HARRISBURG – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has urged state lawmakers and the governor to approve transportation funding that is desperately needed to fix Pennsylvania’s failing bridges, deteriorating roads and cash-strapped public transit systems throughout Pennsylvania.
“As auditor general my job is to be your fiscal watchdog and make sure your taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. I can tell you this, if you think this bill is expensive wait until you see the cost of inaction,” DePasquale said.
“If we don’t get transportation funding done now, it will not happen during an election year. That simply will not happen. That means we will miss two more construction seasons. And, this legislation will have to be nearly double in cost just to provide the same level of infrastructure investment it would be right now,” he said, pointing out the real cost of inaction:
$1.5 Billion — That is how much more we’ll need — on top of the approximately $2.3 billion currently proposed — in 2015 to fix the same roads and bridges;
1,000 — That is how many more state-owned bridges will be weight restricted — on top of the 800 currently restricted — increasing travel times and fuel costs for families, emergency services providers, businesses and school districts; and
50,000 to 60,000 — That is the number of jobs that could be supported with a $2.3 billion investment in our roads and bridges.
“It would be fiscally irresponsible to put this off any longer,” DePasquale said.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in structurally deficient bridges with approximately 4,500 and has nearly 10,000 miles of roads in poor condition.
“This will only get worse in time. We need to act now,” he said.