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Slaughter requests fed money to fix deteriorating bridges

Rochester Business Journal
September 3, 2014

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton, is co-sponsoring legislation that would add $19.5 billion to the Highway Maintenance Trust Fund to help repair deficient bridges in Monroe County.

Slaughter toured several structurally-deficient bridges on Wednesday, renewing her call for more federal investment in rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

“We have an infrastructure crisis in this country and we need to get to work fixing it,” Slaughter said in a statement.

She noted that one-third of the bridges statewide are considered structurally deficient. Bridges are rated on a scale from one to seven, with the least structurally sound given a one rating, and those with a rating below three are considered functionally obsolete.

Slaughter visited the Marsh Road single-lane bridge over the canal, the Route 490 bridge over Marsh Road and the Route 31 bridge over 490 in Perinton, all of which have a rating of five or lower. Each of the bridges is eligible for federal money coming out of the Highway Trust Fund, either through one or both of the National Highway Improvement Program or the Surface Transportation Program.

The state Department of Transportation gets $899 million from the National Highway Improvement Program and $413 million per year from the Surface Transportation Program.

“Investing in new infrastructure is not just necessary to keep residents safe when traveling to work or dropping their children off at school, but it is essential in attracting new businesses to our region and creating jobs in the construction sector of our economy,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter’s proposal would divert money to the Highway Maintenance Trust Fund by prohibiting corporate inversions—a practice by which U.S. companies relocate their headquarters abroad to avoid paying federal taxes. She noted, however, that a larger, more comprehensive federal investment would be needed to close the $45 billion gap in the trust fund.

New York State annually receives $1.6 billion from the fund for improvements to roads and bridges.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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