The new year could bring about a new plan for fixing up aging infrastructure across New York state. The legislature is expected to consider a Transportation Bond Act in its upcoming session.
The bond act is being proposed in the Senate by Tim Kennedy. The chair of the Transportation Committee, Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat, says it will be part of the conversation surrounding the Department of Transportation's new five-year capital plan.
"As we're putting this together we want to ensure that the billions of dollars that we need for our community's infrastructure, Buffalo and Western New York, and other upstate, especially urban older, communities, get the resources that we rightfully deserve and that we need to take care of our infrastructure that takes a beating from the inclement weather throughout the year and because of its age deteriorates at a faster pace," Kennedy said.
The state's last road and infrastructure bond act was passed in 2005 and Kennedy says he believes it's time to pass another one.
"It's been the better part of a decade and the federal government has not done its job as it pertains to an infrastructure bill. New York state can not wait for the federal government to get out of its own way. We have to act and we have to act now and that's why, I believe, that we should absolutely consider a New York state bond act to fund a five-year DOT capital plan," Kennedy said.
The proposal is backed by the 40,000 strong New York State Laborers Union. Executive Director Patrick Purcell says, in a written statement, "A bond issue would act as an economic shot in the arm in the way of job creation...while ensuring the state's transportation systems are safe to use."