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Public officials encourage funding for roadways

October 22, 2015
In The News

By Northeast Times Staff Oct. 21, 2015

Former Phil­adelphia May­or and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell joined U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle at a Roosevelt Boulevard in­ter­sec­tion on Oct. 12 to is­sue a pub­lic de­mand for Con­gress’ re­new­al of fed­er­al fund­ing for the na­tion’s road, bridges and trans­it sys­tems.

The chair­wo­man of the Amer­ic­an So­ci­ety of Civil En­gin­eers’ Pennsylvania In­fra­struc­ture Re­port Card, Ann Toma­lav­age, and state Rep. Kev­in Boyle also took part in the news con­fer­ence on the south­east corner of the Boulevard and Whi­taker Av­en­ue, dur­ing which the cur­rent and former pub­lic of­fi­cials drew at­ten­tion to the state’s de­teri­or­at­ing trans­port­a­tion fa­cil­it­ies.

The fed­er­al High­way Trust Fund will ex­pire on Oct. 29 if Con­gress doesn’t act to re­new it. Since 2009, Con­gress has voted 34 times to ex­tend the fund for the short term, in­clud­ing twice in the last five months, but it has not offered a long-term trans­port­a­tion fund­ing solu­tion, ac­cord­ing to Brendan Boyle.

“It is mind-blow­ing that we are once again talk­ing about a short-term patch for fin­an­cing the High­way Trust Fund,” he said. “The roads and bridges we com­mute on, on a daily basis, are crum­bling. It is time to in­vest in Amer­ic­an in­fra­struc­ture and cre­ate good-pay­ing con­struc­tion jobs for hard­work­ing Amer­ic­ans in Pennsylvania. This is a mat­ter of safety, ef­fi­ciency and eco­nom­ic growth.”

In Pennsylvania, 57 per­cent of roads are con­sidered in me­diocre or poor con­di­tion. Mean­while, 42 per­cent of the state’s bridges are struc­tur­ally de­fi­cient. Last year, the ASCE graded Pennsylvania’s roads a “D-minus,” its bridges a “D-plus” and its trans­it a “D,” ac­cord­ing to Toma­lav­age. ••