Report Card on State Roads, Water Systems and Other Public Works You Wouldn't Show Parents

Sep 29, 2015

Mayor Miner repeats calls to improve infrastructure in wake of new report
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A Report Card on New York State’s infrastructure today supports Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s call for help in fixing up roads, bridges and water systems.  A national engineers study has details and recommendations.

It’s no secret that there are problems in just about every category of infrastructure…be it New York’s roads and bridges, transportation and water systems, or parks.  The American Society of Engineers put together a report card grading each area.

“Three poor D grades, four mediocre C grades, and two good B grades, resulting in an overall grade of C-minus.  So how many of your parents would have been happy if your brought home a C- ?”

Beth Ann Smith is the Engineer Society’s New York State Chair.  She says roads, bridges and Wastewater got the D-grades, they gave C-grades to Dams, Drinking Water, Transit and Airports, while the best performers were solid waste management and Parks with B’s.  

American Society of Civil Engineers

  Mayor Stephanie Miner has been sounding the call to get more funding to really fix, not just band-aid,  infrastructure.  And this only bolsters her argument.

“As we have seen water mains leak that have caused sink holes in the roads, as we have seen water mains break that have caused people not to get water, and we have seen bridges start to crumble, and holes through 81, all of us have to remember that this is a public safety issue, but also an issue of economic development.”

It’s not all bad news.  Miner says even in gridlocked Washington, The transportation bill has broad support…and Syracuse would benefit.  Smith also tells people not to underestimate the power of public outcry…as happened in state parks.

“They have come back from the grim crisis in 2010 when they faced closures state-wide, but the citizens of New York voiced opposition and outrage and now there’s been a catch-up effort (to repair park facilities).”

The Engineers Society has recommendations more than just the needed state and federal funding:  namely, to Rebuild Better so improvements last; use innovative materials and methods that save money in the long run; and that residents be part of the solution by speaking out and getting involved.