Busted Bridges Impact Buffalo Niagara Economy

Buffalo Niagara’s bridges are in rough shape according to a new report by a national transportation research group. TRIP says eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Erie and Niagara counties are rated as structurally deficient.  These bridges carry more than 500,000 vehicles a day according to TRIP.  Across New York State, ten percent of bridges are deemed structurally deficient.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership hosted a press conference where TRIP released its study in Buffalo.  The Partnership has long advocated for increased and dedicated transportation infrastructure funding at both the state and federal levels.  TRIP’s latest report is yet another example of the economic development impact of poor road, bridge and highway conditions.

“Buffalo Niagara Partnership members continue to identify the lack of resources to adequately address our infrastructure needs now, and in the future, as a major impediment to economic growth and investment in Buffalo Niagara,” said Dottie Gallagher, President & CEO of the Partnership.  “Here in New York State, drivers pay some of the highest gas and automobile taxes and fees in the United States and yet most of that money is not dedicated to maintaining our transportation infrastructure.  At the federal level, we continue to wait for a comprehensive infrastructure bill with no action from the President and Congress.”

As the report points out, well-maintained surface transportation infrastructure is vitally important to the success of several key industries in New York including agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.  According to TRIP, $1.3 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New York, with 72 percent being carried by trucks.  TRIP estimates that value of freight shipped in and out of New York by truck will increase by more than 100 percent by the year 2045.

Check out the report to see which bridges in Buffalo Niagara score the worst and which structurally deficient bridges carry the most traffic every day despite that rating.

You can also join our effort to ask Congress to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package.  We have made it easy for you to send a personalized message to your representatives in Congress.

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About Grant Loomis

Vice President, Government Affairs