ALBANY – Senator Cathy Young says more state aid should be given to highway departments across the state to help repair and maintain area roadways.
Young was one of several lawmakers who joined local highway superintendents from across the state this week during a “Local Roads Matter’ Rally at the state capitol.
The elected officials are calling for a $160 million increase to the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) – which is the program in the state budget that provides funding for local governments to help pay for the cost of road construction and repair.
The group is also calling for a $40 million increase for the Winter Recovery funds. And they also called for the creation of a new, five-year $500 million ($100 million per year) dedicated fund for roads and bridges, carved from the $5.4 billion settlement funds the state recently received, to bring relief to local governments and taxpayers.
Senator Young said that it is wrong that the governor has proposed a billion dollars for the Tappan Zee Bridge from the settlement fund, but has provided no settlement funding for our upstate roads and bridges.
Young said that 32 percent of bridges are deficient and 40 percent of roads have pavement rated as fair, poor or getting worse.
Several local officials have also called for an increase in CHIPS funding, including Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, who’s acknowledged that the city can only do so much with the current funding level it receives, despite there being a large number of streets that need attention.