ALBANY – The 2014-15 state budget includes a new, one-time $40 million fund for the benefit of highway departments repairing roads damaged by extreme winter weather, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced.
“Forty-five percent of our major roads and highways in this state are in poor or mediocre condition, which costs New York motorists dearly. We’re collectively paying $4.9 billion more than we have to every year on repairs required because of shoddy roads,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “This winter’s deep freeze just exacerbated this, which is why the assemblyman and I called for relief.”
Added Brindisi, D-Utica: ““Many residents of the Mohawk Valley have contacted my office recently expressing concern about roads they drive on due to the harsh winter weather. I am pleased that we were able to provide more funding to help municipalities improve the road system people depend on every day.”
The $40 million fund is addition to the $438.1 million committed by the state to its counties, cities, towns and villages through the state’s Consolidated Local Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs). That program, now in its 33rd year, reimburses municipalities for local highway and bridge repairs.
In total, the final budget includes $3.7 billion in funds for capital improvement projects, which also includes aviation, rail, non-MTA transit and bus services.
“This winter brought colder-than-normal temperatures and heavier-than-normal snowfall accumulation. Heavy machinery clearing snow were driving on roads that had been persistently underfunded, wreaking havoc on the pavement,” said Griffo. “I’m pleased the state is stepping up to help its local highway departments repair the damaged caused this winter, and I reiterate my call to the federal government to consider a similar special allocation.”
“I, too, am calling on the federal government to provide funding to help repair damage that occurred to our roads over the winter,” Brindisi said. “It’s important to Mohawk Valley residents that the roads they use are safe and reliable.”