Gov. Tom Corbett spent Monday touring sites in need of repair to talk about the just-signed transportation bill.
The legislation raises $2.3 to $2.4 billion for the state’s roads and bridges over five years. At his final stop under Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bridge Monday, Corbett said the plan will help roads, bridges and transit systems running safely.
“Some of you have heard me mention before the 1.5 million children that ride 31,000 school buses across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across 10,000 miles of roads that need to be repaired and over 4,500 bridges that need to be repaired,” he said.
The plan increases registration, licensing and other motor vehicle fees to get the funding needed for transportation projects. It also removes a cap on a tax paid by gas stations.
By the fifth year of the plan, the transportation package will invest an additional:
- $1.3 billion annually for state roads and bridges
- $480 million to $495 million annually for public transportation
- $237 million annually for local roads and bridges
- $144 million annually in a multi-modal fund
- $30 million annually for dirt, gravel and low-volume roadways
- $86 million annually for Pennsylvania Turnpike expansion projects
Some opponents had feared the bill would end up costing consumers at the pump, but lawmakers largely said any impact would be minimal and spread out a five year period. Many road and bridge repairs are slated to start come spring. Corbett said this bill also ensures public transit will keep running reliably and added that statewide, 1.5 million people ride mass transit every day.
“Of that number, 230,000 are riding a bus or a rail car run by the Port Authority of Allegheny County," Corbett said. “More than half of Pittsburgh’s downtown workforce gets to and from work every day by that means of transit.”
Additional projects in the Pittsburgh region that will be completed because of this plan include:
- Rehabilitating the Birmingham Bridge in the City of Pittsburgh, $34 million
- Reconstructing pavement and preserving bridges along eight miles of the Interstate 376 Southern Expressway in Allegheny County, from the Business 60 Interchange to the Flaugherty Run Interchange, $87 million
- Preserving pavement and bridges along a nearly seven-mile stretch of Route 28 in Allegheny County, from Russellton to Butler County line, $24 million
- Preservation painting and repairing the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Panhandle Bridge, which carries “The T,’’ light rail between downtown and the South Side, approximately $20 million