WEATHER WATCH
Transportation experts eye cash influx with Presidential plan
I81 in Harrisburg

With President Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, Pennsylvania may see an influx of cash to fix its crumbling road network.

“That’s great news for Pennsylvania. That’s great news for our transportation industry,” said Chris Drda, Acting District 8 Executive for PennDOT.

A recent PennDOT study shows a $15 billion need in infrastructure improvements. One major problem is the state has just short of $7 billion in its coffers.

“This is a transportation hub here in Pennsylvania and South-Central Pennsylvania,” Drda said.

READ MORE | A look at what's in Biden's infrastructure plan

To highlight the amazing cost of doing infrastructure business, take Interstate 81. The cost of widening a 100-mile stretch of the road from the Maryland line to Interstate 78 is $3 billion. In comparison, the annual statewide program budget is only $1.9 billion.

“There is a significant delta between the available funding and the need,” said Drda.

READ MORE | How Biden's infrastructure plan could impact PA roads, bridges and highways

“Potentially an infrastructure bill could provide a lot for both local governments as well as state government,” said Michelle Brummer with Gannett Fleming.

Along Interstate 83, planners are in the early phases of approval to add a new interchange in York County. Land use plans are in the works for the new exit 26 while a cost and funding source is still up in the air.

“It's all about preparation,” Brummer said.

“Right now, we are seeing a tremendous growth of businesses and people moving into South-Central Pennsylvania,” said Drda.

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And the road network needs to support the growth. So, transportation experts are hopeful the wheels will start turning on this cash.

“It takes a little while for all of that to really roll out and reach folks,” Brummer said.

Exact breakdowns for each state is unknown as the measure still has to meet Congressional approval. For now, the state will keep moving forward with its plans to finish this interchange and begin widening the north York portion of I83.

WHP

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