August 17, 2018

Pennsylvania to spend $64 billion in 12-year transport improvement plan

Multi-modal, freight rail projects to receive nearly $1.5 billion.

By DC Velocity Staff

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will spend nearly $64 billion over the next 12 years to improve its transportation infrastructure, under an updated plan disclosed yesterday by the State Transportation Commission.

The updated program, which takes effect October 1, anticipates $11.53 billion being available for highway and bridge projects in the first four years, $228 million for freight rail projects, and $319 million for multimodal projects, among other spending. From 2023 through 2026, the plan calls for $348 million for multimodal and $229 million for freight rail. From 2027 to 2030, $391 million would be earmarked for multimodal and $229 million for freight rail.

By law, the commonwealth is required to update its transport spending plans every two years. No capital project can proceed unless it is first included in a two-year plan.

The projects depend on the availability of funding, which the commonwealth's transportation officials anticipate would come from a combination of federal, state and local dollars. The plan has been submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) and the Federal Transit Administration for review and approval. The FHwA will coordinate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the plan's conformity with air quality requirements.

The Commission is chaired by PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards and consists of 10 appointed citizens and the majority and minority chairs of the House and Senate transportation committees.

"While we are fortunate to have revenues to support an effective program, we understand that we face challenges to maintain this progress," Richards said in a statement.

Among the projects in the plan are $1 billion in improvements to the I- 83 corridor, including $668 million for the reconstruction of I-83 around Harrisburg, the state capitol, and $389 million for widening near York. In addition, $320 million has been earmarked to rebuild portions of I-70 in Washington and Westmoreland counties near Pittsburgh.



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