New York Needs $27B To Fix Local Bridges

  • New York Needs $27B To Fix Local Bridges

New York Needs $27B To Fix Local Bridges

The report looked at bridges throughout the state, and found that 86 bridges in New York City are structurally deficient, defined as safe to drive on but either having compromised load-bearing elements or are prone to flooding.

New York City is home to the highest number of structurally deficient local bridges, DiNapoli found.

A new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli estimates that locally owned bridges need a whopping $27 billion in repairs in order to keep them in good operating condition.

According to the Comptroller's office, local governments, mostly counties, own about 51 percent of the 17,462 bridges in the state, carrying average daily traffic of almost 33.4 million vehicles.

Repairing all of these bridges would require $27.4 billion, and Mr. DiNapoli noted that it could become more hard for local governments to acquire the necessary funding with potential changes to the federal government's infrastructure aid programs.

The overall percentage of structurally deficient local bridges declined from 16.7 percent to 12.8 percent from 2002 to 2016, while the state's percentage was relatively flat at around 9 percent.

The average age of bridges in the Mid-Hudson region is 52 years, with 26.9 percent, or 329 bridges, being functionally obsolete, meaning they fail to meet current design standards for the amount of traffic they carry, according to the report.

Charlie Sickler, deputy commissioner of highways for Erie County, says the county owns around 19 bridges classified as structurally deficient. North country counties need a combined $482.4 million in funding for repairs, and north country towns will need a combined $23.7 million.

It would cost just $7 billion more to fix every other local bdige in the state. Launched a year ago, the program has awarded about $200 million to local governments as of January 2017, according to DiNapoli's report.

In St. Lawrence County, 47 out of 316 bridges fall into that category. "We do need to make additional investments in our infrastructure".

DiNapoli says local officials will have to work with their state and federal counterparts to ensure there's money to pay for critical repairs.

He said that there are roughly 125 culverts in Jefferson County that are in "desperate need of fix".