NY local bridges need $27B of repairs, comptroller says

Henrietta Brewer
October 11, 2017

"It does not mean, for example, that the bridge is unsafe", said Gabe Deyo, deputy comptroller for the Division of Local Government and School Accountability.

According to the NYS Comptroller's data, Erie County has 52 bridges that need fix - 31 in local counties, 8 in towns, and 13 in cities- coming in as the second highest after New York City.

Almost 13 percent of bridges owned by local government entities are "structurally deficient", State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found.

"Structurally deficient bridges that remain open are considered safe to drive on, but either have load-bearing weaknesses in poor condition or are prone to repeated flooding", according to the report. "These structures are aging and the cost of repairs will likely increase over time".

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

One out of every 10 bridges in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are structurally deficient. Albany County has seven deficient bridges, or 8.4 percent.

The county plans to spend $1.85 million on bridge repairs. The figures used by DiNapoli came from the Federal Highway Administration. In many cases, the federal government has been willing to pay 80 percent of the cost, and the state another 15 percent.

"Tax money is tax money", Knott said.

He says that includes state and federal aid.

Knott said the county bonds a lot of the projects out because they are long-term projects.

In St. Lawrence County, 47 out of 316 bridges fall into that category. It was built in 1927 and was last rehabilitated in 1998. The bridge was constructed in 1974.

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