PennDOT Toll Plan Could Fund Major Bridge Improvements

The state Public Private Transportation Partnership (P3) Board has approved a new transportation initiative, the Major Bridge P3 program, to help accelerate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of major bridges in partnership with the private sector. The program would help shorten bridge restrictions and closures, help offset gas tax revenue losses, ensure that users contribute fairly to the replacement or rehabilitation of the bridges based on usage, and create a sustainable funding model for the state’s major bridges. This program is a component of PennDOT’s forthcoming Pathways initiative, which will be a plan to provide more sustainable transportation funding options. Click here for the press release.  

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the funds for the reconstruction of these bridges could be paid for through tolls that would be in partnership with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Selected bridges would go through a review process and need to meet federal standards before tolls could be levied. PennDOT would request proposals from the private sector to reconstruct and maintain major bridges, similar to the existing state P3 bridge program. If a bridge received approval for tolls, EZPass transponders or license plate readers would be installed. Tolls would be used to pay for the bridge construction costs, and any excess funds collected could be used for other construction projects. Click here for more from the Post-Gazette.