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ROADS/BRIDGES: Pa. boosts funding for 12-year plan

New strategy predicts $63.2 billion in road and bridge funds will be available

News August 15, 2014
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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced that the State Transportation Commission, building on the Act 89 transportation plan, has updated Pennsylvania’s 12-Year Transportation Program with a sizeable boost in much-needed transportation improvements.

The new plan anticipates $63.2 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads. That compares with $41.6 billion in the last update two years ago.

“[This] action represents a significant step forward to addressing all transportation modes,” Corbett said. “Act 89 provides a solution to a decades-old problem and the legislature and I showed that unlike Washington, we are able to put partisan politics aside and do what’s right for Pennsylvania.”

Championed by Corbett, Act 89 will add $2.3 billion a year in transportation investment by 2017.

The newly adopted program, which takes effect Oct. 1, anticipates $12.3 billion being available for highway and bridge projects in the first four years. Public transit is in line for $7.9 billion; aviation, $370 million; the state’s rail-freight systems are expected to receive $228 million; and the newly created multimodal fund will receive $284 million in the first four years.
 
Highway funds listed in the 12-Year Program are distributed statewide using a formula that weighs population, lane miles and vehicle miles traveled. Bridge funds are distributed based on the condition of each region’s structures.

The commission consists of 10 appointed citizens and the majority and minority chairpersons of the state House and Senate Transportation committees.

State law requires the commission to review and update the 12-Year Program every two years. No capital project can move forward unless it is included in the 12-Year Program.

Some of the key projects funded by Act 89 and included in the updated 12-Year Program are:

•Continuation of the four-lane Rte. 322 from the top of Seven Mountains to west of Potters Mills in Centre County;
•Construction of the long-awaited expansion of the Conchester (Rte. 322) Highway between Rte. 1 and I-95 in Delaware County;
•The initial steps to lay the groundwork for the I-83 master plan expansion through Harrisburg;
•The initial steps leading to the widening of Rte. 22 in the Lehigh Valley; and
•Start of design work for the 13-mile-long Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway in Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties.

“These improvements will dramatically improve mobility for people across the state and are moving ahead because of our leadership and ability to build a consensus on matters that are critical to the state’s future,” Corbett said.

Information about the 12-Year Program update is available at this link: http://www.talkpatransportation.com/

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