Beyond thruway, $65M to be spent on Northumberland County roads, bridges
Over the next 10 years, Northumberland County residents will see nearly $65 million in road and bridge improvements as part of what Gov. Tom Corbett billed the Decade of Investment.
That's in addition to the $558.5 million earmarked for the Greater Susquehanna Valley Thruway Project, the largest single project in the 10-year plan, which will benefit Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties.
It's also in addition to what is normally budgeted year to year for preserving and replacing bridges, resurfacing and reconstructing roads and replacing signs.
Which projects will be started first and when, however, has not been determined.
"We are working with our planning partners and our central office to update the transportation program for this year and subsequent years. The detailed revisions are not yet available," Rick Mason, public information officer for PennDOT District 3-0, said Monday.
In the nine-county district, consisting of Northumberland, Snyder, Union, Montour, Columbia, Sullivan, Lycoming, Bradford and Tioga, Mason said an additional billion dollars will be allocated through the transportation plan.
These projects "would not have been possible in the foreseeable future" had it not been for the new transportation plan, said Mason.
"We just didn't have the money," he said.
Last year, under normal funding procedures, the county had $16 million in contracted work, Mason said.
Corbett signed the state's new transportation funding legislation into law in November after a year-long battle in the Legislature. It invests an additional $2.3 to $2.4 billion into roads, bridges and transit systems by the fifth year of the plan. The revenue will increase through a gradual removal of the cap on the state Oil Company Franchise Tax over five years, a change that's already being blamed for high gasoline prices for consumers.
The first phase went into effect Jan. 1. The next phase will take place Jan. 1, 2016, and the third phase starting Jan. 1, 2018, Mason said.
30 projects over $1 million
Based on Decade of Investment funding, one road will be rehabilitated, 15 will be resurfaced and four will be reconstructed in Northumberland County over the next 10 years. Twenty-six bridges will be preserved, six will be rehabilitated and 12 will be replaced.
Thirty of the 54 projects planned in Northumberland County exceed $1 million. A $3.9 million reconstruction of Route 61 from Fifth Street in Kulpmont to Dark Run in Coal Township is the single largest of them.
That project is followed in value by a $3.4 million bridge preservation on Route 61 over the Susquehanna River in Sunbury, a $3.25 million reconstruction of Route 61 from Luke Fidler Patch Road (adjacent to Pizza Hut) to the Cameron Bridge in Shamokin and a $3.24 reconstruction of Route 11 from Bridge Avenue to Old Danville Road in Northumberland.
Including the Route 61 work above, Coal Township is scheduled for five projects totalling $10.06 million. The others are a $720,000 bridge rehabilitation on Route 61 over Dark Run, a $1.02 million bridge replacement on Route 125 over Carbon Run, a $1.82 million bridge rehabilitation on Route 61 over Route 2026 and Route 901, and a $2.6 million resurfacing of Route 61 north and south from the Kulpmont borough line to Ranshaw.
Mount Carmel Township is scheduled for five projects, too, totalling at least $6.3 million, consisting of a $475,000 resurfacing of Route 54 from Locust Gap to west of Locust Summit, a $505,000 resurfacing of Route 54 from Locust Summit to the Columbia County line, portions of $550,000 to preserve a bridge on Route 61 over the north branch of Shamokin Creek, a $2,475,000 soil slide repair on Route 54 west of Natalie and a $2,850,000 reconstruction of Route 54 from east of Locust Gap to Locust Summit.
The thruway will be funded through $150 million from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission, and the remaining $408 million will come from the Motor License Fund, which gets its money from the state gasoline tax, motor vehicle license and registration fees and other fees.