ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Whether it’s pot-holes or bridges that need a little TLC, the New York thruway system requires maintenance and money. A new report from the National Transportation Research Nonprofit (TRIP) shows New York’s thruway system needs about $1.2 billion over the next eight years to maintain safety and service levels.

According to TRIP, travels among the 570-mile thruway system have returned to pre-pandemic levels and are expected to grow. “The thruway is one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure in New York State, clearly in the Albany area, in fact the busiest intersection on the New York thruway is in Albany it’s carrying 14 million vehicles a day,” said Rocky Moretti, Director of Policy & Research with TRIP. He said the health of our thruway system is critical. Funding comes from profits made from rest areas and tolls, which are expected to increase next January.

Moretti said while the toll hike will help fund the $1.2 billion, it won’t be enough. “Well, certainly, that’s going to be a decision that will need to be made in New York State in terms of looking at the current toll rates, and what are the state is willing to move forward with higher toll rates,” he said.

In a statement a spokesperson for the New York Thruway Authority said: “Today’s report by TRIP is another indication of how critical it is for the Thruway Authority to increase revenue, as we do not receive any dedicated federal, state, or local tax dollars to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the Thruway. The Thruway Authority’s number one priority is the safety of our roadway….we are obligated to maintain our highway for the safety of all those who use it.”