Pa. Senate Transportation Chair Says No New Bridge Tolls
The chairman of Pennsylvania Transportation Committee wants to put the brakes on the idea of setting up electronic tolling gantries on bridges across the Keystone State that need major reconstruction, including a span on Interstate 81 in Susquehanna County.
Wayne Langerholc is proposing requiring legislative authorization of any transportation project tied to a user fee.
Last November the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board in November okayed the new toll idea, giving the nod to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to possibly install electronic tolling gantries on bridges to collect tolls that would finance the reconstruction projects totaling millions of dollars.
PennDOT identified nine bridges in dire need of repair In February but some lawmakers immediately expressed strong opposition to the idea. That was even though legislators approved allowing transportation policy-setters to impose charges to raise funds for projects.
Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian says the aging bridges are in need of major reconstruction and the department needs more money to keep up with its public safety obligations. The plan calls for any toll money collected on the individual spans to be returned to that particular bridge for its repair.