Sen. Gillibrand pushes for federal funds to fix LI bridges

Under current law, federal road and bridge funding can only be used on federal highways and bridges.

Under current law, federal road and bridge funding can only be used on federal highways and bridges. (6/2/15)

WOODBURY - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced a bill Tuesday that would give states the authority to use more federal funds to fix hundreds of bridges across Long Island listed as deteriorating or obsolete by the state Department of Transportation.

Under current law, federal road and bridge funding can only be used on federal highways and bridges.

Sen. Gillibrand (D - New York) says her measure would not increase the amount of federal aid for highway and bridge repairs, but would allow states to direct the money to projects on priority bridges, whether they are under local, state or federal control.

"This amendment would make sure our bridges can be fixed and made safe for travelers, and it would finally address the pressing infrastructure needs of local governments," said the senator.

According to the DOT, more than one-third of the state's 17,000 bridges are in need of repair.

Sen. Gillibrand introduced a similar funding bill last year to repair bridges, but some congressional Republicans blocked it. She plans to reintroduce the measure as an amendment to the 2016 Transportation Bill.

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