Keeler joins other contractors in pushing NY for infrastructure money

Staff Reports Posted 10 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Provided photos – About 700 people involved in the construction industry rallied in the state capitol on Monday for added funds towards roads and bridges.

ALBANY – About 700 people rallied in the state capitol on Monday to press state legislators for additional funding for public infrastructure projects.

Employees from Keeler Construction joined the Rebuild NY Now rally, and met with State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, and State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda.

The state is getting a $5.4 billion windfall from legal settlements with financial institutions. Rebuild NY Now wants that money to be devoted to roads, bridges and repairing crumbling infrastructure.

Gov. Cuomo in his budget proposal last month proposed about $3 billion of the money towards infrastructure and construction projects. That includes $500 million towards Broadband internet expansion throughout the state, $1.285 billion towards “Thruway stabilization” and the replacement Tappan Zee Bridge, $400 million towards upstate hospital improvements, and $115 million towards upstate ports and State Fair improvements, and other projects.

The Rebuild New York Now coalition includes road and bridge contractors, organized labor and state and local elected officials. State legislators from districts across the state took their turns at the podium in Albany, showing their support for increased infrastructural funding in the 2015 budget.

Deteriorating roads and a rise in closures of local bridges are causing serious headaches for residents and business owners in Orleans County, Keeler Construction officials said.

Company representatives told Assemblyman Hawley and Sen. Ortt that state roads need attention in Orleans County. Keeler highlighted Route 31 on the west side of Albion as being long overdue for repair, as well as Route 31A that stretches through Orleans County. The state roads that lead through the villages of Medina and Holley are also nearing the point of restoration, Keeler said in a news release.

It also has become more difficult to travel north and south in Orleans County because of closed canal bridges or weight restrictions. That is particularly problematic for commercial or agricultural vehicles, Keeler said.

For more information, click here to see Rebuild NY Now.