Byrne Unveils Report & Recommendations To Fortify State’s Infrastructure and Transportation System

Posted: January 30, 2019

NEW YORK’S INFRASTRUCTURE: A Report on Fortifying Our Roads, Bridges and Water Systems

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) spoke at a press conference regarding the recently released report 

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) hosted a press conference earlier this morning alongside New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) to release a report regarding the state’s infrastructure and transportation crisis. NEW YORK’S INFRASTRUCTURE: A Report on Fortifying Our Roads, Bridges and Water Systems is based on a series of eight regional forums, held in the fall of 2018, which covered a variety of topics regarding the status of New York’s transportation and infrastructure needs. Byrne and Palmesano are co-chairmen of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation. 

“Professionals from every region of the state spoke with us about their experiences and challenges, and our commitment to uncovering the most complete picture of our state’s infrastructure issues remains unmatched. This report represents a team effort toward the singular goal of making life better for all New Yorkers – better roads and a stronger, safer transportation system leads to greater opportunities for everyone,” said Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac), task force co-chairman. “If there was ever an issue to unite legislators from both political parties, this is it. We must, and will, fight tooth-and-nail to enact wholescale reform to the way our state approaches transportation funding before it’s too late.

“Counties and local governments own 87 percent of the state’s 110,000 miles of roadways and 50 percent of the state’s 18,000 bridges. County leaders are asking for more investments in this critical infrastructure that New Yorkers depend on to get to and from home each day,” said Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

“The leaders and members of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation are to be commended for their willingness to travel throughout the state to listen to those of us on the front lines charged with keeping the local transportation systems and other critical infrastructure in a safe and functioning condition,” said Dennis S. Davis, President of the New York State County Highways Superintendents Association. “The resulting recommendations of the task force report, particularly calling for a significant and multi-year progressive funding commitment to the CHIPS program and enhanced appropriations for local bridge and culvert projects is well received, not only by the highway professionals we represent, but by those motorists who rely on a safe, modern and seamless statewide transportation system to get on with their daily lives.”

“Our aging infrastructure is a reminder of the dangerous backlog of roads and bridges in front of New Yorkers on a daily basis. This report, published by the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure & Transportation, is another timely call to action for New York State Legislators: step up and invest in the safety and economy of residents across the entire state. The Shufon Report published by Rebuild NY Now in 2018 points out that ‘… over the last five years, on the average, State Highways were resurfaced once every 13.7 years and the treatments only lasted 9.3 years … Deferring treatment increases repair costs exponentially as the pavement structure accumulate more and more damage.’ We deserve better today, next month, next year and in 5-10 years. Thank you to Assemblymen Brian M. Kolb, Phil Palmesano and Kevin Byrne for continuing to fight for the infrastructure future of New York,” said Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO, Associated General Contractors of New York State.

“The New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways applauds the efforts of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation. Our members participated in the various public forums and were impressed by the dialogue as well as the resulting report recommendations. We look forward to working together during the 2019-2020 budget process to support our mutual constituents in making the recommended solutions a reality,” said Pat Mahar, Town of Denmark Highway Superintendent, 2018-19 President of NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, Inc.

“This report defines what local government officials who are tasked with providing vital services to New Yorkers already know: our state faces the reality of widespread aging and deteriorating infrastructure, and we must dedicate significant resources to address it. The amount of CHIPS funding from the state must be increased to address the growing demands for highway, road, and bridge construction and repair in every community throughout New York. Additionally, NYCOM supports a dedicated funding stream to help municipalities address crumbling water, sewer, and storm water infrastructure, as well as emergency repairs to municipally-owned systems that millions of New Yorkers rely upon,” said Peter A. Baynes, Executive Director of New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM).

To view the full report, please visit goo.gl/Fqpttu.