Infrastructure Spending Should Be Spread Out

Keeping any sort of structure in good condition requires regular maintenance and, on occasion, replacement of worn-out components. That is, of course, easier said than done, particularly with roads and bridges.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposes spending $477 million statewide for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, which pays for local roads projects; and the Marchisell program, which pays for infrastructure capital projects; while also budgeting $100 million in highway aid through PAVE NY and $100 million for the BRIDGE NY program. That’s a lot of money, or at least, it seems like a lot of money.

Consider, though, that roughly 30 percent of the state’s highways are considered to be in bad condition while another 30 percent of bridges are said to be structurally deficient. And, assume there will be a lot of patching this summer after a winter full of freezing and thawing that means roads deteriorate faster than normal. Chances are that nearly $700 million will be just a drop in the bucket compared to the money New York and its municipalities need to spend just to maintain the status quo.

We hope state legislators keep that in mind when talking about state spending. Rather than implementing new programs that benefit only a few, perhaps more money should be budgeted for infrastructure that everyone uses.