Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to extend authorization for transportation investments. The extension will protect 120,000 jobs in New York State, and more than $3.2 billion of investment in New York’s roads, bridges and public transit systems. The bipartisan legislation will extend the transportation authorization through January 2012 as Congress continues to work on a new, multi-year transportation bill.
“With crumbling infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake, this extension is common sense,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “But we can’t afford more short term, temporary fixes. We need a long term solution. I will work to pass a transportation bill that makes the investments we need to upgrade our infrastructure to keep New York’s businesses connected and our travelers safe.”
The extension has a broad range of support, including from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, AAA and others.
The World Economic Forum released a report this month stating U.S. infrastructure, which ranked 6th in the world in 2007-2008, has fallen to 16th for 2011-2012. The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded the nation’s infrastructure at a “D.” New York State alone has more than 2,100 structurally deficient bridges. While safe for travel, ongoing wear and tear could lead to road and bridge closures, and current weight restrictions prevent the shipping of products, hurting businesses and slowing our economic recovery.