State Budget Paves Way For Local Highway Improvements

ALBANY, 04/15/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced that crucial funding to support local highway improvements is included in the 2014-15 state budget.  

“Local roads, bridges, and culverts are the backbone of our state’s infrastructure,” said Senator Seward.  “County and town highway superintendents from throughout my district joined me in Albany last month to call for added state funding – and their voices were heard.”

After five years without any increase in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) funding, the new budget includes a second year of record funding - $438 million – for important local highway, road, and bridge repair projects. 

The 2014-15 state budget also includes $40 million in new capital funds to help localities pay for repairs related to the severe winter weather.

“The special one-time ‘pothole fund’ is assistance local highway departments desperately need.  Many are already dealing with budget gaps due to added salt costs and plowing related expenses incurred during the brutal winter.  This capital funding will help crews make key spring-time fixes, without completely depleting their budget reserves or forcing them to abandon other highway improvement projects,” Seward added.

Local roads and bridges account for 87 percent of the roads, 52 percent of the bridges, and 48 percent of the vehicle mileage logged in New York State.

“The added state funding meets key transportation needs and helps the dedicated men and women who maintain our local roads do so at a cost taxpayers can afford.  Continued, consistent state support is critical to ensure motorist safety and economic vitality,” Seward concluded.