Increase in Infrastructure Funding in Tonawanda

$1 million of extra funding to help local roads and bridges

Mike Baggerman
June 09, 2017 - 3:57 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

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TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WBEN) - State Senator Chris Jacobs announced an increase in funding for transportation infrastructure in the 2017-2018 state budget. 

"The total amount of funding in the 60th senatorial district was over $850 million and about a $1 million increase from last year," Jacobs said. "It's a significant increase up. I think we need to continue this effort because we have had sustained a period of neglect in regards to our infrastructure and one thing I ran on was to bring parity and fairness back to our funding and not have so much of it go downstate. I was very happy this year that we made a down payment on that effort."

The budget is composed of a $29 billion infrastructure-spending plan which includes:

  • $503 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS)
  • $550 million in BRIDGE-NY for local bridge projects ($70 million earmarked for culverts)
  • $500 million for local PAVE-NY projects (distributed based on the CHIPS formula)
  • $65 million for the Extreme Winter Recovery Program

In particular, the state budget reinstated the Extreme Winter Recovery Program which Jacobs said is funding for roads and bridges that experienced damages due to extreme winter conditions.

"We have that (winter damage) frequently enough that we could probably depend on these funds coming to some parts of this community every year if we can make sure this stays in the budget each and every year," he said. 

The money is scheduled to be used for this construction season, though Jacobs insisted the construction projects will be determined by the various highway superintendents.

"What I really want to make sure is that this is a locally driven decision-making process," he said. "The state assists as a partner in the funding side but it's really the localities who know their needs in terms of prioritization. I don't think Albany knows that. We're not talking about the thruway network and we're not talking about the (department of transportation). We're talking local highway superintendents and others in the community who know best their need will use the money, use it very well, and use it where the priority and need is."

Town of Tonawanda Highway Superintendent Tom Jones told WBEN that upgrades will be made to Jamaica Road off Brighton Road and Melody Lane is in the process of being milled and overlaid because of the extra funding. 

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