Ashby Calling For Increased Funding For Local Roads And Bridges

Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) attended a rally with local highway superintendents in Albany calling for increased funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) by $150 million for a total of $588 million in the 2019-20 budget. They are also advocating for the restoration of the $65 million extreme weather recovery fund, which is especially critical for upstate communities which bear the brunt of winter’s most intense weather.

“Our upstate communities need the state to be invested in helping repair and rebuild local roads and bridges. The majority of our roadways are maintained by local governments, and New York must be committed to increased funding,” said Ashby. “Our communities’ ability to thrive relies on the safety and functioning of our roadways. New York cannot skimp on investing in infrastructure.”

The majority of roads and bridges in the state are maintained by local governments, roughly 97,000 miles of centerline highway. Currently, there are 91 bridges statewide that are closed due to safety concerns and disrepair. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli cited that to repair 8,834 locally-owned bridges would cost $27.4 billion.

It was estimated in 2016 by TRIP, a national transportation research group, that deficient infrastructure costs New Yorkers roughly $24.9 billion annually. This includes vehicle operating costs, congestion delays and vehicle accidents. Investment in repairing infrastructure has significant benefits, with the Federal Highway Administration estimating that every dollar spent in infrastructure repairs yields $5.20 in savings through congestion reduction, lowered maintenance costs and overall reductions in infrastructure maintenance costs.