| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Dec 20 New York State and its local
governments face a shortfall of up to $89 billion for
infrastructure funding over the next 20 years, the state's top
financial official said on Thursday.
The collective shortfall is for transportation, water and
sewer facilities throughout the state, New York Comptroller
Thomas DiNapoli said in a report.
New York and its cities, counties and authorities need to
spend $250 billion on water, sewer and highway systems in the
coming two decades, but only about $161 billion in such spending
is planned, he said.
Struggling local governments have attempted to maintain
their systems during the recession, he said, even while some
have been hit with lowered property tax collections and
increasing expenditures in other areas.
Adding to the problem are ballooning construction and energy
costs, which have grown faster than the rate of capital
spending, his report found.
Total capital spending by local governments has increased by
more than 30 percent over the past 10 years. But fuel costs have
risen 190 percent and asphalt costs 206 percent during the same
period, he said.
The New York Thruway Authority on Monday selected a $3.1
billion design to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge, which
spans the Hudson River to connect Westchester and Rockland
counties north of New York City. Built in the 1950s, it suffers
from corrosion and an outdated design that has failed to keep up
with increased traffic.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sped up the project, which
languished for a decade, by getting the legislature to enact a
law allowing it to be built as it is being designed.