Hawley Attends Press Conference Calling for Increased CHIPS Funding for Local Roads, Bridges

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C-Batavia) attended a press conference earlier today to call for greater state investments in local roads, bridges and culverts. Hawley was joined by his colleagues in both the state Senate and Assembly in response to the governor’s proposal to cut CHIPS aid by $60 million in the next fiscal year. The group argued local roads and bridges must be the foundation for any state infrastructure plan moving forward. Local roads and bridges account for 87 percent of New York state roads, and more than half of its bridges. Additionally, 48 of the vehicle miles traveled in New York are on local roads, yet less than 12 percent of the taxes and fees paid to the state by these drivers go toward the maintenance and upkeep of these crucial roadways. Because of this, Hawley and his colleagues are calling on state lawmakers to increase funding for the CHIPS program by $160 million to a total of $698.1 million annually to help boost the quality of transportation infrastructure across the state. Hawley believes this proposal will help to improve road conditions for residents of Western New York and ensure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively.

“Local roads are the foundation of our infrastructure here in New York state,” said Hawley. “Despite this, however, the governor has year in and year out neglected to give these vital roadways the funds they need for basic upkeep and maintenance in the state budget. I’ve talked to numerous highway superintendents and board members over the years, and they all tell me the same thing: we need more funding for our local roads. Without an increase in programs like CHIPS, these roadways will deteriorate due to the rising costs of materials and repairs. This is completely unacceptable. If these were downstate roads we were talking about, we would have no problem getting these funds. Gov. Hochul needs to remember her Western New York roots and give upstate roads the attention and funding they deserve.”