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Civil Engineers Give New York's Roads and Bridges a Failing Grade

Sep 29, 2015

A new report card gives New York failing grades for much of its infrastructure.

The New York Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers has issued its first report card on infrastructure, giving the state an overall grade of "C-."

But while the state received a grade of "B-" for parks and solid waste, New York's roads and bridges were graded "D-" and "D+," respectively.

ASCE Rochester section president Sam Anthony  says one answer is getting Congress to come to come to an agreement on the Highway Trust Fund, which expires in a month.

"We've got to urge them to come to a resolution on this because we're still closing bridges. The Marsh Road Bridge was closed last week, and it's not a good thing.  That's why we're doing this, to get the word out to people."

Rochester Business Alliance President Bob Duffy says everyone recognizes the need, but there needs to be a defined federal and state funding stream.

"There has to be a steady stream of funding to support evaluation and the reconstruction and rebuilding of some of the bridges and roads across the state, because there are many in disrepair, and while they're working on many now, there's still a lot more to do."

Duffy says the bright side is as the infrastructure is being repaired, jobs are being created.

The American Society of Civil Engineer's report report notes that over half of the states bridges are over 75 years old, while 1 in 4 of New York's wastewater facilities are operating beyond their 30 year useful life expectancy.

Among their recommendations: create a prioritization program to assess the state's transportation infrastructure needs, and as it is being rebuilt, make it more resilient and sustainable.

They also encourage people to contact their elected representatives to urge them to support investing in infrastructure.

The Trolley Blvd. Bridge in Gates is part of New York's aging infrastructure

Here's a link to the report card.