LEMOYNE, Pa., May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today underscored the link between public safety and transportation funding, and called for action on additional transportation investment during an event at the Interstate 83/Route 581 Interchange in Cumberland County.
The event was held near the newly completed Lowther Street bridge that will allow I-83 to be widened and remove the existing single-lane bottleneck at the interchange. Though work will begin this year to eliminate the bottleneck, there is no funding available to address several other upgrades needed on the interstate.
"When the new Lowther Street bridge becomes fully operational at the end of this month, we will have solved one small part of a vast backlog of transportation needs," Corbett said. "The need for more improvements doesn't stop along I-83; however, this will be among the last upgrades to this interstate for years to come if we do not do something about transportation funding now."
In 2003, PennDOT completed an I-83 Master Plan that identified needed upgrades for the future of the interstate but in current funding conditions the future of this plan becomes increasingly uncertain. The following projects were among those included in the plan:
- Widening and reconstructing I-83 between Union Deposit Road and I-81;
- Redesigning and reconstructing the Eisenhower Interchange; and
- Widening I-83 between the Eisenhower Interchange and the John Harris Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River.
According to PennDOT, on the nearly 11 miles and 12 interchanges in the area analyzed by the plan, 1,375 crashes occurred from 2008 to 2012. Four people lost their lives in those crashes.
"Every school day, more than 31,000 buses carry one-and-a-half million Pennsylvania children from across our roads and bridges. Four thousand of those bridges are now structurally deficient and almost 10,000 miles of those roads are in poor condition," Corbett said. "We owe those children and all Pennsylvania travelers a full measure of safety and security."
Corbett noted that with fewer dollars available for transportation projects, roadway conditions will continue to deteriorate and more bridges will be closed or posted with weight restrictions, increasing time for first responders to assist in emergencies and affecting community traffic patterns.
The governor was joined for the event today by PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch, P.E., members of Pennsylvania's General Assembly and public safety groups who support transportation funding reform.
To learn more about Corbett's plan to improve safety, drive economic competitiveness and create jobs through transportation investment, visit www.dot.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116
Editor's note: The following individuals and groups were in attendance during today's transportation funding press conference.
Sen. John Rafferty(R-Montgomery)
Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford)
Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York)
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre)
Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks)
Rep. Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland)
Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland)
Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York)
Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams/Franklin)
Barb Cross, Cumberland Co. Commissioner
Heather Sharar, Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania
Elaine Farrell, PA Bus Association
Shawn McGlinchey, PA School Bus Association
David Schrantz, PA School Bus Association
Larissa Bailey, Harrisburg Regional Chamber
Ted Leonard, PA AAA Federation
Jim Runk, PA Motor Truck Association
Duane Nieves, West Shore EMS Services
Paul Christophel, West Shore EMS Services
John Logan, Community Life Team
Mayor D.J. Landis, New Cumberland Borough
Diane Brokenshire, New Cumberland Borough Council member
Stacy Gromlich, Lemoyne Borough Council president
Dennis McGee, Lemoyne Borough Council member
Erin Genest, Lower Allen Township economic development director
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor