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With Western New York’s Infrastructure Needs Mounting, Higgins Advocates For Substantial Federal Investment in America’s Infrastructure

Sep 19, 2019
Press Release
Push Comes As Community Discusses Future of Bridges in the Buffalo-Niagara Region

After discussions early this week related to the future of Western New York’s roads and bridges, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) went to Washington, D.C. to fight for action on a substantial federal investment in infrastructure.

In remarks on the Floor, Higgins said, “Our roads are crumbling, our water infrastructure is breaking, and our transit systems are inadequate and outdated.  The situation couldn’t me more urgent and the opportunity couldn’t be more obvious.”

(To access video click above or go to: https://youtu.be/seRt-Oe1NOc)

Earlier this week TRIP, a National Transportation Research Nonprofit, released a report detailing the declining conditions of bridges in the Buffalo Niagara region.  The report, based on data from the Federal Highway Administration, notes that over 500,000 vehicles each day travel over structurally deficient bridges in the Buffalo Niagara Region. 

This week also included the selection of a design concept for replacement of the Buffalo Skyway.  Governor Cuomo has committed $10 million toward the required environmental review but millions more will be needed for demolition, construction of alternate routes and enhancements to existing routes. 

Higgins has vociferously advocated for Congress to act aggressively to fund infrastructure and previously authored the Nationbuilding Here At Home Act, to do just that.

In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our nation’s infrastructure a grade of D+ on their Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.  Inefficient roadways and transit systems are leading to longer travel times, reducing productivity for businesses, translating to jobs losses and a decrease in personal income.  Ultimately the lack of necessary investments is reducing the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).  If infrastructure gaps are not met, ASCE projects the U.S. will lose nearly $4 trillion in GDP by 2025.

Investments in infrastructure yield substantial economic benefits, both in the short and long-term. According to Standard & Poor’s, for every $1.3 billion invested in infrastructure 29,000 construction jobs are added, resulting in $2 billion in real economic growth, and reducing the federal deficit by $200 million.