PennDOT district expected to set record for road repair spending

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 12, 2015 3:39 AM

(Montoursville) -- Drivers across the midstate can expect to encounter plenty of road construction, as they do every year during the warm months, but a part of the midstate is setting a record for the amount of roadwork underway

In Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties, which make up part of PennDOT's District Three, the spending on road and bridge repairs is expected to hit a new high -- more than $279 million this year.

Spokesman David Thompson says with a particularly rough winter, the increased funding from 2013's transportation law is helping bridge a gap.

"It's been really helpful and I think that as this ramps up, and hopefully we'll have maybe next year we won't have as much of a winter, but it's been really helpful, definitely," he says.

Thompson says the district had to shift money from road maintenance to snow removal because of the frequent storms.

However, more than half of the spending this year will actually go towards the long-planned Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway Project.

Proponents say the highway would spur development by offering a continous 4-lane road from Harrisburg to the New York State line, via Williamsport.

Thompson says the full impact of the transportation law won't be realized for years.

"That's when it's going to be noticeable in the future when these projects are done. This is a tiered increase in funding over a period of time, so I think when this is fully ramped up, we'll be able to look back and see there was quite a benefit to this," he adds.

The transportation funding law increases spending on roads and bridges across the state by as much as $2.3 billion through higher gas taxes.

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