- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for a new measure that will give states the authority to use more federal funds on local bridge improvement projects.

Federal policy limits the amount of federal transportation funds states can use to repair those bridges. Gillibrand’s amendment proposal to the transportation re-authorization bill would make local bridge projects eligible for federal funding through the National Highway Performance Program. That would allow states greater flexibility to invest in bridge improvement and repair projects.

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, more than one-third of the state’s 17,000 bridges are in need of repair, with 2,016 graded as structurally deficient and 4,735 functionally obsolete.

Half of New York’s bridges are locally owned.

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