We’re seeing report after report deliver the message that the condition of local roads and bridges is critical, and getting worse.
That's why local highway superintendents from across New York State put on their traditional orange t-shirts and travelled to Albany this week and, today, joined me and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano to call for a greater state commitment to our local transportation infrastructure.
We need a stronger state commitment to local transportation. Local roads and bridges, in every region of New York State, are community and economic lifelines, but they’re at risk from a severe lack of adequate, dedicated funding. State investment in the improvement and upkeep of local roads and bridges is a wise use of taxpayer dollars. It’s an investment in economic growth, job creation, property tax relief and motorist safety.
A 2013 study conducted by the town highway superintendents association reported that New York needs to invest an additional $1.3 billion per year on local roads and bridges to prevent them from becoming deficient. An earlier report from the state comptroller called 32% of New York’s local bridges deficient and 40% of local roads fair or poor, and getting worse. Just last week, a national transportation advocacy group, TRIP, said that deteriorating roads cost the average driver in New York State roughly $1,600 annually in lost time, fuel costs, vehicle repairs and other expenses.