Garbarino: Local Infrastructure Needs State Investment
Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I-Sayville) joined local highway superintendents calling for a $150 million increase in funding to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for a total of $588 million in the 2019-20 budget. Additionally, they are fighting for the restoration of $65 million for the extreme winter recovery fund.
The state must invest in local roads and bridges to keep our roadways safe for motorists and pedestrians throughout Long Island, said Garbarino. The reliability of our infrastructure impacts safety, emergency services response, economic development and overall quality of life in our communities. We must remain committed to support the good work of our local highway departments in maintaining and repairing our roads.
Local governments own more than 97,000 miles of centerline highway. According to Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli, 8,834 locally-owned bridges are in need of roughly $27.4 billion worth of repairs. Closed roads and bridges interfere with timely response by emergency services, stifle economic development and pose personal challenges to the residents who rely on these paths of infrastructure.
In 2016, it cost New Yorkers roughly $24.9 billion annually for vehicle operating costs, delays due to congestion and vehicle accidents according to TRIP, a national transportation research organization. This expense to New Yorkers could be combatted by state investment in infrastructure. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) findings support this, showing that for every dollar spent on road and bridge improvements yields roughly $5.20 in savings through the reduction of congestion, lowered vehicle maintenance costs, and lower overall road and bridge maintenance costs.