Senator Gallivan Supports Increased Funding for Local Roads & Bridges

Jim Ranney

March 13, 2023

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C, Elma) joined more than 70 state Senators and members of the Assembly, county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from throughout New York calling for increased state support for local roads, bridges, and culverts.

Hundreds of local transportation advocates from throughout the state participated in the “Local Roads Are Essential” advocacy campaign sponsored by the New York State Association of County Highway Superintendents (NYSCHSA) and the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, Inc. (NYSAOTSOH).  They are once again fighting for greater state investment in New York’s local transportation infrastructure. 

The coalition notes that over the past decade, largely through a series of “Extreme Winter Recovery” (EWR) allocations distributed through the state’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) funding formula, the PAVE-NY and BRIDGE-NY programs established in 2016, and last year’s “Pave Our Potholes” (POP) initiative, important increased state support has been provided for New York’s counties, cities, towns, and villages.

Under Governor Hochul’s proposed 2023-2024 Executive Budget, funding for these programs would be held at current levels.  The coalition says the proposal fails to recognize the impact of a 22% construction inflation rate and how the exorbitant, inflationary cost increases for fuel, asphalt, and steel that are severely straining county and town transportation budgets.

We all deserve safe roads and bridges and the state has an obligation to ensure adequate and equitable funding is available to municipalities across New York,” Senator Gallivan said.  “As construction costs continue to rise, so must the state’s investment in local transportation infrastructure.  By increasing funding for programs such as Extreme Winter Recover and the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, we can ensure local governments have the resources they need.  Maintaining our highways, bridges and culverts has a direct impact on public safety, our economy and the quality of life of our residents.    

While welcoming the governor’s commitment to infrastructure investment in the new state budget, the Local Roads Are Essential advocates are calling on New York to strengthen support for local transportation beyond the governor’s proposals by the following actions:

  • Increase the base funding level for CHIPS by $200 million to a total of $738 million;
  • Increase Extreme Winter Recovery funding by $70 million to $170 million;
  • Increase the CHIPS bidding threshold from $350,000 to $750,000; and
  • Restore the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund (DHBTF) to its originally intended purpose as a dedicated, pay-as-you-go funding source for critical transportation repairs and capital projects.

Among other studies, an October 2017 report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli estimated that locally owned bridges alone need at least $27.4 billion in repairs.  An earlier report from the comptroller called 32% of New York’s local bridges deficient and 40% of local roads fair or poor, and getting worse. 

An analysis by the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways found that the local highway system outside of New York City faces an annual funding gap of $1.7 billion.

Although billions of dollars are flowing into New York State from the federal government for infrastructure, the reality is nearly 90% of local roads are ineligible to receive this federal funding. Therefore, it is even more critical that New York State partners with our local municipalities and property taxpayers and increase funding for our local roads, bridges and culverts through the CHIPS and Extreme Winter Recover (EWR) programs.