Initiative Part of Record Level State Support for the Renewal and Modernization of Local Road and Bridge Infrastructure.
Albany, NY - January 25, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the availability of $250 million in enhanced assistance for local governments to rehabilitate and replace bridges and culverts statewide. This new funding, provided through the Governor's BRIDGE NY initiative, adds to the $200 million announced by the Governor in 2016 for similar local projects. More than 125 bridges and culverts in 96 communities are being rehabilitated or replaced with the initial funding.
"Investing in New York's infrastructure is key to increasing our economic competitiveness now, as well as future growth," Governor Cuomo said. "As the BRIDGE NY program continues to help communities across the state improve safety and reliability of bridges and roads, I am encouraging all local governments to apply for funding to help enhance our transportation infrastructure for the 21st century workforce."
BRIDGE NY grants are now available to all municipalities authorized to receive and administer state and federal transportation funding. Awards will be made through a competitive process and will support all phases of project development, including design, right-of-way acquisition and construction. Evaluations will be based on the structural condition of a bridge or culvert and its resiliency and significance, based upon traffic volumes, detour considerations, the number and types of businesses served and the overall impact on commerce.
The BRIDGE NY program provides emphasis on projects that address poor structural conditions; mitigate weight restrictions or long detours; facilitate economic development or increase competitiveness; and/or reduce the risk of flooding.
Applications for funding will be accepted January 25 through April 13, 2018 for culverts, and April 27, 2018 for bridges. Applications and additional information are available at: www.dot.ny.gov/bridgeny.
With the addition of this new funding, New York State is providing more than $1.4 billion for this fiscal year for regionally derived, locally administered road and bridge projects. The BRIDGE NY program is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation as part of the state's $29 billion Transportation Plan.
Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "New York State's economy relies upon the strength of our transportation system, both state and local assets. Governor Cuomo's BRIDGE NY program is encouraging smart investments in critical local bridges and culverts, helping to make sure that people and goods get where they need to go."
Congressman Eliot Engel said, "Our crumbling infrastructure has been a priority for Democrats in Congress for some time, but the Republican Majority in Congress will only pay lip-service to the problem without acting. In the face of this inaction, I am proud to see New York stepping up to tackle the problem. The new Governor Cuomo Bridge in Westchester was the largest infrastructure project in the country for many years, and now with the BRIDGE NY initiative, even more bridges can be rehabilitated or replaced, improving our transportation system and creating jobs along the way. I applaud the Governor for his commitment to rebuilding our great state."
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for making available this funding to replace and modernize bridge infrastructure across our state. The BRIDGE NY initiative recognizes that aggressive investments in infrastructure projects are critical to stimulating economic activity, promoting economic competitiveness, and serving the public good."
Congressman José E. Serrano said, "Businesses and regular commuters need to be able to rely on strong and modern bridges to safely transport goods and passengers to their destinations on a daily basis. This is key to our state's continued economic growth and manageable traffic volumes. Unfortunately, too many of our bridges are outdated and that is why the BRIDGE NY initiative is so important in rehabilitating them. I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing this need and investing in our state's infrastructure and competitiveness."
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, "We've got almost 2,000 bridges in New York that need a lot of work, including a number in the Hudson Valley that are deficient or even unsafe - so this investment will meet a real need we have. Improving New York's bridges has been a priority for me since day one, which is why I passed the Safe Bridges Investment Act into law to ensure that bridges like these have access to federal dollars. I'm happy the Governor is making funds available to cities throughout the State, and I look forward to working together on our shared infrastructure priorities."
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, "I am pleased to see that the Governor has allocated this greatly needed funding to improve infrastructure across the state and support the necessary rehabilitation of both bridges and culverts. Infrastructure is critical to creating jobs and increasing economic opportunity in our region, and I believe this funding will go a long way in making our communities safer and more accessible."
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, "Our roads, overpasses, and bridges are essential to the Long Island economy, way of life and safety, and this is great news for the people of Long Island. We must work together on a bipartisan basis to ensure local governments have more flexibility and the resources necessary to strengthen our infrastructure through federal legislation, such as my Safe Bridges Act, and state initiatives like the Governor's BRIDGE NY. The Safe Bridges Act is bipartisan legislation I championed and was passed and signed into law to provide counties and municipalities on Long Island with access to critical federal funds to repair and maintain our local bridges and infrastructure, which became law as a part of a 6-year highway reauthorization package."
Congressman Adriano Espaillat said, "I commend Governor Cuomo on today's announcement to upgrade more than 125 bridges and culverts across the state of New York. The BRIDGE NY initiative provides critical funding to assist local governments in renewing and modernizing infrastructure, and is a critical step in our efforts to ensure New Yorkers have access to safe, secure and reliable roads and bridges. For more than twenty years in public service, I have continuously advocated for improvements to New York's transit and infrastructure, including efforts to increase bus service and the 2nd Avenue Subway project to provide and extend services to underserved residents. Today's announcement puts us one step closer to completing vital infrastructure improvements and projects that will benefit residents and communities throughout the state."
Senator Joseph E. Robach, Chair of the Committee on Transportation said, "Motorists from around the state rely on our roads, bridges and infrastructure every day to live, work and take advantage of all the great things New York has to offer. With localities able to apply for $250 million in funding through the BridgeNY program, we are continuing our commitment to ensuring communities across New York have modern and safe bridge and transportation infrastructure."
Assemblyman David Gantt, Chair of the Committee on Transportation said, "A sound local transportation system is critical to public safety, providing access for emergency responders, connecting communities and supporting local businesses. Governor Cuomo's funding will help keep the traveling public safe across New York State."
New York State County Highway Superintendents Association President Skip Vezzetti said, "Local bridges keep our communities connected but many are in need of repairs. We appreciate Governor Cuomo extending the Bridge NY program and look forward to working with our partners to improve bridge safety across New York State."
Bernhard Meyer, Town of Canaan Highway superintendent, and president of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, said, "The $450 million BRIDGE NY program is providing necessary funding to address very real infrastructure needs for municipalities, which are responsible for the majority of the roads in the state and half of its bridges. We thank Governor Cuomo and the legislature for this additional BRIDGE NY funding, which is critical in helping us maintain this huge system."