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Rep. Zeldin's Safe Bridges Act Added to House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act

October 29, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, C, Shirley- NY 1), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced today that bipartisan legislation he introduced in Congress, the Safe Bridges Act (H.R. 3168) to strengthen New York’s infrastructure, has been added to the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act under section 1105 (i) of the bill. Congressman Zeldin introduced the legislation with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18).

Under a 2012 federal law, MAP-21, states, counties, towns and villages were cut off from critical funding to repair and maintain bridges. The Safe Bridges Act will reform federal highway law to make our critical overpasses and bridges once again eligible for funding. According to the New York State Department of Transportation, New York received $271 million in federal funding for the Highway Bridge program in 2011. Due to changes in MAP-21, New York State received $0 in Highway Bridge program funding in 2014. Upon passage in the House, the Safe Bridges Act would once again provide counties and municipalities on Long Island with access to critical federal funds to repair and maintain our local bridges and infrastructure.

Congressman Zeldin said, “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am proud to announce that my bipartisan bill to reform federal highway law has been included in the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act. Right now, much of our infrastructure on Long Island is in need of additional support. Under the Safe Bridges Act, our critical overpasses and bridges will once again have access to the federal funding needed to repair and strengthen our infrastructure; as well as improve our economy, community safety and overall quality of life. One of my top priorities in Congress is strengthening New York’s transportation and infrastructure, which is why I am proud to lead this effort in the House and will continue to push for passage of this legislation.”

“While municipalities across New York State are struggling to maintain government services without raising taxes, it is very difficult to fund local infrastructure improvements,” said Daniel P. Losquadro, Brookhaven Town Superintendent of Highways. “This also comes at a time when the increase in population and the associated increase in traffic on our local roadways have far surpassed the capabilities of our infrastructure. The legislation Congressman Zeldin is putting forward is an important step in the right direction.”

"Lee Zeldin continues to be a leader and champion for infrastructure funding for Long Island. I applaud his Safe Bridges Act and I am proud to join with him in announcing that Long Island will now be the recipient of overdue federal funding for our bridges and roads. Thanks to Congressman Zeldin's efforts, this vital funding will improve the quality of our lives ever day through improved roads, safer bridges and by boosting the infrastructure efforts by our county, towns and villages. That means more jobs and a significant boost to our local economy," said Senator Tom Croci.  

Senator Ken LaValle said, “I am pleased that Congressman Zeldin was successful in having the Safe Bridges Act incorporated into the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act.  I look forward to working with him to restore the federal funding necessary to keep the roads, overpasses and bridges safe for our residents.”

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine said, "Congressman Zeldin is a strong proponent of making our aging infrastructure safe while at the same time creating much needed jobs for our work force. I am in full support of the Safe Bridges Act and I thank the Congressman for all that he does to improve the quality of life for Brookhaven residents and every American citizen."

"Congressman Zeldin is clearly in touch with the needs of this Town," commented Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico. "This legislation to allow for the investment in our region's infrastructure offers the promise of hope for federal aid for our ailing and aged overpasses and bridges."

“We are glad to see that Representative Zeldin’s tireless work and commitment to Long Island’s infrastructure and the safety of its residents has been recognized by the federal government by including his Safe Bridges Act in the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act,” said Marc Herbst, Executive Director, Long Island Contractors’ Association. “This brings Long Island’s infrastructure crisis one step closer to receiving the appropriate support needed in order to repair over  a century of neglect and at the same time provide a much needed boost to the economy.”

Desmond Ryan, Executive Director of ABLI, said, “Congressman Zeldin’s legislation, now included in the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act, would provide our community with access to critical funding to strengthen Long Island’s infrastructure. On behalf of ABLI, I would like to express my strong support and commend Congressman Zeldin for his leadership on this important initiative in Congress.”

Dick O’Kane of the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council said, “Our infrastructure has been in bad shape for far too long and I am thankful that Congressman Zeldin’s Safe Bridges Act is now included in the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act. It is an essential piece of legislation to strengthen the infrastructure here on Long Island. I thank Congressman Zeldin for recognizing the need for the Safe Bridges Act and urge Congress to pass this very important legislation.”

“In a Congress far too often criticized for not paying attention to basic infrastructure needs, Congressman Zeldin has demonstrated the skill, acumen and Washington diplomacy required to secure funds for this critical need. On behalf of the millions of motorists who will benefit, including those in New York, he deserves our thanks,” said William K. Duffy, Jr., President of the IUOE Local 138, 138A, 138B &138C.

Debra Hagan, President of the TWU Local 252, said, “Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO Local 252 representing 4,000 members on Long Island appreciate the efforts of Congressman Lee Zeldin to protect the safety and well being of all Long Islanders with the Safe Bridges Act that will provide much needed funding to the towns and municipalities for bridge and overpass repairs. Local 252 members transport 10's of thousands of school age children as well as the public on transit buses daily over these roadways and support Congressman Zeldin's efforts to secure their safety.”