Leaders push to fix crumbling roads, bridges
ELMSFORD, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Days before Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined his Executive Budget, the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley, Inc. joined other industry leaders urging lawmakers to address New York State's infrastructure crisis and fund much-needed improvements. More than 100 representatives of organized labor, private business and elected officials packed the Teamsters Local 456 Union Hall in Elmsford Jan. 17 at a press conference hosted by Rebuild NY Now.
"We've reached a critical point in New York State," said John J. Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley, headquartered in Tarrytown. "The deterioration of our roads and bridges is deeply troubling, and the safety of our citizens and the financial stability of our state are at stake. Gov. Cuomo has acknowledged the crisis, with a $3 billion bond act proposal to safeguard the environment. We applaud that initiative and urge the governor to include in the state budget necessary funding for infrastructure work."
The conference was part of Rebuild NY Now's statewide campaign to raise awareness about the state's crumbling roads and bridges, and came ahead of Gov. Cuomo's Executive Budget address Jan. 21. Rebuild NY Now is seeking $35 billion in the 2020 budget, beginning April 1, to address infrastructure needs, citing motorist safety, environmental damage and financial concerns. The group says decaying roads cost New York drivers $1,600 a year, for a total of $24 billion statewide. Rebuild NY Now also has cited studies showing that for every billion dollars spent on infrastructure repair, more than 28,000 jobs are created.
State and local lawmakers expressed concern about the growing infrastructure crisis.
"The failure to invest in our roads and highways is a source of constant frustration and great economic cost," said state Sen. Shelley Mayer. "Investing in our infrastructure is an essential component of the success of our communities and our economy, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to secure additional resources."
According to Rebuild NY Now, in 2017 the state projected 2,116 bridges will be structurally deficient by 2022 – close to a 100 percent increase since its last evaluation in 2009.
High-resolution images can be accessed here: https://cocommunications.box.com/s/mlj26fb3ijud8jifmys7ysve32hevlle
SOURCE Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley