New York gets “C” grade on infrastructure

The report card is in, and New York’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure get a “C” grade.

The report card is out from the American Society of Civil Engineers and was presented Tuesday at the New York State Capitol. It studied 11 infrastructure categories and found two in good condition, six in mediocre condition and three in poor condition.

“What it does is it gives us a road map. It helps the public understand where we’re at, so that these investments can be supported, but it also gives us a road map of what we need to do next,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D – Schenectady).

The state’s trash earned the highest grade of a B-, while wastewater and roads tied for the lowest grades at a D+.

Capital Region residents mostly rely on roads and bridges.

Bridges got a C-, with the report saying one out of every 10 bridges is in poor condition. Over 600 bridges have weight restrictions, which causes issues for businesses trying to travel with products. Roads are graded D+. That means drivers upstate are shelling out a lot of cash to fix their cars because of the roads– an estimated $500 a year.

“Roads face an uphill battle due to the dense population they serve, increasingly severe weather impacting the pavement, and years of deferred maintenance rearing its head all at once. These costs are cast upon New York residents,” said John Folts of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Needed repairs are coming from an infrastructure bill passed by Congress in 2021. However, lawmakers say the report helps them see that much more funding is needed to get the grades up. 

“If somebody said to me, ‘How would you sum up this report in one word?’ The word would be ‘sobering.’ Sobering, in the fact that as much as Angelo had mentioned, we have invested a large amount of money in infrastructure over the past five to 10 years. We obviously have much further to go,” said Assemblyman John McDonald (D – Cohoes).

The report proposes several solutions to get the grades up, including improving infrastructure for more intense storms and getting students involved in the STEM field to address operational worker shortages.