March 2010

It’s March and we’re only a few short days away from the 2010 Grassroots Campaign for Local Roads and Bridges.

The N.Y.S. County Highway Superintendents Association Inc. and N.Y.S. Association of Town Superintendents of Highways Inc. will be co-hosting the event March 9 and 10 in Albany, to once again, with your help, lobby the N.Y.S. legislature for increased funding for our aging infrastructure.

We know it’s remarkably difficult sometimes to get people to use their common sense and see the so-called big picture, especially political bodies. And it’s frustrating, but I find that fear is a great motivator. We may be greatly served if we started employing fear tactics with our politicians when it comes to infrastructure funding.

Countries are really just businesses and China is clearly trying to be the most profitable one. Among the major ways they’ve tried to achieve this goal is through infrastructure spending

According to the Wall Street Journal, China has 12 major routes under construction across the country from north to south and east to west. The report added that the system will stretch 53,000 miles by 2020; the United States currently has 47,000 miles. China currently spends approximately 9 percent of its GDP on infrastructure compared with 2.4 percent in the United States, according to a study by CIBC World Markets.

China knows that just as arteries in the human body provide pathways for blood, nutrients and oxygen to sustain life, so do highways and bridges carry people, goods and services to sustain a strong and healthy economy and business. We knew this when we created our interstate system, but we’ve become complacent. When did we decide that we’d sit idly by and watch someone or some country threaten our status in the world?

Please, let’s not allow that to happen. I strongly urge all of you to remain involved in this vital issue and to contact your associations and assist them in this grassroots campaign — not just to help your departments, but to help your residents, the citizens of New York State and this country. It is that important.

Thank you. P

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.