Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) unveiled a plan to toll nine existing bridges on the Interstate System in this Commonwealth through a Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3).
Since being appointed Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee on January 13, 2021, PennDOT’s bridge tolling initiative has been a top priority of the committee. Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.(R-35) has met with the Secretary of PennDOT, stakeholders, and held a public hearing on January 25, 2021 to address concerns regarding this initiative. In addition, Langerholc has issued a co-sponsorship memo to introduce legislation that would bring transparency and accountability to the P3 statute (Title 74, Chapter 91).
“I have serious concerns with PennDOT’s authority to essentially tax and appropriate funds without additional oversight from the General Assembly,” said Senator Langerholc. “At a time when transparency to our constituents is of paramount concern, we must ensure the voices of our constituents are heard and that they are involved in the process.”
Act 88 of 2012 authorized the creation of the P3 Board to expedite project delivery in Pennsylvania. In fact, there are various P3s benefiting the transportation system, such as the construction of compressed natural gas fueling stations at transit agencies and the rapid replacement of 558 state-owned bridges.
The P3 Board, under PennDOT’s jurisdiction, supported a proposal on November 12, 2020, to impose user fees or tolls on six to 10 bridges on the Interstate System in Pennsylvania. This was the first time in the P3 Board’s history to consider a proposal with user fees.
“I look forward to working with PennDOT to address the many transportation challenges facing the Commonwealth,” said Senator Langerholc. “We must work together and in a bipartisan manner to find creative ways to address funding discrepancies and ensure that revenue is properly allocated to the sources it is derived for. I welcome that transparent dialogue.”
Contact: Gwenn Dando