Lawmakers, Teamsters Local 456 demand more funding for dangerous NY roads

The rally is being organized by construction unions from across the Hudson Valley and is taking place at the Teamsters Local 456 Union Hall on South Central Avenue in Elmsford.

Emily Young

Feb 21, 2024, 10:42 AM

Updated 86 days ago


The state-owned roads that wind through the Hudson Valley make up the state's Transportation Department's "Region 8," and it has more lanes than any other region in the state.
"Region 8 has more bridges than any other region in the state. They maintain more bridges than NYC and Long Island combined," said John Cooney Jr., from the Construction Industry Council of Westchester.
The Hudson Valley has the most state streets and bridges, and the worst streets and bridges, according to the Teamsters, who not only fix the roads, but drive them daily.
"It's like you're basically off roading, like you're in an off-road vehicle, dodging potholes as you go over a bridge," says Louis Picani, the president of Teamsters Local 456. "Some bridges if you really got out and looked, you'd be afraid to cross."
Despite its size, Region 8 receives only the third highest amount of funding.
On Wednesday, Teamsters Local 456 and local officials called on the governor to increase DOT funding by an extra $650 million from the 2024-2025 budget, to fix the roads here in the Hudson Valley and spare residents in the Hudson Valley from spending their own money.
"Consider what it would mean to the individual motorists who end up paying an average of $700, plus a year in extra road and tire repairs because of the poor conditions of our road," said Assemblywoman Mary Jane Shimsky.
The increase in funding would be an immediate job creator for the teamsters, but they say that isn't what this is about. They tell News12 they don't even want their families driving on these roads.
"It's public safety at this point, its vehicle safety at this point," said Ed Cooke, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 279.
In a statement, the governor's office said that Gov. Kathy Hochul looks forward to working with the Legislature to pass much-needed infrastructure funding so the state can continue the work necessary to keep new Yorkers safe on our roads and bridges.

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