Vote set on funding options for Pa. road repairs

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission has scheduled a webinar Monday to vote on recommendations to find money to repair Pennsylvania’s deteriorating roads and bridges.

     

    The goal of the 40-member panel is to suggest to Corbett how to find permanent savings as well as new funding that will be reliable year to year. Many of the items on the list will require legislative action to be implemented.

    Rep. Rick Geist, Republican chair of the House Transportation Committee, said the governor may have a full plate of priorities this fall, but the commonwealth still needs to address its infrastructure woes.

    “If you look at a map of the state and all the deficient bridges, it looks like the state has measles,” Geist said. “If you look at roads in the map of roads that must be built, it’s over 7,000 miles of road. That’s enough to get from Harrisburg to the California coast and back. It’s a real problem.”

    The panel is considering suggestions to cut down on bureaucracy—such as driver’s licenses and vehicle inspections that cost more, but require less frequent renewals.

    Dennis Buterbaugh, a PennDOT spokesman, said the panel has looked at what the cost would be to drivers absorbing those changes.

    “In year one, the average cost to the driver would be an additional 70 cents a week to get the improvements and the additional revenue we would need,” he said. “In year five, it would go up to an increase of an average of $2.54 per week per driver.”

    The panel is also looking at how the state can get private investors involved in transportation projects to cut costs.

    The commission’s final report is due to Corbett Aug. 1.

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