Seneca, Cayuga county bridges among most in need of fix

Seneca, Cayuga county bridges among most in need of fix

Seneca, Cayuga county bridges among most in need of fix

New York State's locally owned bridges need $27.4 billion to fix aging infrastructure, according to the state's top fiscal officer.

According to the Comptroller's report, bridges owned by the state's local governments and authorities are more likely than state-owned bridges to be structurally deficient. The highest number of structurally deficient local bridges are located in New York City (86), followed by the counties of Erie (52), Ulster (46) and Steuben (40).

The city also has the highest percentage of functionally obsolete bridges.

One out of every 10 bridges in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are structurally deficient.

Municipalities are generally responsible for the costs of their locally owned bridges, however, they generally receive assistance from the state and federal governments. "Hard decisions lie ahead, but these infrastructure needs must be addressed".

The overall percentage of structurally deficient local bridges declined from 16.7 percent to 12.8 percent from 2002 to 2016, while the state's percentage was relatively flat at around 9 percent.

The Columbia County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution at its full board meeting in September that would allow the county to issue $2.7 million in government bonds to pay the maximum estimated cost for capital improvements to roads, bridges and solid waste systems.

Federal assistance is available as well but, as Mr. DiNapoli pointed out, could put state aid programs in limbo if the federal government decides to revamp the way it distributes highway and infrastructure funding to states.

In St. Lawrence County, 47 out of 316 bridges fall into that category.

But with the fiscal stress of many north country counties, including St. Lawrence, Mr. Chambers said it can be hard to shorten the backlog of bridge projects. "We do need to make additional investments in our infrastructure".

"Local governments are facing a big price tag for maintaining and repairing local bridges", DiNapoli said in a press release.

"Another ten million would probably be very helpful", he added.

He said that there are roughly 125 culverts in Jefferson County that are in "desperate need of fix".

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