The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved funding for 112 transportation projects in 36 counties. The awards totaled $59 million, and the money came from the Pennsylvania Multimodal Transportation Fund, which was created in Act 89 of 2013.
Unlike the fuel tax and license and registration revenue that flows into the Motor License Fund for building and maintaining highways, the multimodal program funds a variety of transportation-related, non-highway projects, such as streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development. It supports a comparatively tiny, yet vital piece of our comprehensive transportation system.
Many or most Coalition members are aware that a group of House members proposed to raid this fund – along with the PA Public Transportation Trust Fund – to balance this year’s General Fund budget, claiming (wrongly) that they were surplus funds that had not been committed to anything. Clearly that was not the case.
Governor Wolf has indicated he does not plan to raid these funds to balance the budget. We thank him and congratulate him for recognizing the importance of the projects supported by these special funds.
Transportation Issue Update
- As noted above, Governor Wolf said he does not plan to raid the Multimodal Transportation and Public Transportation Trust funds to balance the state’s General Fund budget.
- A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week for the $54 million New Stanton interchange along I-70. Contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. finished the project nearly a year ahead of the initial projections.
- PennDOT revealed its preference for re-routing the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway to avoid two fly-ash basins. The $670 million project, a 13-mile highway through portions of Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties, is expected to be completed in 2022, and PennDOT now says the northern section will be open about two years ahead of that.
- In other construction news, PennDOT announced that the completion of the 350th bridge in the Rapid Bridge Replacement program, on its way toward 558 replacement bridges sometime next year.
- Finally, the Christian Science Monitor dropped in on one of our coalition members, Ross Willard, for a very nice feature article about his Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg, which opened its first shop in 2007. Congrats, Ross!