A new report by State Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli finds that 76 percent of bridges in New York City are functionally obsolete and don't meet current design standards for the amount of traffic they carry, meaning they have shoulder or lane widths inadequate to current standards, low clearance, or low load-carrying capacity.
The report found local bridges are more likely to be structurally deficient than state-owned bridges (12.8 percent compared to 9 percent). "These structures are aging and the cost of repairs will likely increase over time".
With bridges in New York City subtracted from the total, the estimated cost of repairing county-owned bridges would be $7 billion. The percentage of troubled bridges was highest in Seneca County at 34.6%. Nine percent of state-owned and maintained bridges are considered deficient.
Local governments, mostly counties, own 8,834 out of 17,462 bridges in the state.
Bridges in these areas are also hard to improve due to their location in developed areas. Local bridges in New York City alone need about $20.4 billion in repairs.
As for funding that, Deyo says local governments will have to cross that bridge when they get there.
"While the state has taken steps to make funds for repairs available, the assistance of the federal government has also been critical", DiNapoli said. DiNapoli's office plans to release the report Tuesday. "Difficult decisions lie ahead, but these infrastructure needs must be addressed".