PennDOT prepares to make do with less

    An update to Pennsylvania’s Transportation Program shows PennDOT likely will have to deal with lower funding levels for the next dozen years.

    The report from the State Transportation Commission estimates $41.6 billion dollars will be available for transportation projects.

    That figure is about $10 billion less than the previous update two years ago, says PennDOT spokesman Steve Chizmar.

    He says the department will focus on safety and existing projects to make the most of the money.

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    “And all states wrestle with this. The reality is, that there’s always going to be more projects than there are available dollars,” Chizmar said Monday. “So that’s what this plan does, it really looks at those projects that makes the most sense to the various regions of Pennsylvania and those are the ones that are included in the 12-year plan.”

    He said the tweaked plan concentrates on basic upkeep of the state’s roads and bridges.

    “Safety’s always our No. 1 priority. So what we’ll do is, obviously as we move ahead, maintain our existing infrastructure and make those improvements that make sense,” he said.

    Chizmar says PennDOT expects reductions from the federal government and flat funding or more cuts from the state.

    Public input at hearings and community planning boards also helped shape the new transportation program.

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