Senator Oppenheimer Calls on Governor Paterson to Restore Funding For Transportation Construction Projects

Governor’s Emergency Budget Appropriation Threatens Jobs as Transportation Construction Projects are Halted throughout State

Senator Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) called upon Governor Paterson to unfreeze capital funding for ongoing state transportation construction projects, including improvements to the Route 120 Bridge in New Castle.  For the third time, the Governor’s emergency budget appropriations bill failed to include transportation-related capital spending.

“It simply makes no sense to halt much needed transportation construction projects while the State hammers out the details of this year’s budget,” said Senator Oppenheimer.  “This is an exceedingly difficult budget year,” observed the Senator, “but progress is being made to finalize a budget that will close the state’s estimated $9 billion deficit.  We are taking the time necessary to ensure that spending cuts are made wisely, with as little harm as possible to essential services like education and health care, while providing some relief to property taxpayers.”

“Budget extenders in the past have always allowed for continued funding of ongoing transportation projects.  To withhold these funds means layoffs and costly construction delays that our still fragile economy cannot bear,” concluded Senator Oppenheimer.  “I am calling on the Governor to reverse his decision to withhold construction funds in order to keep New Yorkers working and the economy moving forward.”

Construction work on the Route 120 Bridge was begun in 2008 and is expected to be concluded in the latter part of this year.