DOT IN CRISIS: Pennsylvania eyes $6 billion shortfall for transportation projects

Act 89, the state’s 2013 transportation funding bill, had assured voters of adequate funding levels

DOT in Crisis News Tribune Review February 02, 2016
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According to the Tribune Review, Secretary Leslie Richards is prepared to inform the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee when she testifies today that the state will be approximately $6 billion short of being able to fund all the projects that legislators promised their constituents during passage of Act 89, the transportation funding bill of 2013.

 

Pennsylvania's 12-year transportation plan covers some 2,800 projects at a cost of about $34 billion, a figure that exceeds the $28 billion in revenue projected to come in over that time frame.

 

“The Corbett administration over-promised projects by at least $6 billion compared to projections of available revenue the next 12 years following Act 89,” Richards’ testimony is reported to read. “Absent a legislative solution, a number of these projects may not advance in the next 12 years.”

 

Act 89, passed in November 2013, raised PennDOT fees and opened up fuel prices to tax increases, in order to get more money for state transportation projects. The bill passed with bipartisan support.

 

In August 2014 the State Transportation Commission approved the latest 12-year plan outlining future projects. The list is available online via PennDOT's interactive map, which outlines those House and Senate districts the projects are located in. The plan is updated every two years.

 

Richards maintains a position that the funding situation is not a product of the current administration. Legislators, her testimony says, have come to her with concerns about why projects in their districts are not moving, which she insists is simply a matter of funds.

 

“Governor Wolf and I are moving projects you and your constituents expect, within the resources we are given,” her testimony reads.

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