PennDOT moves to modernize operations

    Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation is touting efforts to cut costs and speed up how it handles things such as bridge inspections and permit approvals.

    The agency is re-examining more than 30 of its functions as it works to modernize its operations.

    PennDOT officials anticipate those modernization efforts will save the state up to $75 million a year.

    The process always starts with what is essentially a big brain-storming session, according to Richard Roman, a PennDOT regional assistant executive.

    “That mindset of just, you can’t bring it up ’cause here’s how we always do it, is something that we’re trying to change through the ‘Next Generation’ initiative,” he said Monday. “So we’re asking people to say, if this has been bothering you for so long, we need to address it and resolve it now so we can be more efficient and more effective.”

    Other efforts to make the department more efficient are on the horizon.

    Lawmakers are waiting on PennDOT for instructions on how to write legislation to move all transportation-related functions into PennDOT’s domain. Right now, some of those processes, such as certain vehicle inspections, are spread throughout other agencies.

    The state faces a much larger transportation funding deficit of several billion dollars.

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