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Finger Lakes Region Has At Least 145 Dangerous Bridges Posing Worsening Safety Issues With Each Passing Day; JUST Bridge Repairs Backlog Runs Over $200 Million

Senator Secures Major Funding To Address Structurally Deficient Bridges, Road Repair Backlog

Schumer: It’s Time To Invest In Finger Lake’s Bridges Before Poor Conditions Prove A Bridge Too Far

After securing $346 million for Monroe County and the City of Rochester in the American Rescue Plan to address the region’s greatest needs as New York recovers from the worst of the COVID pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer stood at one of Monroe’s “poor-rated” bridges, the Rt 590 bridges over Monroe Avenue in the Town of Brighton, and announced $13.5 billion for New York in the recently Senate-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA), to address the backlog of repairs needed to fix the county’s deficient bridges, highways, and roads. Of that amount, an estimated $1.9 billion is exclusively for a new bridge replacement and repair program. New York will also be able to compete for a share of the $12.5 billion in competitive grant funding for the new Bridge Investment Program in the bill. Schumer revealed that at least 145 bridges in the Finger Lakes region have been deemed to be in “poor condition” and are deteriorating every day, posing safety and structural issues if repairs are not made ASAP.

“It’s long past time to make urgent repairs to the nearly 150 structurally deficient bridges in the Finger Lakes. Crumbling bridges and road are a hazard to motorists, and impede economic development. With an over $400 million backlog of repairs needed for Rochester Finger Lakes region roads, bridges, and highways, we cannot afford to wait any longer,” said Senator Schumer. “Not only will the $13.5 billion I fought to secure in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework provide ample funding to finally address this backlog and fix dangerous bridges in the Finger Lakes, but it will also be a major boon for the regional economy by creating good-paying construction jobs and making roads safer for everyone. Structurally deficient bridges cost New Yorkers time and money, and we must invest in the Finger Lakes’ infrastructure before poor conditions prove a bridge too far.”

According to the Rochester-Finger Lakes region’s transportation repair plan produced every 4 years called the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), from 2020-2024 the region has $834 million in transportation funding needs for road, highway, and bridge repairs but only enough funding on hand to cover $405 million.  Moreover, currently the cost to complete all the required repairs needed to fix Rochester Finger Lakes bridges is $341 million, yet only $108 is allocated in the 4-year TIP due to current funding levels, thereby creating an over $200 million repair backlog for bridges alone. Schumer said this means that with an overall $405 million backlog, over 50% of the Finger Lakes’ transportation needs are not being undertaken which is why he is pushing for the $13.5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to address this backlog.

Schumer explained that structurally deficient bridges impact the economy negatively because they are frequently closed or posted for weight restrictions, forcing heavier vehicles such as trucks, busses, and farm equipment to find alternate routes that result in lost time and money. According to The Road Information Program, 10% of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient and continue to bear over 11.5 million vehicles per day. In the Rochester-area, nearly 12% of bridges are structurally deficient and bear over 1.14 million vehicles per day.

New York’s bridge system is vital to supporting the Finger Lakes economy, particularly its agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism industries, and are vital to the connectivity of the state. Nearly $1.3 trillion in goods are transported in New York every year – mostly by truck – and approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in New York are dependent on the state’s transportation network. Schumer argued that fixing the state’s structurally deficient bridges sooner rather than later is imperative because bridge repairs become exponentially more expensive as damages increase and conditions worsen.

“Our transportation system is aging and ailing, and this investment to repair bridges in the Finger Lakes will prove invaluable to connecting New Yorkers for the next century,” added Schumer.

TIP is a staged, multi-year program of projects, which identifies the timing and funding of all highway, bridge, transit, intelligent transport system, bicycle, and pedestrian transportation projects scheduled in the region for the next for years that require federal transportation funds.

Below is a breakdown between what is needed for Finger Lakes transportation projects vs. current level of funding. The Schumer-led Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is expected to make up much of the difference.





Over $341 million

$108 million


Over $416 million

$201 million

Preventative Maintenance

Over $275 million

$184 million



$3.8 million

Schumer was joined by Representative Joe Morelle, Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle, and Rochester Building & Construction Trades Council President Grant Malone

“The roads and bridges we use every day—to get to work, to go to the grocery store, to pick our children up from school—are crumbling, and we cannot continue to kick the can down the road,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “That’s why I’m so proud to support the bipartisan agreement that will take historic action to modernize and upgrade our infrastructure. I am grateful to Majority Leader Schumer for his leadership on this important legislation and look forward to our continued work together to strengthen our communities.”

In addition to the $13.5 billion provided in highway and formula bridge funding, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also provides $12.5 billion for a competitive bridge program that states and localities can apply to. For the first time, the bill also creates the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program which provides $1 billion in competitive grants for planning and projects to remove, retrofit, or mitigate existing highways that were built through neighborhoods and created a barrier to mobility and economic development. The popular RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grants, formerly known as BUILD or TIGER, fund transportation projects of national and regional significance and are funded in the bill at $7.5 billion over five years. The INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) grant program, another competitive program that funds transportation projects with a strong connection to improving freight operations, is funded at $3.2 billion. Finally, New York is also expected to receive $175 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state, and the ability to apply for the $2.5 billion in competitive EV charging grants.

Schumer also outlined other wins for the Finger Lakes region in the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill. The Finger Lakes will receive:

  • $27,038,025 for Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Airport and $5,430,000 for other Finger Lakes airports.
  • For transit, over $94.5 million estimated for the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority divided over five years.
  • The region will also receive a sizable portion of the over $20 billion devoted for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds, including a carve out within the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to replace lead service lines in communities like the Finger Lakes.