The state Senate started passing major budget bills Sunday, including $5.73 million for reconstruction of Patterson Street in Ogdensburg beginning this spring.
It also has funding for projects on Ford Street Extension, Ogdensburg; Fullerville Road, Oswegatchie; Massena Aluminum History Trail; U.S. Rt. 11 and County Rt. 78, Gouverneur; State Rt. 37 in Massena; Hewittville Road, Potsdam; State Rt. 58, Edwards; and various bridge painting and road line painting projects
The Senate started work on major budget bills Sunday, and plans to continue voting on bills over several days this week, with an eye to adopting the third on-time state budget in as many years. The Assembly is expected back at the Capitol to pass the bills later this week.
The plan includes the first increase in five years in state funding for local highway maintenance and repairs, according to Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) of the 48th District, which includes northern and western St. Lawrence County.
The transportation budget bill (S.2604-E) includes a $75 million increase in funding under the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs), which funds projects on local roads across the state.
Separately, the budget bills include $3.4 billion in funding for state and federally funded highway projects, including $152.5 million for projects in the region that includes Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.
“Investing in critical road and bridge repairs, construction and improvements not only helps make our economy stronger, but also supports tens of thousands of good jobs in design and construction and maintenance that we need right now,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie said a recent study found that as many as 32 percent of bridges and 40 percent of roadways across the state are in urgent need of repair, and state funding for local highway repair, construction and maintenance has not kept pace with inflation.