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Rep. Dan Maffei: Real Crisis Facing CNY Infrastructure

Scott Willis

Experts and community leaders joined Congressmember Dan Maffei Tuesday at the Erie Canal Museum for a roundtable meeting to talk about the state of the region's infrastructure.   

 The City of Syracuse, for example, has been dealing with dozens of water main breaks because of the extreme cold.   Much of the water system is at least 100 years old.  C & S Companies Engineer Orrin MacMurray  says Syracuse is not alone.

Transportation was the other main topic at the roundtable.  Experts say some roads and bridges are  so run down and budgets are so tight that the only option might be to close them.  Transportation officials say federal funding for road projects has been cut nearly in half over the last 15 years, all while the cost of projects has almost doubled.  

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Community leaders and experts join Rep. Dan Maffei at the roundtable discussion.


Some say the area could be served by a better mass transit system.  Director of the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council James D'Agostino says Centro generally serves the CITY well, but not the suburbs.   He says the SMTC's challenge over the next year is to find ways to change and enhance the system beyond the traditional spoke and hub model.  

SMTC Director James D'Agostino says options are probably limited for any different type of mass transit system.

D'Agostino says the best option is likely an enhanced bus system, with reduced stops and dedicated travel lanes.  He says it's already being tried in Albany, and they're looking to expand it.  Congressmember Dan Maffei says investing in water, transportation, and broadband can be considered economic development because businesses need it to compete in today's economy.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at