MAP-21 is not allowing the state of Pennsylvania to map out any new road and bridge projects.
The two-year piece of legislature passed over a month ago will actually take federal money away from the Keystone State. Pennsylvania’s annual allocation was reduced by $111 million. The state’s accelerated bridge program, which generated $200 million a year, has expired and is leaving a pile of debt in its wake, and money from the 2009 American Reinvestment & Recovery Act has dried up. Those three factors have depleted a 12-year transportation plan, which now calls for $41.6 billion in spending, down from $67.9 billion.
State and regional departments of transportation are now focusing their dollars on maintenance, and leaving nothing for new construction.
“Everyone around the state who’s sitting in traffic can expect to continue sitting in traffic. We can’t do anything about it,” Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’ll be losing ground on bridges and losing ground on pavement.”
Pennsylvania’s accelerated bridge program experienced great success, knocking 1,600 bridges off the state’s structurally deficient list. However, roads in the region have been deteriorating during the same time span. According to Schoch, road mileage rated “poor” went from 16% to 21%, and is expected to spike to 40% by 2016.