News from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb
Assembly Office:
933 Legislative Office Building • Albany, NY 12248 • (518) 455-3751
District Offices:
607 West Washington Street • Suite 2 • Geneva, NY 14456 • (315) 781-2030
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For Release: IMMEDIATELY, October 13, 2017
Contact: Mike Fraser, office: (518) 455-3751; cell: (518) 859-8518
Deteriorating Roads And Bridges Will Cripple New York
Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua)

Critical New York infrastructure, like roads and bridges, is woefully inadequate and in need of immediate attention. Localities across the state have some of the oldest infrastructure in the country. More than 1 in 10 state and local bridges are not up to federal standards.

Without safe and effective ways to transport goods and human resources, our economy will be crippled, literally, from the ground up. Parents taking their children to school, emergency vehicles responding to crises and businesses dependent on delivering and receiving merchandise all suffer from our lagging infrastructure. We must inject the necessary funds now, before the issue becomes insurmountable. Like most problems, they are more difficult and more expensive to fix the longer they go unaddressed.

A PROBLEM THAT WON'T GO AWAY ON ITS OWN

Upstate New York, specifically, has a major infrastructure issue. A recent report from the comptroller's office cited two upstate counties, Seneca and Cayuga, as having the highest percentage of locally-owned structurally deficient bridges. Fully, 34.6 percent of Seneca County's 26 local bridges don't pass muster. New York State has the resources to help, though. Investing in infrastructure improvements would benefit the entire state economy and would be a more prudent use of funds.

With an urgent and growing need for upgrades, it is inexplicable that Gov. Cuomo insists on paying to install multi-million dollar light shows for downstate bridges - in all, at a more than $200 million price tag. The $420 million he insists on giving to Hollywood elites would be far more effective if used to bolster our crumbling infrastructure, too. Even the $8 million spent on illegal, unnecessary highway road signs across the state could be better used to ensure local roadways and bridges are safe and secure.

ASSEMBLY MINORITY TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING

Members of the Assembly Minority have consistently vocalized the need to increase funding for the state's Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). We have rallied both in Albany and in our districts, side-by-side with our local counterparts, to call for more funding for our roads and bridges. In recent years, I am proud to say our members' calls helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding for road improvements and winter storm recovery.

Now is the time to continue those calls. We must make necessary upgrades before our roads and bridges become hazardous. It isn't too late yet. The threat to our safety and our economy grows exponentially with each passing day, winter storm and legislative session our roads and bridges are financially neglected.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov.