appropriate the funds necessary to pay its share of the expense. A certified copy of the resolution shall be filed with the commissioner of transportation and with the state comptroller and the funds shall, prior to the award of a contract, be deposited by the municipality with the state comptroller subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner of transportation. Upon the completion and acceptance of the work such facilities shall be maintained by the municipality. As used in this subdivision, the term "municipality" shall include a public water authority.

  24-a. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it is necessary as a result of work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways to provide for the removal, relocation, replacement and reconstruction of any facilities of the United States government. The expense of such removal, relocation, replacement and reconstruction shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, and such work may be performed by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor. Upon the completion and acceptance of the work done pursuant to this subdivision such facilities shall be maintained by the United States government.

  24-b. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it is necessary as a result of work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, to provide for the removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction of privately, publicly or cooperatively owned water, storm and sewer lines and facilities, facilities for the transmission and/or distribution of communications, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, crude products, steam and other similar commodities, municipal utility facilities, or facilities of a corporation organized pursuant to the transportation corporations law that are located on privately owned property. If such work requires additional property or if it is necessary that the relocation of such facilities be made to other property, he may acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, and he and the owner of such facilities may enter into a written agreement to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such owner on terms beneficial to the state. The expense of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction and cost of property acquisition shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways. Except when such facilities are owned by a corporation organized pursuant to the transportation corporations law, the work of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction shall be performed by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor, unless the commissioner of transportation consents to having the owner of such facilities provide for the work of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction. In the case where such facilities are owned by a corporation organized pursuant to the transportation corporations law, the work of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction shall be provided for by such corporation unless it consents to having the commissioner of transportation provide for such work to be performed by contract, in accordance with specifications provided by such corporation, in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor. Upon the completion of the work, such facilities shall be maintained by the owners thereof.

  In the event that the commissioner of transportation, in connection with the work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, encounters such facilities, other than facilities owned by a corporation organized pursuant to the transportation corporations law or operating as a transportation corporation that are located within the highway right-of-way, he may provide for the removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction of such facilities as he deems it necessary. To the extent the commissioner determines it equitable, the expense of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision, and such work shall be performed by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor, unless the commissioner of transportation consents to having the owner of such facilities provide for the work of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction. In the event that the commissioner of transportation determines prior to undertaking such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction that the owner of such facilities is responsible for all or any portion of such expense he shall enter into a written agreement with such owner, for the purpose of providing funding, and the deposit with the state comptroller of such funds as are determined by the commissioner to be sufficient to provide for such owner's share of the expenses. The state comptroller is authorized to receive and accept such funds subject to a draft or requisition from the commissioner of transportation. If the funds deposited with the state comptroller are subsequently determined by the commissioner to be insufficient to meet such owner's share, the owner shall in every case be responsible for any balance due. When such work has been completed, the commissioner of transportation shall render an accounting to the owner, and any surplus moneys shall be paid to such owner, without interest, on the warrant of the comptroller on vouchers therefor approved by the commissioner of transportation. Upon completion of the work, such facilities shall be maintained by the owners thereof.

  In the event that the commissioner of transportation, in connection with the work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, encounters such facilities of a corporation organized pursuant to the transportation corporations law or operating as a transportation corporation that are located within the highway right-of-way, he shall provide compensation for the fair and reasonable cost of the removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction of such facilities provided the following conditions are met:

  (a) the project for which such facilities are to be removed, relocated or replaced or reconstructed must be federally funded and the cost of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction are a part of the approved project cost by the appropriate federal authorities; and

  (b) such compensation shall be provided only: (i) for the interstate category of projects; and (ii) for the other categories of projects only when a specific appropriation has been made for such purpose; and

  (c) for those categories for which compensation is provided the commissioner of transportation shall reimburse the corporation at a rate not less than the rate of reimbursement as the state shall receive from the federal government; and

  (d) such corporation enters into an agreement with the commissioner of transportation in connection with undertaking the work of removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction which shall specify the amount or the basis of compensation that is to be provided toward the fair and reasonable cost of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction.

  The fair and reasonable cost of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction shall mean the amount paid by such a corporation properly attributable to the work of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction of such facilities after deducting therefrom any betterment incorporated into the new facilities plus the salvage value and depreciation from the old facility determined by the established methods utilized by the state. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to grant to the owner of such private facilities within the highway right-of-way any greater or new rights, other than as provided herein, to compensation for removals, relocations, replacements or reconstructions of such facilities in connection with work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways that existed prior to the effective date of the amendment to this subdivision and compensation to be paid hereunder is strictly limited as provided herein.

  24-c. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it necessary as a result of work of construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of state highways, including the separation of highway-railroad crossings, pursuant to this chapter, and the construction or reconstruction of highway-railroad crossings at grade, to provide for the removal, relocation, replacement, alteration and reconstruction of railroad facilities normally used for the maintenance and operation of the railroad and including tracks, signals, communication lines, electrical lines, sewer lines, water lines, buildings, structures and their appurtenances. Such removal, relocation, replacement, alteration or reconstruction of facilities may be performed on property of the railroad company. If such work requires additional property or if it is necessary that the consequential relocation of such facilities be made to other property, he may acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, and he may enter into a written agreement with the owner of the railroad lands to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such owner on terms beneficial to the state. The expense of such removal, relocation, replacement, alteration or reconstruction and right of way acquisition shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of state highways, and such work may be performend by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor. However, if the commissioner of transportation deems it to be in the interest of the public, he may contract with the railroad, upon such terms as he may deem advantageous to the state, to have such work performed (a) by the employment of the forces and the use of the equipment of such railroad and by the use of any material on hand or necessary to be purchased by such railroad or (b) by such other method as such commissioner of transportation shall approve or (c) by a combination of the methods provided in this subdivision. In the event that the commissioner of transportation and the railroad are unable to agree upon the terms of such contract, the commissioner shall notify the railroad, in writing, of his intent to issue an order directing the railroad to have such work performed as required of its forces and to permit entry upon railroad lands of employees and agents of the department of transportation in order to perform such work as the commissioner of transportation shall deem necessary. The railroad shall have thirty days after the receipt of such notification in which it may request a hearing before the commissioner of transportation. The commissioner of transportation shall give the railroad notice of not less than ten days of the time and place scheduled for such hearing. If a hearing is not requested or if, after such hearing is held, agreement between the parties is not reached, the commissioner of transportation may issue such order directing the railroad to have such work performed. Such order shall require the railroad to submit an estimate of the cost of work required of its forces including the material necessary to perform such work, which cost, subject to the approval of the commissioner of transportation, shall be reimbursed by the state in accordance with the terms of such order. Such order shall also include terms protecting the railroad in the safe and uninterrupted maintenance and operation of said railroad during the performance of any work on railroad lands by employees and agents of the department of transportation, if their entry upon railraod lands for such work is deemed necessary by the commissioner of transportation as hereinabove provided. Upon the completion and acceptance of the work such facilities shall be owned and maintained by the railroad.

  24-d. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it is necessary as a result of work of construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, to provide for the re-establishment of private access to a public road where such access is destroyed by acquisition of right of way for the project. If such re-establishment of private access requires additional property or if it is necessary that such re-establishment of private access be made to other property, he may acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, and he may enter into a written agreement with the owner of such private access to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such owner on terms beneficial to the state. The expense of such re-establishment of private access shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, and such work may be performed by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor, or by a combination of such methods. Upon the completion of the work, such re-established private access shall be maintained by the owners thereof.

  * 24-e. The commissioner of transportation is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement with any fiber optic utility for use and occupancy of the state right of way for the purposes of installing, modifying, relocating, repairing, operating, or maintaining fiber optic facilities. Such agreement may include a fee for use and occupancy of the right of way, provided, however, such fee shall not be greater than fair market value. Any provider using or occupying a right of way in fulfillment of a state grant award through the New NY Broadband Program shall not be subject to a fee for such use or occupancy. Any fee for use or occupancy charged to a fiber optic utility shall not be passed through in whole or in part as a fee, charge, increased service cost, or by any other means by a fiber optic utility to any person or entity that contracts with such fiber optic utility for service. Any compensation received by the state pursuant to such agreement shall be deposited by the comptroller into the special obligation reserve and payment account of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund established pursuant to section eighty-nine-b of the state finance law. Nothing herein shall impair, inhibit, or otherwise affect the ability of any municipality to regulate zoning, land use, or any other power or authority granted under the law. For purposes of this subdivision, "municipality" shall include a county, city, village, or town.

  * NB Repealed April 12, 2024

  25. Have power to combine, connect, alter, relocate, terminate, and pave intersecting highways, roads or streets and to provide drainage therefor; to divert traffic from an existing highway, road or street to an existing or a new highway, road or street, and to provide, when he deems it to be in the interest of public safety, for a suitable structure or structures across highways to accommodate at an adjusted grade the continuity of such highways, roads or streets by an under-pass or over-pass, and to adjust grades and traffic to such structures; to plan, designate, construct, alter, improve and vacate frontage, marginal and service roads, in connection with the development of any controlled access facility; and to acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter. The cost of the work and of the acquisition of property as provided in this subdivision shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or improvement of state highways. Any such frontage, marginal or service road or portion of intersecting highway, road or street upon which such work is completed shall, if not determined by the commissioner of transportation to be a part of the state highway system, be maintained by the municipality or the municipalities in which such frontage, marginal or service road or such portion of intersecting highway, road or street is located, except that if the intersecting highway, road or street or the frontage, marginal or service road is under the jurisdiction of an authority, commission or other public agency, said portion thereof shall, if not determined by the commissioner of transportation to be a part of the state highway system, be maintained as determined jointly by the commissioner of transportation and the chairman or chief executive officer of the authority, commission or other public agency.

  26. Provide for the separation of highway-railroad crossings and construction of highway-railroad crossings at grade where in the construction or reconstruction of any part of the state highway system, or county roads with federal-aid, or where highways, roads or streets are combined, connected, altered or relocated pursuant to this section, an additional crossing of a railroad is made at a place where no highway grade crossing exists. In the discretion of the commissioner of transportation, and in connection with the construction or reconstruction of any part of the state highway system, a structure may be constructed to eliminate an existing crossing at grade of a railroad and a state highway or of a railroad and a highway which intersects or closely parallels a state highway. The commissioner of transportation may also, in connection with the construction or reconstruction of any part of the state highway system, or county roads with federal-aid, provide for the reconstruction of existing highway-railroad separation structures or highway-railroad crossings at grade on any part of the state highway system, or on county roads with federal-aid, or on highways, roads or streets combined, connected, altered, or relocated pursuant to this section.

  The cost of construction or reconstruction of such separation facilities or grade crossings, including the cost of such crossing protection as is ordered by the commissioner of transportation, shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction or reconstruction of state highways or county roads.

  Notwithstanding the provisions of section ninety-three of the railroad law, structures hereafter constructed or reconstructed pursuant to this subdivision to separate the grade of railroads and any part of the state highway system shall be maintained upon completion as follows: (a) A structure and its supports which carries railroad tracks over the state highway shall be maintained and repaired by the operating railroad corporation or corporations. (b) A structure and its supports which carries a state highway over railroad tracks shall be maintained and repaired by the state. This maintenance provision shall not apply to structures constructed or reconstructed pursuant to section three hundred forty-b, three hundred forty-d and three hundred forty-nine-c of this chapter.

  26-a. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it to be in the best interest of the state, in connection with work upon certain bridges for which the maintenance responsibility is divided between the state and a railroad corporation, where such work is authorized pursuant to this chapter or the transportation law and upon the request of the railroad corporation, to provide for the reconstruction, repair or alteration of bridge structures, bridge supports, bridge approaches or any other bridge parts which are the maintenance responsibility of such railroad corporation. The expense of such reconstruction, repair or alteration shall be borne entirely by the railroad corporation except so much thereof as would constitute compensable damages under any provision of law. Whenever the commissioner of transportation shall approve such a request of a railroad corporation, he shall, with the assistance of such railroad corporation, make an estimate of the cost of the work which he is requested to perform in accordance with plans and specifications submitted to him by the railroad corporation. Such railroad corporation shall thereupon deposit with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same for the purposes of this subdivision, a sum equal to such estimate and subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner of transportation. If at any time during the course of the work the commissioner of transportation deems the sum submitted by the railroad corporation to be insufficient to meet anticipated costs of the work, he shall notify the railroad corporation of such anticipated deficiency, whereupon the railroad corporation shall deposit with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner of transportation, such additional sum as is deemed necessary by the commissioner of transportation to meet anticipated costs. When the work authorized by this subdivision has been completed the commissioner of transportation shall render to the railroad corporation an itemized statement showing in full (a) the amount of money that has been deposited by such railroad corporation with the state comptroller as hereinbefore provided, and (b) all disbursements made pursuant to this subdivision including a proportionate charge for engineering. Any surplus money shall be paid to such railroad corporation, without interest, on the warrant of the comptroller on vouchers therefor approved by the commissioner of transportation.

  26-b. Have power, whenever the commissioner of transportation deems it in the best interests of the state to do so and with the written permission of the railroad corporation charged with the responsibility for maintaining such structure, in connection with construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways, to provide for the removal and disposition, on terms beneficial to the state, of highway-railroad grade separation structures which are no longer used or useful for railroad purposes.

  27. Have power, upon the request of a municipality, to perform for and at the expense of such municipality, any work of construction or reconstruction, including the removal and relocation of facilities, provided the commissioner of transportation deems it practicable to perform such work for such municipality in connection with the performance of any work of construction, reconstruction or improvement under the provisions of this chapter. Whenever the commissioner of transportation shall approve such a request of a municipality, he shall make an estimate of the cost of the work which he is requested by such municipality to perform in accordance with plans and specifications submitted to him by such municipality, which cost estimates, plans and specifications shall be approved by the municipality in writing before the commissioner of transportation shall proceed with any such municipal work. Such municipality shall thereupon deposit with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same for the purposes of this subdivision, a sum equal to such estimate and subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner of transportation. Provided, however, that nothing contained in this subdivision shall be construed to prevent the commissioner of transportation from proceeding with the state work, incorporating the work requested by the municipality in accordance with cost estimates, plans and specifications approved by such municipality, if he determines it to be necessary and in the best interest of the state to do so. When the work authorized by this subdivision has been completed and the cost thereof shall have been paid by the state, the commissioner of transportation shall render to the governing body of such municipality an itemized statement showing in full (a) the amount of money that has been deposited by such municipality with the state comptroller as hereinbefore provided, and (b) all disbursements made pursuant to this subdivision. Any surplus money shall be paid to such municipality on the warrant of the comptroller on vouchers therefor approved by the commissioner of transportation. In the event, upon the completion of the work authorized by this subdivision, it is determined by the commissioner of transportation that the amount of the cost to be borne by a municipality is in excess of the amount deposited by such municipality with the state comptroller, then, in such event, such municipality shall within ninety days of the receipt of the notice from the commissioner of transportation of the amount of the deficiency required to fully compensate the state for the municipality's cost of such work, pay such amount to the state comptroller. As used in this subdivision, the term "municipality" shall include a public benefit corporation.

  28. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or any other law, the commissioner of transportation is authorized to use either exclusively for, or in conjunction with, for state purposes as set forth in this chapter any state owned property under his jurisdiction acquired for other public purposes. Transfer of such use shall be effected by an official order of the commissioner of transportation to be filed in the offices of the department of transportation and of the department of state, accompanied by a description and map of such property as prescribed by an applicable section of this chapter. When the use is to be exclusively for the state purposes as set forth in this chapter then upon such filing of the description, map and official order of transfer of use, the property shall be used and maintained for the state purposes as set forth in this chapter and be governed as though the said property was acquired pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. When dual use is to be made of such property for the state purposes as set forth in this chapter and other public purposes by the state, the official order of transfer shall so certify, and upon such filing of the description, map and official order of transfer, the property shall be used and maintained for such dual purposes, and shall be governed either by this chapter or the law under which jurisdiction was acquired by the commissioner of transportation or both as determined by the commissioner of transportation and as will best effectuate the said dual use of such property. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to any property, the use of which is restricted by the state constitution.

  29. The commissioner of transportation, subject to the approval of the division of the budget, is hereby authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with municipalities or municipal urban renewal agencies established and organized pursuant to article fifteen-a of the general municipal law relating to the acquisition and clearance of property deemed necessary for the effectuation of any of the purposes of this chapter which lies within or immediately adjacent to an urban renewal area, as defined in the general municipal law, in such municipalities and to the equitable sharing of the costs of such acquisition and clearance. When the acquisition of such property as is deemed necessary for highway purposes would result in consequential damages to the owner's remaining property and all or a portion of such remaining property lies within an urban renewal area in a municipality, the commissioner of transportation may acquire such remaining property and transfer the same to the municipality or municipal urban renewal agency upon payment by the municipality or such municipal urban renewal agency to the state, pursuant to the terms of a cooperative agreement as here in authorized, of an equitable share of the cost of the acquisition of such property and the clearance thereof where such clearance is deemed necessary or appropriate by the commissioner. Such cooperative agreements may also provide for the acquisition and clearance of such property, necessary for highway purposes, by the municipality or municipal urban renewal agency and the transfer thereof to the state upon payment by the state to the municipality or municipal urban renewal agency of an equitable share of the cost of such acquisition, and clearance if any.

  29-a. The commissioner of transportation, subject to the approval of the division of the budget, is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the Kingston urban renewal agency as defined in article fifteen-a of the general municipal law relating to the clearance and transfer of property owned by the Kingston urban renewal agency deemed necessary for the effectuation of any of the purposes of this chapter which lies within the Kingston urban renewal area. When the acquisition of such property owned by the Kingston urban renewal agency, deemed necessary for highway purposes, would result in consequential damages to the remaining property owned by the Kingston urban renewal agency, the commissioner of transportation may acquire such remaining property from the Kingston urban renewal agency and transfer the same to the municipality upon payment by the municipality to the state. Such agreements may also provide for the clearance of such property, necessary for highway purposes, by the Kingston urban renewal agency and the transfer thereof to the state upon payment by the state to the Kingston urban renewal agency of an equitable share of the cost of such clearance.

  29-b. The commissioner of transportation, subject to the approval of the division of the budget, is hereby authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with the official authorized by the governing body of the city of Yonkers, relating to the acquisition and clearance of property deemed necessary for the effectuation of any of the purposes of this chapter which lies within or immediately adjacent to a development area, as defined herein, within the city of Yonkers and the equitable sharing of the costs of such acquisition and clearance. When the acquisition of such property as is deemed necessary for highway purposes would result in consequential damages to the owner's remaining property and all or a portion of such remaining property lies within a development area in the city of Yonkers, the commissioner of transportation may acquire such remaining property and transfer the same to the city of Yonkers upon payment by such city to the state, pursuant to the terms of a cooperative agreement as herein authorized, of an equitable share of the cost of the acquisition of such property and the clearance thereof where such clearance is deemed necessary or appropriate by the commissioner. Such cooperative agreements may also provide for the acquisition and clearance of such property, necessary for highway purposes, by the city of Yonkers and the transfer thereof to the state upon payment by the state to such city of an equitable share of the cost of such acquisition, and clearance if any. As used in this subdivision the term "development area" shall mean an area adjacent to a state highway facility in the city of Yonkers which has been designated as such by the governing body of the city of Yonkers, on its own initiative, upon a finding that such area is appropriate for development and that it is in the public interest for the city to control development thereof in conjunction with the state highway facility.

  30. Have power, on behalf and in the name of the state, whenever he deems it to be necessary and in the best interests of the state, to enter into cooperative contracts with any adjoining state, commonwealth, nation, province, or any agency of the government of the United States for data collection, studies, design, construction, reconstruction and maintenance of state highway connections, including, but not limited to, border crossing facilities, within any such adjoining state, commonwealth, nation or province notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law to the contrary; provided, however, that before any such contract shall take effect, it shall be approved by the governor and attorney general and thereafter approved by the state comptroller and filed in his or her office; and further provided, that such contract shall provide for the manner in which the costs are to be borne, including, but not limited to, the cost of data collection, studies, design, surveys, the preparation of plans and specifications, the acquisition of real property required for rights of way, construction, reconstruction and maintenance of such highway connections and bridges thereon and of approaches thereto, and border crossing facilities, and such other costs incidental thereto. In no event, however, shall such contract require any fixed annual payment or subsidy by the state of New York to any adjoining state, commonwealth, nation or province for the maintenance or repair of any such highway connection lying outside of the state of New York. The costs incurred by the state pursuant to any such cooperative contracts as authorized herein shall be payable from appropriations made to the department for the planning, construction, reconstruction and improvement of state highways, with or without federal aid.

  31. Cause signs to be erected and maintained designating the point of intersection of each state highway with the "Appalachian Trail".

  32. Have power, upon the request of a county, city, town or village, whenever such commissioner deems an existing state highway or portion thereof lying within such municipality to be no longer needed or useful to the state highway system, to enter into an agreement with the appropriate authorities of such municipality to abandon by an official order to such municipality such highway or portion thereof. Upon the filing of certified copies of such official order with the county clerk, the county board of supervisors or county legislative body and the county finance officer of the county in which such municipality lies, the clerk of such municipality,the appropriate officer of such municipality having general direction and supervision of the public highways thereof and the state comptroller, the state shall cease to maintain such highway or portion thereof and all the rights and obligations of the state therein shall be turned over and surrendered to such municipality and such highway or portion thereof shall thereafter be maintained as a part of the highway or road system of such municipality.

  33. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it to be in the best interest of the state and necessary, as a result of work authorized pursuant to this chapter, the transportation law or chapter six hundred seventy-eight of the laws of nineteen hundred twenty-eight, as amended, constituting the grade crossing elimination act, and upon the request of a public utility corporation, to provide for the removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction of pipes, mains, wires, poles, lights, and other similar facilities of such utility corporation. The expense of such removal, relocation, replacement or reconstruction shall be borne entirely by the utility corporation except so much thereof as would constitute compensable damages under any provision of law. Whenever the commissioner of transportation shall approve such a request of a public utility corporation, he shall, with the assistance of such utility corporation, make an estimate of the cost of the work which he is requested to perform in accordance with plans and specifications submitted to him by such utility corporation. Such utility corporation shall thereupon deposit with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same for the purposes of this subdivision, a sum equal to such estimate and subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner of transportation. If at any time during the course of the work the commissioner of transportation deems the sum submitted by the utility corporation to be insufficient to meet anticipated costs of the work, he shall notify the utility corporation of such anticipated deficiency, whereupon the utility company shall deposit with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner of transportation, such additional sum as is deemed necessary by the commissioner of transportation to meet anticipated costs. When the work authorized by this subdivision has been completed the commissioner of transportation shall render to the utility corporation an itemized statement showing in full (a) the amount of money that has been deposited by such utility company with the state comptroller as hereinbefore provided, and (b) all disbursements made pursuant to this subdivision including a proportionate charge for engineering. Any surplus money shall be paid to such utility company, without interest, on the warrant of the comptroller on vouchers therefor approved by the commissioner of transportation.

  34. Have power to utilize federal aid to undertake the federal traffic operations program to increase capacity and safety on existing street and highway systems in urban areas. Before any project under such program is commenced, the city or municipality in which the improvement is to be made shall consent to and approve of the project. If such project requires additional property, the commissioner of transportation may acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, and he may enter into a written agreement with the municipality involved to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such municipality on terms beneficial to the state. The cost of the acquisition of additional property as provided in this subdivision shall be a proper charge against funds available for the project. If such project requires the removal, relocation, replacement, alteration or reconstruction of railroad facilities normally used for the maintenance and operation of the railroad, and including tracks, signals, communication lines, electrical lines, sewer lines, water lines, buildings, structures and their appurtenances, he may arrange through the railroad for the performance of such removal, relocation, replacement, alteration or reconstruction of such facilities as he may deem necessary. Such removal, relocation, replacement, alteration or reconstruction of facilities may be performed on property of the railroad company. If such work requires additional property or if it is necessary that the consequential relocation of such facilities be made to other property, he may acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, and he may enter into a written agreement with the owner of the railroad lands to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such owner on terms beneficial to the state. The expense of such removal, relocation, replacement, alteration or reconstruction of the railroad facilities and any right of way acquisition therefor shall be a proper charge against funds available for the project and such work may be performed by contract in the same manner as provided for state highways in article three of this chapter, or, by the use of departmental forces and equipment and of materials purchased therefor. However, if the commissioner of transportation deems it to be in the interest of the public, he may contract with the railroad, upon such terms as he may deem advantageous to the state, to have such work performed (a) by the employment of the forces and the use of the equipment of such railroad and by the use of any material on hand or necessary to be purchased by such railroad or (b) by such other method as the commissioner of transportation shall approve or (c) by a combination of the methods provided in this subdivision, and upon completion and acceptance of the work, such facilities shall be owned and maintained by the railroad. The commissioner and the city or municipality in which the improvement is to be made are authorized to enter into any necessary agreements to carry out such projects in accordance with the federal standards and criteria.

  34-a. Have power to utilize federal aid to undertake federal aid programs available for highways and bridges not on the state highway system. Before any project under any such program is commenced, the governing body of the county, city, town or village which has jurisdiction of the highway or bridge and in which the project is to be undertaken shall consent to and approve of such project. If any project under any such program requires additional property, the commissioner may, at the request of the governing body of the municipality having jurisdiction of the highway or bridge acquire such property as may be necessary for the purposes of this subdivision, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter and the eminent domain procedure law. Whenever the commissioner determines that such project requires additional property, he shall make an estimate of the cost of the property acquisition, in addition to an estimate of the cost of constructing the project, and submit such estimate to the municipality. The cost estimates shall be approved by the municipality in writing in the form of a resolution of the legislative body of the municipality authorizing participation in the cost of such acquisition and such construction to the extent of the amount of the estimated cost to be borne by the municipality. Such resolution shall also authorize the municipality to deposit a sum equal to the municipal share of the estimated costs with the state comptroller. The commissioner shall not proceed with any such acquisition until the municipality has deposited with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same for the purposes of this subdivision, a sum equal to the amount of such estimate of the cost of acquisition to be borne by the municipality and subject to the draft or requisition of the commissioner. Before the commissioner shall proceed with the construction of such project, such municipality shall deposit with the state comptroller, who is authorized to receive and accept the same for the purposes of this subdivision, a sum equal to the remainder of the amount of the estimated cost to be borne by the municipality. When the work authorized by this subdivision has been completed and the cost thereof has been paid by the state, the commissioner shall render to the governing body of such municipality an itemized statement in accordance with section eighty-b of this chapter. The commissioner may enter into a written agreement with the municipality involved to convey such property as deemed necessary for the purposes of this subdivision to such municipality on terms beneficial to the state. The cost of the acquisition of additional property as provided in this subdivision shall be a proper charge against funds available for the project. The commissioner and the municipality in which any such project is to be undertaken are authorized to enter into any necessary agreements to carry out such projects in accordance with federal standards and criteria.

  34-b. Have power, on behalf and in the name of the state, whenever he deems it necessary and in the best interests of the state, to enter into cooperative agreements with any one or several municipalities within the state for the operation and maintenance of computerized traffic control signal systems extending through, among or between such municipalities, portions of which systems may be on local roads and portions of which systems may be on the state highway system, notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law to the contrary. Such agreements shall provide for the manner in which the work of the operation and maintenance of such computerized traffic control signal systems shall be performed, including but not limited to, the authorization for the forces or agents of a municipality to perform such work on the state highway system for the best overall efficient operation and maintenance of the entire system. Such agreements shall also provide for the manner in which the costs of the operation and maintenance of such computerized traffic control signal systems shall be borne including but not limited to, the cost of materials, equipment and labor necessary for the operation and maintenance of such systems and such other costs incidental thereto. The costs incurred by the state pursuant to any such cooperative agreements as authorized herein shall be payable from appropriations made to the department of transportation for the operation, and/or maintenance of state highways, with or without federal aid. Such operation and maintenance work to be performed in accordance with the agreements contemplated herein may be performed (a) by contract pursuant to state law applicable to the state or to the municipality letting the contract, or (b) by the use of department forces with equipment and materials purchased therefor, or (c) by the use of the forces of any one or several of the municipalities through which such computerized traffic signal systems extend, with the use of the equipment of such municipality and by the use of any material on hand or necessary to be purchased by any such municipality therefor, or (d) by such other method as the commissioner of transportation shall approve or (e) by a combination of such methods. Any such municipality is hereby authorized to enter into all necessary agreements and contracts for the purposes of this subdivision, in accordance with state and/or federal standards and criteria.

  35. Have power, subject to the approval of the director of the budget, whenever the commissioner deems it to be in the best interest of the state in connection with an authorized or anticipated state highway construction, reconstruction or maintenance project and in conjunction with an authorized or anticipated city, county, town, village or public authority public work project, and ancillary thereto, to enter into agreements with cities, counties, towns, villages or public authorities for the performance by or on behalf of any such city, county, town, village or public authority of any work connected with or necessitated by such authorized or anticipated construction, reconstruction or maintenance of any part of the state highway system located within the jurisdiction of such city, county, town, village or public authority and to make payments to any such city, county, town, village or public authority on account of such work notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law to the contrary. The costs incurred by the state pursuant to any such agreements with cities, counties, towns, villages, or public authorities as authorized herein shall be payable from appropriations made to the department of transportation for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of state highways with or without federal aid, and the work authorized herein may be performed by contract in the same manner as provided in article five-A of the general municipal law or in the case of public authorities, as provided in the public authorities law. Any such city, county, town, village or public authority is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the commissioner of transportation for the purposes of this subdivision.

  36. Have power to acquire property, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, for the purpose of parking facilities and appurtenances thereto at or adjacent to transportation interfaces and connections to such facilities.

  37. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it feasible and in the best interests of the state upon the request of the head of a state department, agency, institution or public benefit corporation to construct access or branch connections from any state highway to any highway or roadway system of any facility of such state department, agency, institution or public benefit corporation. Before undertaking such construction, the commissioner and the head of the state department, agency, institution or public benefit corporation shall enter into a written agreement, subject to the approval of the director of the budget, providing the funds therefor, or reimbursement by such state department, agency, institution or public benefit corporation of the funds therefor, including all costs incurred by the department in connection with such construction. Where such access or branch connections are to be made to a highway or roadway system of any facility of either the state university of New York or the state university construction fund, both the state university of New York and the state university construction fund shall be parties to such agreement. If such access or branch connection is not determined by the commissioner of transportation to be a part of the state highway system, it shall be maintained as determined jointly by the commissioner and the head of such state department, agency, institution or public benefit corporation.

  38. Have power, whenever such commissioner of transportation deems it to be in the best interests of the state, to sell or lease to the highest responsible bidder furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids has been published in a newspaper or newspapers designated for such purpose, for a term not to exceed ninety-nine years, property rights in air space, unused surface or subsurface space in connection with any state-owned property under his jurisdiction or other property acquired for state highway purposes. The terms of said sale or lease shall be determined by the commissioner and shall be subject to approval by the director of the budget. In order to carry any such sale or lease into effect, the commissioner is hereby authorized to execute and deliver, in the name of the people of the state, a quitclaim of or lease to such property rights in the air space and/or subsurface space. Each such instrument of conveyance or lease shall be prepared by the attorney general and prior to delivery of possession of the subject property rights in air space, unused surface and/or subsurface space shall be approved by him as to form and manner of execution. No such sale or lease by the commissioner shall deprive an abutting landowner of his right of access. The development of any property interest granted pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to the zoning regulations and ordinances of the municipality in which said property is located and to the support, protection or relocation of any public utility facilities within the right of way of any highways within said property at the sole cost and expense of the grantee, lessee or developer. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to any property, the use of which is restricted by the state constitution.

  39. Have power to acquire property, in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter, adjacent to or in the vicinity of the right of way on any state or federal-aid highway system, or public transportation system or installation outside a central business district, and to construct publicly owned parking facilities and appurtenances thereon or within such right of way, including connections to such facilities, and, subject to the rights of utility companies to install and maintain their facilities within the highway right of way, provide for the use of the air space above and below the established grade line of the highway pavement, to serve an urban area. Such parking facility and appurtenances shall be located and designed to permit their use in conjunction with existing or planned public transportation systems or installations. Before undertaking any such facility the commissioner shall first obtain the approval of the governing body of the municipality in which such facility is to be constructed. In cities having a population of a million or more, the approval of the city council must also be obtained. The commissioner of transportation may provide for the operation and maintenance in whole or in part of any such parking facility and appurtenances by any person, firm, corporation, public authority, municipality, or state department or agency, and may enter into any agreement or contract and establish the terms and conditions of such agreement or contract as he deems necessary to facilitate such operation and maintenance. In the event fees are charged for the use of any such facility, the rate thereof, or the manner of establishing the rate thereof, shall be set forth in such agreement or contract. The municipality in which the improvement is constructed is authorized to enter into any such agreement or contract with the commissioner of transportation to carry out such projects in accordance with state and/or federal standards and criteria. The proportion of the total cost of work performed on any project pursuant to this subdivision, in addition to any or all elements thereof that are not subject to federal aid, which shall be borne by the state of New York and charged against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways shall be the difference between the funds contributed for such work by the federal government and the actual cost thereof less any amount which may be provided by any municipality, person, firm, corporation or public benefit corporation in accordance with any provision of law.

  40. Have power whenever the commissioner of transportation determines that it is in the best interest of the state, considering safety, over-all economy of providing transportation services, and effect on the flow of vehicular traffic along a state highway traversing a municipality to eliminate parking within the right of way of such highway, and upon the determination of the commissioner to acquire property and to construct thereon any parking facilities and appurtenances, including connections thereto, which he may deem necessary in order to facilitate the purposes of this subdivision. He may provide for state maintenance of facilities and appurtenances if he determines such maintenance to be desirable. If the commissioner determines that parking facilities and appurtenances are justified and necessary and in the best interest of the state he may submit to the governing body of the appropriate municipality a proposal to provide such facilities. Before undertaking any such facility he shall first obtain the approval of the governing body of the municipality involved. In cities having a population of a million or more, the approval of the city council must also be obtained. The commissioner may as a condition to undertaking any such facility and prior to the acquisition of any property or the commencement of any work for same by the commissioner, require the municipality to assume all the rights and obligations for the operation, maintenance and control of said parking facility and appurtenances. Acquisition of the property for the purposes of this subdivision shall be in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter. The expense of such property acquisition, construction and any state maintenance of such parking facilities and appurtenances, including connections to such facilities, shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of state highways. The commissioner of transportation is authorized, with the approval of the director of the budget, to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any real property acquired or improved pursuant to this subdivision upon terms which he has determined to be in the best interest of the state. Any such disposition, however, shall provide for the assumption by the grantee of all the rights and obligations for the operation, maintenance and control of said parking facilities and appurtenances.

  41. Have power, in connection with a department construction project undertaken with federal aid, whenever the commissioner determines that it is in the best interest of the state considering among other factors the cost and feasibility of other alternatives, to provide for the noise insulation of publicly owned school buildings which are off the highway right-of-way. The commissioner may provide for the noise insulation by entering into an agreement with the appropriate board of education or school district to provide the capital funds necessary for the design and construction of such noise insulation to abate highway generated noise within the school building. The expenses of such noise insulation shall be charged against funds available to the department for highway construction.

  42. (a) Within ninety days after the effective date of this subdivision establish a local road classification task force which shall within two years recommend:

  (i) alternative guidelines for classifying town or county roads in rural areas according to principal uses, traffic volume and such other criteria as it may deem appropriate;

  (ii) for each class of road, the width of driving surfaces and the guidelines that are necessary to construct or reconstruct such roads and bridges;

  (iii) for each class of road, the guidelines for maintenance that may be required;

  (iv) signs that may be erected to designate each class of road along with designated speed limits and other applicable guidelines;

  (v) guidelines by which local legislative bodies would apply classifications to specific roads within their jurisdiction; and

  (vi) undertake all other acts which are consistent with the purposes of this subdivision and which, in the opinion of the task force, will promote the most effective use of the town and county road system in rural areas.

  (b) Members of the task force. The task force shall consist of the commissioner or his designee, who shall serve as chairman, eleven persons appointed by the governor, the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets or his designee and the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University or his designee. Of those appointed by the governor, there shall be four town highway superintendents then in office in rural areas, three county highway superintendents then in office in rural areas, one official from the department, and three persons who own or operate a business in rural areas of this state. In addition, a representative from the federal highway administration may be invited to serve in an ex-officio capacity. The commissioner may also invite representatives of town and county governments to consult with the task force on a regular basis. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

  (c) Compensation of members. Members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses of up to seventy-five dollars per diem, not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars in a given year.

  (d) Staff support. The department shall provide staff support to the task force for organizational support including background research and report development.

  (e) As used in this subdivision the term "rural areas" shall mean any county of less than two hundred thousand population or any town which has a population of less than one hundred fifty persons per square mile.

  43. Have power, whenever the commissioner finds it is necessary for the construction or reconstruction of state highways, or transportation projects under the transportation law, to acquire property to replace publicly owned park, recreation area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, wetland or historic site lands acquired or to be acquired for state highway or transportation purposes. The commissioner, after consultation with the public owner of the property to be replaced, the commissioner of the department of environmental conservation and the commissioner of the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation, is authorized to acquire such replacement land of approximate equality in fair market value, and of reasonably equivalent resource value, usefulness and location to those lands acquired for highway or transportation purposes. The commissioner may enter into written agreements to convey property to the owners of such public lands for the purposes of this subdivision on terms beneficial to the state. Acquisition of property deemed necessary for the replacement of such land shall be in the same manner as other property is acquired for state highway purposes pursuant to this chapter and the expense of such acquisition shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction or reconstruction of state highways or the transportation project as the case may be.

  * 44. On or before December thirty-first, two thousand four, and on or before December thirty-first of every fifth year thereafter, the commissioner shall submit to the governor, the temporary president and majority leader of the senate and the speaker of the assembly a special additional assessment report of the condition of the state highway and bridge system and the goals for the five year period following the date of such report. Such report shall describe the condition of the state highway and bridge system, the department's procedures for the management of pavements and bridges, and measurements for and an evaluation of system performance. Such report shall also recognize the importance of addressing the most urgent regional needs as determined by such measurements and evaluation. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to supersede any other reporting requirements otherwise imposed upon the department by law, rule or regulation.

  * NB Not effective due to defeat of the Transportation Bond Act of 2000

  45. On or before December thirty-first, two thousand nine, and on or before December thirty-first of every fifth year thereafter, the commissioner shall submit to the governor, the temporary president and majority leader of the senate and the speaker of the assembly a special additional assessment report of the condition of the state highway and bridge system and the goals for the five year period following the date of such report. Such report shall describe the condition of the state highway and bridge system, the department's procedures for the management of pavements and bridges, and measurements for and an evaluation of system performance. Such report shall also recognize the importance of addressing the most urgent regional needs as determined by such measurements and evaluation. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to supersede any other reporting requirements otherwise imposed upon the department by law, rule or regulation.

  46. Have the authority to enter into agreements and/or contracts to provide or receive services pursuant to section ninety-nine-r of the general municipal law upon such terms and conditions as deemed appropriate by the commissioner or commissioner's designee.