600 County and Town Highway Officials and Advocates Rally Capital for much needed funding for local roads
600 countyy and town highway superintendents, commissioners and other highway industry professionals travel to Albany Today to rally for much needed funding for local roads and bridges
ALBANY, NY (03/05/2014)(readMedia)-- PRESS RELEASE
For Release: March 4th, 2014
CONTACT: Tim Hens, PE, President
NYS County Highway Superintendents Association, Inc.
Phone: (518) 465-1694
Marty Roberts, President
NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, Inc.
Phone: (518) 729-2483
600 County & Town Highway Officials & Advocates for Local Roads and Bridges Rally at Capitol for Much-Needed Funds for Local Roads and Bridges
ALBANY, NY -Six hundred county and town highway superintendents, commissioners and other highway industry professionals travel to Albany March 4th & 5th to report to State lawmakers on the conditions of their communities' local system and make the case for much-needed funding for local roads and bridges.
The New York State County Highway Superintendents Association, Inc. (NYSCHSA) and the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, Inc. (NYSAOTSOH) contend that the State continues to advocate for funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and the Marchiselli program as well as a multi-year funding program dedicated to local bridges and culverts. Local governments are responsible for 87% of New York State's 112,500 mile highway system and half of the 18,000 bridges. A safe efficient statewide highway infrastructure is necessary for trade, economic development and revitalization, our schools, businesses, health and hospital facilities, emergency responders, and the traveling public.
"Infrastructure is a municipalities greatest asset," said Tim Hens, PE, NYSCHSA President and Highway Superintendent for Genesee County "and, as the storm events of the last few years have demonstrated, vitally important to the public and the economy of the State. The reality is that more federal and state resources are needed for the repair, rehabilitation, efficient operations and strategic replacement of existing local transportation infrastructure for safety, mobility and for the state to remain economically competitive. The support of our state leaders is appreciated."
Funding for the state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), the lifeblood of local highway departments, is an effective means of quickly delivering State aid to local governments to support much-needed road, bridge and culvert improvements. Before the enactment of the 2013-2014 Budget, state funding for CHIPS had been frozen for five consecutive state budgets at a level that is far below that which is needed to help keep the local transportation system in good condition---$363.1 million and the Marchiselli program at $39.7 million--the primary funding sources for most of the local road and bridge system. This level of funding for the local transportation system over this long period has had severe consequences on conditions ratings
Unfortunately, rising costs and dwindling funding from other sources means we are losing the preservation battle. "Today, even with the recent CHIPS increase" said Marty Roberts, NYSAOTSOH President and Highway Superintendent for Town of Reading, Schuyler County, "we treat only a fraction of the road mileage that we did just a few years ago. The majority of CHIPS and local funding goes to maintenance and preservation and has been targeted for that purpose, when appropriate, for decades.
To address today's critical condition of the local transportation infrastructure, both associations are urging the Legislature and the Governor to include, as part of the final 2014-2015 State Budget, the following program enhancements:
• $50 Million CHIPS Increase.
• $200 Million State Aid to Local Bridge and Culvert Program
• Reform Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund
• And New 5-Year Needs Based NYSDOT/Local Capital Plan Released Now
The groups' local road and bridge campaign is called, "Local Roads Matter!" Local roads are a crucial part of the State's infrastructure. Motorists use local roads and bridges for as much as half of all their travel in New York State.
Local Roads Matter! The maintenance, repair and strategic replacement of existing transportation infrastructure are required for safety, mobility and for the State to remain economically competitive. Providing the much-needed funds for local roads and bridges also sustains jobs-both public and private in highway related industries and professions.