Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

NY bridges need $27.4 billion in repairs

NY bridges need $27.4 billion in repairs

The report the office released Tuesday found that 12.8 percent of locally owned bridges are likely to be structurally deficient compared to 9 percent of state-owned bridges.

With bridges in New York City subtracted from the total, the estimated cost of repairing county-owned bridges would be $7 billion.

New York's local governments need an estimated $27.4 billion to fix a number of "structurally deficient" bridges.

Municipalities are generally responsible for the costs of their locally owned bridges, however, they generally receive assistance from the state and federal governments.

DiNapoli says local officials will have to work with their state and federal counterparts to ensure there's money to pay for critical repairs. "Hard decisions lie ahead, but these infrastructure needs must be addressed".

A bridge is considered "structurally deficient" if important load-carrying elements are in poor condition, or if it is prone to repeated flooding resulting in traffic delays.

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While the cost is quite steep, the state's report found the number of janky bridges has declined in recent years.

Structurally deficient bridges are not unsafe, according to the comptroller's report.

Charlie Sickler, deputy commissioner of highways for Erie County, says the county owns around 19 bridges classified as structurally deficient. Albany County has seven deficient bridges, or 8.4 percent.

According to the Comptroller's office, local governments, mostly counties, own about 51 percent of the 17,462 bridges in the state, carrying average daily traffic of almost 33.4 million vehicles.

He says that includes state and federal aid.

The Comptroller's report calls it "a major challenge for federal, state and local governments".

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