Feds give more money for NY bridges, infrastructure

Staff Reports Posted 4 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Brown Street bridge in Albion has been closed since 2012. It is one of several canal bridges in Orleans County that is either closed or has significant weight reductions.

A new federal transportation bill will provide more than $16.3 billion in direct infrastructure spending to New York State over the next 5 years, $1.5 billion more than New York would receive in a flat-funded bill, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said today.

The bill directs about $300 million more annually to NY help municipalities in the state repair and replace aging infrastructure, Schumer said.

“The regional economy is the very heart of our nation’s economy and our transportation systems are the lifeblood that make it all possible,” Schumer said in a statement. “Investing to maintain and improve those transportation systems boosts our economy in the near- and long-term and that’s exactly what government should be doing to keep our improving economy humming.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo thanked Schumer and the Congressional delegation for advocating for the state.

“The expected passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act is tremendous news for New York State,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “From helping to rebuild outdated bridges in Upstate New York to preventing massive funding cuts that would have hurt millions of public transit riders, this bill provides important support to our State’s infrastructure.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, also praised the new funding. She cited statistics from the State Department of Transportation, which considered more than one-third of New York State’s 17,000 bridges in need of repair, with 2,016 graded as structurally deficient and 4,735 graded as functionally obsolete.

In Western New York, there are a total of 2,743 bridges, and of these, 229 are structurally deficient bridges and 465 are functionally obsolete bridges.

In Orleans County, there are 138 bridges and 26 are structurally deficient with 28 functionally obsolete.

“With more stable and long term funding than New York has seen in previous years, it is an important investment in the Empire State’s future,” Cuomo said.