GREENE – Rising costs and inflation are making it difficult now to complete major highway projects that were promised five years ago, state transportation officials say, when prices were relatively stable.
So if New York is going to keep up with required maintenance and still deliver on major upgrades – like those for state routes 12 and 17 in Broome and Chenango counties – it’s going to need funding assistance from the federal government, said Jack Williams, director of the state Department of Transportation’s Region 9.
“Rapid inflation means we can’t deliver as many projects as we planned,” said Williams during a roundtable discussion on local transportation issues Monday in Greene.
The meeting, held in the Town of Greene offices, was one of three organized by first-term Congressman Michael Arcuri (D-Utica). His goal: find out what locals think are the most pressing transportation needs in the area, so he’s armed with key priorities when it’s time to secure funding for his district in the next federal highway bill.
In Chenango County, the top priority is still making Route 12 safer and more attractive for business, Arcuri and local officials say.
“The issue with Rt. 12 is the lack of reliability,” said Arcuri, one of six New York members on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “A trip that could take a half-hour one day might take an hour and a half the next.”