HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania will quickly realize benefits from the state’s transportation plan, announced Gov. Tom Corbett when he outlined more than 250 projects that will start work this year due to the state’s new transportation plan.
At least $2.1 billion will be invested into the state’s highway and bridge network; about $600 million more than what would have been available without the transportation bill Corbett signed last fall. Overall, more than 900 projects will get underway this year.
“This plan is creating safer roads, bridges and transit systems while at the same time saving 12,000 jobs and creating 50,000 new ones over the next five years – 18,000 jobs are expected to be created this year alone.” Corbett said. “We are putting these transportation investments to work quickly as we strive to build a stronger Pennsylvania both now and in the future.”
Some of the key projects that are starting this year because of the transportation plan include:
•Rehabilitating the Birmingham Bridge in Pittsburgh.
•Rehabilitating the Spring Garden Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
•Resurfacing the Trexlertown bypass in Lehigh County.
•Resurfacing more than 145 miles of roads in northeastern Pennsylvania
•Resurfacing and bridge preservation on the Lock Haven Bypass, in Clinton County.
•Resurfacing more than 142 miles of roads in northwestern Pennsylvania.
The additional bridge work will allow weight restrictions to be removed from more than 100 state and locally owned bridges in 2014 alone.
In addition to delivering on his commitment to put the state’s new transportation investment to work quickly, when he first took office, Corbett instructed PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch to conduct a top-to-bottom review of PennDOT procedures to look internally and put an emphasis on finding new efficiencies.
“PennDOT is looking intently at its own operations and this review has so far resulted in $100 million a year in recurring savings,” Corbett said. “PennDOT looked internally to ensure that each and every available dollar is invested wisely and that fits my goal of delivering core services to Pennsylvania’s taxpayers in the most efficient way possible.”
Act 89 also delivers dividends for transit and local governments. This year, nearly 50 transit projects that would not have been delivered, will now move to design or begin construction in 2014. Also liquid fuels reimbursements to help local governments improve their roads and bridges increased by $25 million, or 8 percent this year and over the next five years, those payments will grow to roughly $220 million.
As an additional benefit for local governments, they can now qualify for a program in which the state will pay 50 percent of the cost of coordinating and improving traffic signals to alleviate congestion.
“Our new transportation plan helps us build a stronger Pennsylvania for our citizens who expect and deserve safer roads and bridge, smoother pavements, fewer weight restricted bridges, and stabilized transit services,” Corbett said. “These improvements are starting without delay and the benefits of our plan are now on display in every corner of Pennsylvania.”