Thu March 6, 2014
Bevy of potholes stirs call for increased road funding
With drivers hitting more and more potholes lately, local highway superintendents and state legislators are calling for more road funding.
Assemblymember Ray Walter is among those pushing for a $50 million increase in CHIPS, the Consolidated Highway Improvement Programs. Walter says motorists are seeing potholes everywhere.
"You just have to drive down the street to know what kind of condition the roads are in this year. It's been an unbelievably harsh winter and the roads have really taken a toll. There's going to be a greater need this year than ever before and we need to make sure that the state commitment is there to keep these roads in good shape," Walter says.
With 87% of highway mileage and 52% of bridges being locally owned, Walter says local governments are strapped with all of the mandates coming down from Albany.
"The snow and ice and everything that we've had to deal with has really taken a toll on our highway budget.," Walter says. "We need to put some state funding in."
Walter, an Amherst Republican, is also pushing for the creation of a $200 million State Aid to Local Bridges and Culverts Program. According to a recent State Comptroller's report, 32 percent of bridges are deficient and 40 percent of roads are rated fair or poor and getting worse.