Leading New York Trade Group Urges State to Invest in Critical Road, Bridge Repairs

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- New York State must increase funding for critically needed road and bridge repairs, the head of a major association of transportation infrastructure contractors told elected officials Feb. 6 at a virtual public forum on the fiscal 2021-22 state budget.

"Nearly half of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition," said John Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., a leading business trade organization.

Addressing members of the New York State Senate and Assembly from Westchester, Cooney added: "It is our role and responsibility to act quickly."

Cooney pointed to a recent national study that noted 10 percent – 1,771 – of New York's 17,444 bridges are rated in poor or structurally deficient condition. "These 1,771 spans carry 11,590,945 vehicles a day," Cooney said. "That's the equivalent of more than half the population of New York State, traveling across a poor and/or structurally deficient bridge every day."

Cooney and the CIC have publicly voiced support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call to set spending levels for the Department of Transportation Capital Plan at $5.8 billion for FY2021-22, which beings April 1. However, Cooney stressed the need to increase allocations to the DOT's core state and local construction program.

"I'm concerned that of this year's capital plan spend of $5.8 billion, more than 22 percent, or $1.3 billion, is earmarked for 'priority projects' – namely, the Van Wyck (Expressway), the Bruckner (Expressway) and Interstate-81. Funding for these projects will come at the expense of the overall state and local construction program, which at a spending of $2.25 billion for FY2021-22, is at its lowest level in over five years."

When asked which priority projects the construction industry deems urgent, Cooney cited Interstate 684, Route 9A in Briarcliff Manor in Westchester, bridgework on state and county roads in lower Westchester, and the addition of a third lane in each direction of Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties.

"State spending on capital projects is important and helps drive jobs and economic expansion in our seven-county region and beyond," Cooney said.

About CIC
The Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley Inc. is the leading voice for transportation construction and environmental infrastructure, as well as utilities and commercial development in the mid-Hudson region of New York State. CIC represents the leading heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service professionals. CIC is aligned with the Building Contractors Association of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region, Inc., and more than 30 labor unions of the Building & Construction Trades Councils in the area. For information, visit cicbca.org.

CONTACT: George Drapeau
914-631-6070
cicwhv@aol.com

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SOURCE Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley

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