HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Fixing Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure. Experts say our state’s roads, bridges, and railways are aging and the problem is only getting worse over time. Eyewitness News Harrisburg Reporter Matt Heckle has more from the State Capitol.
Folks with the “American Council of Engineering Companies” of Pennsylvania were at the capitol. They say the gap between how much transportation is being funded versus what they need is already well into the billions and growing.
Mike Girman with the ACEC-PA points to construction cost inflation growing while increased vehicle fuel efficiency is reducing the fuel tax revenue.
“The needs are far outweighing the available money that’s coming into the turnpike, PennDOT and it’s mostly because of uncertainty, both at the local, state, and federal level,” Said Girman.
Part of that uncertainty stems from a lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. They’re required to transfer 450 million dollars every year to PennDOT to support public transportation. But that revenue source may be lost as early as July first depending on how that lawsuit goes.
“We need to be prepared. We need to have the discussion. I think if we just stood by and did nothing, we would be negligent” Added Girman.
“These are no small issues that we will be facing,” Said Senate Transportation Committee Chair Kim Ward.
Ward announced Wednesday she’s forming a legislative work group to look at options and draft legislation to end the turnpike’s payments to PennDOT.
Sen. Ward: “We still need to address these issues. So, I think moving forward, we need to study them, we need to work together, and do the best we can, regardless of the court case” Said Senator Ward.
And Senator Ward says she hopes to have the first meeting of that workgroup in the next couple of weeks.