Final state list of roadwork includes 10 county projects
Six projects in Northumberland County will start this year as part of the Corbett Administration's final list of highway, bridge and mass transit improvement projects to be funded in 2014 by the transportation funding bill the governor signed into law in November.
Gov. Corbett announced last week that more than $2.1 billion in 250 highway and bridge projects will be funded statewide this year alone.
In Northumberland County, a 1.66-mile stretch of Route 147 from Second Street to Church Street in Sunbury, a .66-mile stretch of Route 1007 (Main Street/Susquehanna Trail) from Gearhart Road to Walnut Street in McEwensville, and a .57-mile stretch of Route 642 from Milton to Township Road 582 in Turbot Township will be resurfaced.
A 2.24-mile stretch of Route 54 from Riverside to Boyd Station in Rush Township and a 2.39-mile stretch of Route 80 from Route 1029 (Mexico Road) to Route 254 Eastbound in Turbot Township will have pavement preservation.
The resurfacing and preservation projects will start this summer.
In addition to those five projects, a firm contracted to paint bridges in Coal Township, Mount Carmel Township, Ralpho Township, Shamokin Township and Mount Carmel will have a bid opening in the fall.
In the district's eight county region, 122 projects are scheduled for completion, a combination of regularly budgeted projects and the transportation bill.
Another 40 miles
PennDOT District 3-0 Executive Sandra Tosca said the additional transportation funding came at a critical time as the state leaves one of the harshest winter seasons in recent memory.
"With this additional funding in calendar year 2014, we will be able to resurface over 40 additional miles and begin construction to replace or rehabilitate five additional bridges," she said.
Increases in funding in future years will provide us the resources to adequately maintain the transportation system, she said.
Many of the projects haven't been bid yet, but Rick Mason, public information officer with PennDOT District 3-0, said $108 million worth of projects will be completed this year.
"The people of Pennsylvania will benefit starting this year from Act 89. This is just the beginning. The full force of it won't occur for several years," he said.
By its fifth year, the Decade of Investment is expected to generate an additional $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion a year in statewide transportation investment across all modes.
The Associated Press reported that transportation Secretary Barry Schoch told reporters at a news conference in Harrisburg that nearly all the new money being spent under the law in 2014 and 2015 will be repair and reconstruction projects, while the expensive projects requiring significant design work will begin in year three or later.
The individual projects to be funded with the new money this year were posted on PennDOT's website for each of the agency's 12 regions. Meanwhile, weight restrictions on 100 state and locally owned bridges will be removed, PennDOT said.
Spending under the law will total about $950 million in 2014, rising to $2.3 billion in 2017, about a 40 percent increase over the spending that was expected before the law passed.
The work is being financed by increases in fuel taxes and motorist fines that began Jan. 1 and increases in motorist fees that began Tuesday. That includes hiking the fee for a duplicate driver's license or a non-driver photo ID card from $13.50 to $27.50. Renewing a driver's license will remain $21, plus the $8.50 photo fee until July 2015, when the $21 fee will increase by an inflation adjustment, according to PennDOT.
In terms of highway and bridge construction projects, $600 million of the state's $2.1 million to spend this year is being supplied by the higher taxes, fees and fines under the law.
(The Associated Press's Marc Levy contributed to this report.)