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Hochul wants $1 billion to pave potholes in next state budget

The money will be distributed similar to a CHIPS program, but Hochul has not said how much would come to Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Western New York may soon have fewer potholes now that Gov. Kathy Hochul wants the next state budget to include $1-billion to pave them.

Governor Hochul calls it "Operation Pave Out Potholes." It's just a part of the New York State Department of Transportation's five-year plan costing more than $38 billion. 

A Department of Transportation spokesperson says half the funds will be given to municipal governments. They also tell 2 On Your Side the money will be distributed similar to a consolidated local street and highway improvement, or CHIPS program.

It's based on a formula measured by the cars traveling on roads and the number of miles traveled. 

State Senator Patrick Gallivan says it's used to help give a fair share to each local government. 

Governor Hochul has not specified how much money would come to Western New York, but she says $1 billion is her way to declare war on potholes. 

"We're coming after the potholes. Enough is enough. Seriously, New Yorkers spend about $632 because of road damage done to their vehicles and let's just come at this with a vengeance," Hochul said. 

"When we look at these various roads across the state, the first question that should be asked is 'is it appropriate to repair them or do they need to be replaced,'" Gallivan said. "So one of the concerns is that we ensure that we're not just throwing money at something to fill a pothole when in fact the road needs much further repair beyond that. But I think it's good that she is paying attention to our much neglected infrastructure."

The legislature will have budget hearings over the next two weeks. 

The budget has to be approved by April 1.