Lack of transportation funding plan has economic impacts

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 2, 2013 4:00 AM
Road construction ahead sign

(Harrisburg) -- The failure of the state legislature to pass a comprehensive transportation funding plan could hurt the commonwealth's economy.

The state is awarding 20 percent fewer contracts for roads and bridges because of legislative inaction on a transportation funding bill this past spring.

American Road and Transportation Builders Alliance economist Alison Black says it could cost the state’s economy more than one billion dollars over five years, and jeopardize thousands of jobs.

"There are over three million jobs in Pennsylvania that are related to manufacturing, retail, wholesale trade -- some of those industries that are dependent and some that would not even exist without the transportation network," she says.

Black's recent testimony before the Senate Transportation Committee followed dire warnings from PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch.

Also, the Association of Pennsylvania Constructors points out the state transportation funding gap has grown from $3.5 billion, to $4.5 billion. The Senate passed a $2.5 billion bill this spring, but the House did not vote on it before the summer break.

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