Stec: We Need More Funding for Our Roads and Bridges Upstate

January 28, 2019

Assemblyman Dan Stec (R,C,I,-Queensbury) joined his colleagues today at a press conference in Albany to release the findings and recommendations from the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation. Over the last few months, the task force traveled around the state holding eight open forums and discussions with local governments and town supervisors, gathering information and talking about the issues facing the state’s crumbling and out dated roads and bridges.

The findings and recommendations were released today in a task force report called New York’s Infrastructure: A Report on Fortifying Our Roads, Bridges and Water Systems. The recommendations included:

  • Ensure funding parity between the upcoming NYSDOT and MTA Five-Year Capital Programs;
  • Increase CHIPS base aid by $100 million/year for five years and tie to CPI to account for inflation and increasing material costs;
  • Enact legislation mandating that all funding for the DHBTF is to be used only for capital infrastructure, not for state operations or debt service payments;
  • Expand support for the Clean Water Investment Act (CWIA) to ensure long-term commitment to water, sewer infrastructure;
  • Establish a companion for the existing CHIPS program, offering financial assistance to local governments for drinking, storm and sewer water infrastructure, called the Water Infrastructure Investment Program (WIIPS);
  • Continue, strengthen and improve PAVE-NY, EWR and BRIDGE NY in NYSDOT 2020-2024 Capital Program to help municipalities plan for improvements;
  • Establish a CHIPS-like formula for culverts based on the length of culverts within the municipality;
  • Require NYSDOT release a report each year detailing the condition of state-owned roads and bridges;
  • Direct NYSDOT to develop a 20-30-year long-term transportation plan; and
  • Require NYSDOT to submit its capital plan for approval.

 “It’s crucial we secure more infrastructure funding for roads and bridges in the North Country,” said Stec. “All throughout upstate we are seeing issues with old and outdated infrastructure that was built decades ago.  Our local Highway Superintendents are doing the best they can with the funding they receive, but it just isn’t enough.  We need to do better! I strongly encourage the Governor to review our findings and recommendations. I believe we have developed some solid initiatives that could provide the proper funding to our local governments and highway superintendents.”