York County Safety Improvements Slated in New Transportation Plan, Saylor Says
HARRISBURG – House Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-York) today voted in favor of a measure to provide the funding needed to rehabilitate Pennsylvania’s aging transportation infrastructure. House Bill 1060 would generate an additional $2.3 billion per year by 2017-18 for the state’s transportation system, with approximately $1.65 billion dedicated to highways and bridges.

“This was a very difficult vote to make, but with the prospect of a major disaster due to a bridge failure such as occurred in Minneapolis in 2007, doing nothing was not an option,” Saylor said. “Voters sent me to Harrisburg to grow our economy, adequately fund our schools, and maintain public safety, which includes our bridges and highways,” Saylor said. “This transportation investment will create smoother roads, safe bridges, reduce congestion and protect the welfare of the citizens of Pennsylvania.”

Of Pennsylvania’s 31,717 bridges, 6,536 have been listed structurally deficient, 2,528 have been weight restricted, and 256 have been closed awaiting repairs. Taxpayers need to get to work, and businesses need to bring goods to market. Very simply, our economy depends on a functional, and safe, transportation infrastructure.

The bill would ensure that York County receive much needed safety and congestion improvements on Interstate 83 and Route 30, the most heavily traveled commuter corridors in the county. The funding bill calls for the widening of I-83 to six lanes, including 13 bridges, and for traffic signal improvements and passing lanes on Route 30 to ease congestion.

Those improvements, along with current work at the I-83/Route 581 interchange and the proposed work to the I-83 Capital Beltway, will enable commuters to encounter a safer, less congested commute to the Harrisburg Region and beyond.

Numerous other improvements within York County that have long been planned, but delayed due to funding, could also be completed. These include building a roundabout for a safer intersection at Route 616 (Seven Valleys Road) and State Route 3041 (Green Valley Road), improvements to Plank, Country Club, Holtwood, Brogue, and New Park roads.

“While it is true former Governor Ed Rendell lavished the Commonwealth’s transportation funds on mass transit in Philadelphia at the expense of the state’s roads and left Pennsylvania taxpayers staring at a $4 billion deficit when he left office, the fact is we are in the situation that we are in and we have to govern,” Saylor said.

While the General Assembly has largely addressed that deficit in the last three budgets without raising taxes, the small 10 percent increase coming into the Motor License Fund, which pays for our highways and bridges, is being far outpaced by the cost increases for the expenditures involved in maintaining our roads and bridges. Over the past decade, the cost of steel has increased by more than 180 percent and the price of asphalt by 250 percent.

One big reason for this is that today’s vehicles are more fuel efficient, resulting in fewer trips to the gas pump. When nearly three-quarters of all incoming revenue to the fund is collected from the liquid fuels tax, it is easy to see why greater fuel efficiency, coupled with inflation, has decreased the amount of revenues.

With this plan, we are modernizing the way we collect revenue. On Jan. 1, the current 12-cent-per gallon tax paid by consumers at the pump will be eliminated. And, instead of a direct tax on the citizens of Pennsylvania, we gradually lift the archaic cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax – shifting the financial burden to the oil companies. Moreover, the plan requires PennDOT to commit to cost savings that will save $1 billion over the next decade.

Local governments will benefit from this legislation two-fold. The measure saves taxpayer money with a historic increase to the prevailing wage threshold for public construction projects, from $25,000 to $100,000, a 60 percent increase – $220 million annually – statewide for local roads and bridges by the fifth year, and up to $40 million in grant money by 2016-17 to coordinate traffic signals to alleviate congestion and save fuel.

House Majority Whip Stan Saylor
94th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Charles Lardner
RepSaylor.com / Facebook.com/RepSaylor / Twitter.com/PAGOPWhip
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