The state needs to invest in infrastructure and transportation projects, but the state lacks the money to make the necessary improvements, Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch wrote in a report issued today.
“In this period of austerity, national economic uncertainty, unpredictability of federal funding, and rising social service costs there is an increasing risk that funding for infrastructure investments will be curbed to dangerous levels,” Ravitch said in a statement. “To preserve safety and prepare for economic recovery, the State must craft a multi-year transportation capital investment strategy that sets clear and attainable priorities, identifies reliable revenues, and balances competing regional demands.”
In the report, Ravitch wrote that developing methods for paying for mega-projects such as a proposed replacement for the aging Tappan Zee Bridge are outdated. He said a regional plan for tolling could help pay for the project, which is estimated to cost as much as $14 billion.
“The development and phase-in of a coordinated regional tolling strategy that includes all key bridges and statewide roads, especially the parkway system, could provide funds for projects like the Tappan Zee Bridge,” the report said.
The 15-page report also calls for better environmental planning and prioritization of projects.
Here’s the full report: