The Capital District’s transportation system is complex, made up of a mix of privately and publicly-owned infrastructure. The system includes over 15,000 miles of roadway and 1,467 bridges and large-culverts owned by the State, counties, cities, towns, and villages. Of the 26 bridges that cross the Hudson River, 14 are located in the Capital District. There are 62 structures in the ten-mile I-787 corridor alone. More than 500 miles of sidewalk are in need of repair as well. Because the estimated economic value of the region’s roads and bridges is close to $40 billion, taking care of these assets is obviously critical to the Capital District’s continued economic success and mobility.
The highest priority of CDTC’s New Visions Plan is to maintain the Capital District’s infrastructure, including all federal-aid roads and highways, and all State and locally-owned bridges. In order to help properly maintain these assets, CDTC together with the New York State Department of Transportation and several local municipalities, conduct regular surveys of the condition of the Region’s roadways. Bridge inspections are exclusively conducted by NYSDOT for all area highway bridges. Based on this information, CDTC has been able to identify those facilities that are in the greatest need of repair, and to develop a program to schedule those repairs.
While roads and bridges are the core elements of the region’s infrastructure, and represent the bulk of the financial need, a broader view of transportation infrastructure cannot be neglectful of the needs of transit, the port, and airport. These major drivers of the regional economy rely heavily on the quality of the network of regional roads and bridges but have additional and unique needs of their own. In combination, the infrastructure of these three systems has a total value of over $0.5 Billion. CDTC continually works to understand and address the needs of these three systems which are experiencing many of the financial challenges in common with the region’s roads and bridges.
The development of New Visions 2040 Plan triggered the need to review current and long-range infrastructure conditions, needs, and financing. An Infrastructure Task Force was established to assist in the development of the plan by identifying highway, bridge, transit, and other infrastructure needs. CDTC’s infrastructure White Paper, titled “Preserving, Managing, and Renewing Capital District Infrastructure examined changes in condition over time and assessed how well New Visions goals are being met. The work of the Task Force will also look at the impact of NYSDOT’s preservation directive and the effect of various preservation strategies and potential funding levels. CDTC’s newly formed Bridge Group will look into preservation opportunities for locally-owned bridges, most of which are located in the rural areas of the region. Collectively these efforts help provide a framework for evaluating and effectively addressing the region’s infrastructure needs in an environment of limited funding.