AUBURN — Mayor Michael Quill has heard the lip service before — the repeated pledges to provide more financial assistance for the city maintaining the Arterial and other state routes.
After years of advocacy, he and other Auburn leaders received good news.
State Sen. John Mannion visited the Auburn Department of Public Works on Thursday to announce that the 2021-22 budget includes $1.5 million for the city. The funding is from the newly created Touring Routes Program, a $100 million initiative that allocates aid based on how many miles of U.S., state or interstate routes are maintained by local municipalities.
Mannion, D-Geddes, explained that the funding is separate from other state programs that support local road paving projects.
“This program was created because we know that these state routes run through some of our oldest communities,” he said. “These roads have been there a long time. We need the funding.”
It’s a significant boost for Auburn, which has more than 100 miles of roadways. According to City Manager Jeff Dygert, 10% of the roads within the city are state routes. Half of the city’s 50 traffic signals are at intersections along those routes, he added.
The city has an agreement with the state to maintain the state routes. There are other sources of funding, including arterial maintenance aid. The city is reimbursed for maintaining the Arterial, but the reimbursement rate hasn’t changed since 1987.
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