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Experts: Infrastructure investment needed

TROY Despite the Department of Transportation closing two bridges last month for structural concerns, New York is still better than average for its bridges.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state a C in its March report of bridges. The national average is a D, but they would like a sustained B.

Nationally it's about $3.6 trillion for all the infrastructure in the United States that we'll need by 2020, of which about $1.6 trillion is a shortfall, said Mark Rusnica, Region 1 Director for ASCE.

Water and sewage pipes are also a concern. Earlier this week, Green Island suffered one of its worst water main breaks.

The infrastructure in the Capital Region, and across New York State, to be gentle, is failing. We are in crisis related to sewage and drinking water infrastructure across the state, said William Cooke with Citizens Campaign for the Environment. Unseen we are seeing the entire infrastructure of the sewage systems starting to crumble. This includes pipes leaking, so between your residence or business and the sewage treatment plant we're getting leakage.

Green Island said the federal government provides low or no interest loans for projects, but is not assisting with infrastructure sewage repairs.

Cooke encourages the federal and state governments to provide more assistance.

The federal government needs to step up and provide at least 70-75 cents on the dollar to rebuild these, said Cooke. The state needs to come up with 20 cents on the dollar and the locals need to put in some. Everybody needs to put in some, but the problem we're having is the House is too focused on businesses and billionaires.


For roads, a major investment is also needed to improve bridges and interstates. Experts say Americans pay each year it drags.

In transportation thats about $400 per year per person that you're spending additionally because of poor infrastructure or inadequate infrastructure, said Rusnica. Just as you have a leaking roof on your home so it is with the infrastructure. The longer you wait, the more its going to cost.

 
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