Roads, bridges

Dear editor:

Pennsylvania’s job creators and residents will benefit from the recent enactment of a transportation funding plan.

The new law will provide stable long-term funding necessary to address the state’s aging and deteriorating transportation infrastructure, which includes nearly 10,000 miles of state roadway in ‘poor’ condition and 4,400 structurally-deficient state bridges. Local governments will also get additional funds to help them repair their road and bridge systems.

Like much of the state’s economy, the forest products industry depends upon a reliable transportation system. But the condition of PennDOT’s road and bridge network in rural north-central Pennsylvania had deteriorated to the point of being insufficient to support even the minimal requirements of traditional job providers like the timber industry.

While no one wants to pay more, the gradual and modest rise of fuel prices and increased user fees is preferable to being detoured dozens of miles around weight restricted bridges or being subject to the unpredictable and debilitating costs of operating on increasingly deteriorating rural thoroughfares.

The new law also provides a sustainable, long-term and steady funding stream for Pennsylvania’s road and bridge infrastructure that for the first time will grow with inflation, which will help to avoid future transportation funding crises.

Governor Corbett, legislative leaders and bipartisan majorities in the Pennsylvania General Assembly showed that they are not like gridlocked Washington, but can come together to address this tough issue and enhance safety and economic opportunities for Pennsylvanians. We commend them for getting this done.

Paul Lyskava,

Executive Director,

Pennsylvania Forest Products Association