Friend: New York Must Increase Investment in Local Roads

Assemblyman fighting for $150 million increase to CHIPS and the Restoration of $65 million for Extreme Winter Recovery Program

Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) is calling for a $150 million increase to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for a total investment of $588 million. He is additionally calling for the restoration of the $65 million Extreme Winter Recovery Program, which the governor cut from his budget proposal, despite its importance to communities hit by difficult upstate winters.

“Our local highway departments are constantly working to improve our local roads and bridges, but it can prove to be a real challenge when the state constantly underfunds critical infrastructure in our communities,” said Friend. “Safe roadways and up-to-date infrastructure keep communities growing and economies going. Our highway departments are the first to respond to bad weather in our communities and make them safe for us all. I am committed to our local roads and the work of these men and women who keep them safe.”

While this winter could be considered mild, there have been a high number of freeze-thaw cycles during the season which cause buckling in pavement and damage to culverts. Further still, with frequent lower-accumulation snow and winter mix storms, highway departments still had to plow and apply salt on roadways, adding to the wear and tear on roadways and equipment. This is why Friend is fighting for the restoration of the Extreme Winter Recovery Program.

Friend is also fighting to make the PAVE-NY and BRIDGE-NY programs permanent, both of which have benefited communities within his district. The governor proposes to maintain funding at $100 million for each program. He also is looking into a dedicated program to fund the maintenance of culverts. Currently, BRIDGE-NY’s requirements leave many small rural towns out of the program because they do not have the staff or time to fill out the lengthy and burdensome application.

Editor’s note: Video of Friend’s comments on local highway funding may be downloaded here:

B-roll from today’s rally for local roads may be downloaded here: