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NY Thruway Responds to Comptroller Criticism of Planned Toll Hike

The Thruway Authority has answered criticisms lodged by a report from the state comptroller’s office.

OFFICE OF STATE COMPTROLLER: Maximize Non-Toll Revenue Sources The Thruway should pursue and maximize non-toll revenue sources, including federal funding as well as alternative revenue streams that could be generated from its assets and infrastructure. With extensive new resources available from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other federal aid programs, the Authority should exhaust all such funding opportunities to mitigate the need for toll increases.

THRUWAY AUTHORITY: The Thruway Authority is operated and maintained solely as a user-fee system and is not supported by any federal, state or local taxpayer funding. We did not receive any portion of the funds New York received as part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act nor any COVID Relief funds, etc. The Authority has applied for federal infrastructure grants where we are eligible will continue to do so. Toll revenue is 90 percent of our total revenue.

COMPTROLLER: Disclose Capital Needs Assessment to Justify Cost Projections The Thruway has not published a comprehensive capital needs assessment that would allow State and local officials, policymakers and the public to understand the condition of the system and evaluate whether the Authority is effectively prioritizing projects and targeting its resources to essential capital projects. Improved transparency with respect to its capital program is crucial.

THRUWAY: The average age of the Thruway’s 815 bridges is 55 years old with 75 percent of those bridges more than 60 years old. While they are continually inspected and maintained for the safety of the traveling public, more than 85 of them have been identified for replacement within the next decade. The need to replace bridges grows exponentially after the 10-year timeline when hundreds of bridges will need to be replaced in the following decade. To highlight the magnitude of the problem, the projected replacement cost for the most immediate 85 bridges needing replacement is roughly $800 million in today’s dollars. Factoring the hundreds of bridges that will require replacement not long thereafter, the costs escalate into the $6 – $7 billion range which the existing toll rate structure will not support.

The Thruway Authority complies with all statutory legal obligations as it relates to reporting requirements for the needs and conditions of the roadway. Furthermore, we annually produce and update our five-year capital program that is considered by our Board of Directors, who meet at live-streamed public meetings.

This is the Asset Management section of the Thruway website –

It details the condition of pavement and provides analysis of the more than 800 bridges on our 570-mile system. It is available for anyone to review at any time.

Source: Mid-Hudson News

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