State highway chiefs seek more state funds for local roads & bridges
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The public employees who maintain local roads across New York gathered in Albany to push state officials for increased funding for transportation projects.
Officials with the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways and the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association say more than 600 highway superintendents, county and town highway officials and transportation advocates gather on Wednesday.
They're calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators to increase state funding of local bridge and road construction projects as part of a campaign called "Local Roads Matter."
This construction on the Dunn Memorial Bridge is just one of more than 200 different projects aimed at improving the state's infrastructure; something Governor Cuomo has called a priority. But while billions of dollars has been spent on repairing state roads and bridges, county and town highway officials say local ones have been neglected.
Richard Kukuk, the Clifton Park Town Superintendent of Highways says while 80 percent of roads and 50 percent of bridges in the state are local, he says they haven't had any increases in funding from the state in five years.
County and town officials are calling on the governor and legislature to include $100 million in additional funding for local infrastructure in the budget.
In the town of Clifton Park, the lack of money has meant the bridge on Carlton Road has been red flagged by the DOT.
Kukuk says, "It's critical that I repair or replace that bridge." Kukuk says the cost of fixing that bridge would be at least $150,000.
"I'm hoping for an additional source of funds to supplement our normal source," Kukuk said. He says if the town doesn't get the funding then DOT will close that bridge.
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