Penndots latest proposal to raise new revenue is running into a series of roadblocks, with a leading state lawmakers saying that it’s time to develop new funding routes in paying for road construction in Pennsylvania. Gary Sanderson has our story.
“Well, I think we’re to the point now in looking comprehensively at how we fund roads in general.”
State House Majority Leader Representative Kerry Benninghoff on new ideas for PennDOT funding at PennDOT says is badly needed.
“Let’s review, including our $8.1 billion dollar annual highway and bridge funding gap.”
That’s the Secretary of Transportation at a recent legislative hearing, saying the gap between projected road construction cost and pinned on current funding level is more than $8 billion.
But the latest PennDOT proposal to raise revenue tolling a series of bridges statewide, including four on Interstate 80, has generally received this response.
“We have some of the highest tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, because Act 44 right, we have one of the highest gas taxes. Now you’re asking the folks in northeastern pay and across the Commonwealth to pay. More money just to go across a bridge that they already paid for.”
This week, the State House approved legislation against the bridge tolling plan pinned down for years has relied heavily on gas tax revenue. COVID showed just how quickly that could really be debunked when you had a sudden decrease in utilization of mileage, travel and utilization of gas.
“So I don’t have a simple solution to it. It’s going to have to probably be a multi-pronged approach.”
Pennsylvania is expected to receive over $11.3 billion specifically earmarked for road and bridge construction from the new Federal Infrastructure Bill