HARRISBURG – Following a bipartisan vote in the Senate in favor of a $2.3 billion proposal to improve Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure, Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-13) noted the positive effect the plan would have on local communities in terms of economic activity and public safety.
In southern Lancaster County alone, the new funding will allow for the completion of up to 20 bridge replacement or rehabilitation projects and more than a dozen highway improvement projects that would have otherwise been delayed or deferred. The poor condition of Pennsylvania’s roads is estimated to cost state motorists more than $9 billion a year due to vehicle operation costs, accidents and traffic delays.
“The need for an infusion of funding for transportation is widely accepted by motorists who face steep vehicle repair costs each year,” Smucker said. “When you also factor in the potential public safety concerns from potential accidents and longer response times for emergency responders, leaving our roads and bridges in this condition is not a viable option.”
In addition to improving public safety, an independent study suggests that the increase in transportation funding will boost the state’s economic output by $6.5 billion and result in more than 50,000 new jobs in industries such as construction and manufacturing.
“Transportation touches nearly every industry in the state, including the farmer who needs to get his crops to the market or the manufacturing company that needs to transport raw materials to its plant,” Smucker said.
Smucker also applauded new measures in the bill that require PennDOT to save $1 billion over the next decade through new cost efficiency measures.