Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,I,C-Pulaski) recently joined his colleagues in Albany to advocate for increased funding for road and bridge repair. Partnering with fellow state representatives as well as mayors, county executives and highway superintendents, Barclay highlighted the need to support the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs), which provides the bulk of state aid to counties and towns for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges.
“Our local roads and bridges greatly impact our safety and our overall quality of life,” said Barclay. “Sound infrastructure helps facilitate the flow of goods and services which boosts our economy and tourism. CHIPs funding is a critical component of how the state partners with localities to make our communities great places to live, work and raise a family. I, for one, am proud to stand alongside my colleagues to fight for the crucial projects CHIPs funding supports.”
The governor has proposed $363.1 million in CHIPs funding in his proposed 2013-14 state budget, the same level as last year, and there has not been an increase since 2008. The legislators and local highway superintendents are calling for a CHIPs funding increase of $100 million, from $363.1 million to $463.1 million. They note that local roads and bridges account for 82% of the roads, 52% of the bridges, and 48% of the vehicle mileage logged in New York State. A recent report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, “Cracks in the Foundation,” called 32% of New York’s local bridges deficient and 40% of local roads fair or poor, and getting worse.
Among those joining Barclay and his state legislative colleagues at the event included officials from the NYS County Highway Superintendents Association (NYSCHSA), NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways (NYSAOTSOH), NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC), New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), and the Association of Towns of the State of New York.