11.10.21

SCHUMER REVEALS: OVER 1,700 BRIDGES AND OVER 7,292 MILES OF HIGHWAY IN POOR CONDITION IN NY; SENATOR SECURES NEARLY $13.5 BILLION TO FINALLY FIX DILAPIDATED & DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS BRIDGES, CREATING JOBS, SAFER ROADS, AND BOOSTING THE UPSTATE ECONOMY

NY Has Over 1,700 Bridges Deemed To Be In Poor Condition And Pose Worsening Safety Issues With Each Passing Day; Fixing Them Will Be Jobs Bonanza 

Schumer: It’s Time To Use the Billions From the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Bill We Just Passed To Invest In Upstate NY’s Bridges Before It Proves A Bridge Too Far 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced an unprecedented $13.5 billion investment to address New York’s crumbling bridge and road infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Of that amount, an estimated $1.9 billion is exclusively for a new bridge replacement and repair program.

New York will also compete for a share of the nation’s $12.5 billion in competitive grant funding for the new Bridge Investment Program in the bill. Schumer heard directly from stakeholders across New York from Rochester to the Southern Tier on the immediate need to invest in fixing Upstate NY’s backlog of bridge repairs. 

“It’s long past time to make urgent repairs to the over 1,700 bridges in NY that are putting our economies, communities, and safety at risk. Crumbling bridges and road are a hazard to motorists, and impede economic development and we need to use the historic investment we just secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act to put thousands of fellow New Yorkers to work upgrading those bridges and roads,” said Senator Schumer. “As Majority Leader, I am proud of the $13.5 billion I fought to secure in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework to finally address this backlog and fix dangerous bridges in Upstate NY, 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 New York’s infrastructure before poor conditions prove a bridge too far.”

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.

New York’s bridge system is vital to supporting the Upstate economy, particularly its agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism industries, and are vital to the connectivity of the many towns and urban centers. 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 across NY will prove invaluable to connecting New Yorkers for the next century,” added Schumer.

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.

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