Santabarbara: Final State Budget Makes Much-Needed Infrastructure Investments in Roads, Bridges, Water

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, announced the 2016-17 state budget invests in our roads and infrastructure – making a commitment to help families and businesses who rely on our state’s roads and bridges while also recognizing the need to upgrade the state’s crumbling water and sewer systems.

“As a civil engineer, I know how critical it is to invest in our infrastructure, and this budget offers real substance in terms of support for much-needed highway, train and airport transportation projects in Upstate New York,” Santabarbara said.

The budget includes $27 billion for Upstate infrastructure, a $540 million program for Consolidated Highway Improvement Programs (CHIPs) that will improve the condition of the region’s roads and bridges, and an additional $2 billion in Thruway Stabilization funding that will provide much-needed relief to commuters in the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley.

“This investment in Upstate infrastructure will also mean tangible benefits for residents to services they rely on every day,” Santabarbara said. “Not only will commuters have better roads and bridges to travel on, but we’re also helping to build a more vibrant economy through new construction jobs and lower transportation costs.”

Santabarbara also fought to secure $200 million in funding for upgrades to local water and sewer infrastructure and $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund. The budget’s increase of more than $120 million to the EPF will go toward environmental protection initiatives as well as helping identify water contamination.

“This budget funds significant upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure across the state, allowing local governments to apply for funding to repair or replace existing infrastructure and improve water quality for our local families,” he said. “We all have concerns about the safety of our water supply across the nation, especially in recent times with the contamination of water supplies in Hoosick Falls and Flint, Michigan. This funding will allow our municipalities to take action now.”

Last year, Santabarbara joined the American Society of Civil Engineers in the release of their 2015 Report Card for New York's Infrastructure, which scored the state’s infrastructure at a C and found that the state’s roads and bridge needed the most repairs, with grades of D- and D+, respectively. New York’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure received C’s and D’s.

“This is unacceptable,” Santabarbara said. “At the time, I talked about the importance of these investments and what this means to the future of our communities and our state. By making these investments, we are taking the necessary steps to modernize our infrastructure and get those grades up to A’s and B’s – the health of our families and local economies depends on it.”