December 04, 2015

Gillibrand Announces, After Her Push, New Measure to Give States the Authority to Use More Federal Funds on Local Bridge Improvement Projects was Passed by Congress Last Night, Will Head to President's Desk to Become Law

Senator’s Proposal, Announced In June, Was Part of the Final Federal Transportation Authorization Bill that Congress Passed Last Night; Proposal Would Open Up More Resources to Support Local Infrastructure Investment 50 Percent of New York’s 17,000 Bridges Are Locally Owned, Yet Current Federal Policy Limits Funding New York Can Spend on Two-Thirds of Bridges across the State

Washington, D.C. – With more than one-in-three New York bridges in need of repair, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that after her push, a new measure she introduced in June that would give states the authority to use more federal funds on local bridge improvement projects was included in the final federal transportation bill that Congress passed last night. Senator Gillibrand’s measure will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

While 50 percent of New York’s 17,000 bridges are locally owned, current federal policy limits the amount of federal transportation funds that states can use to repair those bridges by restricting National Highway Performance Program funding to bridges on the National Highway System. Only one-third of New York’s highway bridges are currently on the National Highway System and eligible for National Highway Performance Program funds.

“As hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers take to the roads for the holidays, more than a third of our state’s bridges are in need of repair, but bureaucratic federal policy actually prevents our state from investing in repairs for many of these bridges,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m pleased this new measure I introduced is headed to the President’s desk to become law, so that we can finally give states the flexibility to spend federal transportation dollars where they’re needed most, including on repairs for thousands of locally owned bridges across the state. I will continue to fight to ensure that New York receives the resources it needs to maintain and improve our critical infrastructure.”

 

Senator Gillibrand’s proposal would make all federal-aid highway bridge projects eligible for federal funding through the National Highway Performance Program, which is the largest source of highway formula funds to the states. More than one-third of New York’s bridges are graded as either “functionally obsolete,” meaning they cannot handle current traffic demand, or “structurally deficient,” meaning they require significant maintenance to remain in service and will eventually require a total rehabilitation.

 

In 2012, a program that provided direct funding to states and local governments to invest in bridge construction and repair was eliminated as a part of a larger transportation funding bill. Senator Gillibrand’s measure would redirect existing dollars to restore bridge funding and ensure that states have the flexibility to determine which projects receive federal investment.

 

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, more than one-third of New York State’s 17,000 bridges are in need of repair, with 2,016 graded as structurally deficient and 4,735 graded as functionally obsolete. These designations do not imply that the bridges are unsafe, but rather that they can no longer handle the traffic for which they were designed or are in need of extensive rehabilitation. In order to remain in service, structurally deficient bridges are often posted with weight limits.

 

In Western New York, there are a total of 2,743 bridges, and of these, 229 are structurally deficient bridges and 465 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

TOTAL NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Allegany

404

38

21

Cattaraugus

483

35

31

Chautauqua

558

40

102

Erie

894

77

245

Niagara

271

21

58

Wyoming

133

18

8

 

In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, there are a total of 1,656 bridges, and of these, 216 are structurally deficient bridges and 362 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Genesee

168

27

31

Livingston

162

12

13

Monroe

608

57

199

Ontario

177

19

32

Orleans

138

26

28

Seneca

59

12

15

Tompkins

192

35

34

Wayne

97

21

9

Yates

55

7

1

 

In Central New York, there are a total of 1,944 bridges, and of these, 281 are structurally deficient bridges and 393 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Cayuga

147

21

35

Cortland

192

32

29

Herkimer

238

29

49

Madison

174

30

23

Oneida

490

71

107

Onondaga

472

68

116

Oswego

231

30

34

 

In the Southern Tier, there are a total of 2,635 bridges, and of these, 253 are structurally deficient bridges and 349 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Broome

462

29

103

Chemung

256

31

34

Chenango

254

24

20

Delaware

451

27

76

Otsego

271

38

33

Schuyler

99

9

9

Steuben

627

53

51

Tioga

215

42

23

 

In the Capital Region, there are a total of 2,070 bridges, and of these, 273 are structurally deficient bridges and 490 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Albany

345

26

122

Columbia

243

47

56

Fulton

97

11

21

Greene

227

26

47

Montgomery

203

22

53

Rensselaer

265

37

59

Saratoga

222

30

44

Schenectady

116

12

42

Schoharie

171

29

22

Washington

181

33

24

 

In the North Country, there are a total of 1,635 bridges, and of these, 281 are structurally deficient bridges and 295 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Clinton

200

29

37

Essex

244

49

53

Franklin

187

31

26

Hamilton

85

14

10

Jefferson

295

42

61

Lewis

168

39

31

St. Lawrence

320

52

40

Warren

136

25

37

 

In the Hudson Valley, there are a total of 2,649 bridges, and of these, 313 are structurally deficient bridges and 893 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Dutchess

333

47

108

Orange

455

66

115

Putnam

104

13

36

Rockland

243

22

105

Sullivan

358

38

54

Ulster

387

69

90

Westchester

769

58

385

 

On Long Island, there are a total of 688 bridges, and of these, 18 are structurally deficient bridges and 426 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Nassau

323

10

224

Suffolk

365

8

202

 

In New York City, there are a total of 1,445 bridges, and of these, 152 are structurally deficient bridges and 1,062 are functionally obsolete bridges.

 

COUNTY

NUMBER OF BRIDGES

STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE BRIDGES

Bronx

317

53

209

Kings

240

29

185

New York

246

25

204

Queens

486

40

353

Richmond

156

5

111