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PennDOT makes sure roads are top-notch: Leslie Richards

Posted 12/20/17

The Wolf administration is taking seriously its responsibility to care for the transportation assets used by Pennsylvanians every day.

Whether it’s improving pedestrian safety on a major …

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PennDOT makes sure roads are top-notch: Leslie Richards

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The Wolf administration is taking seriously its responsibility to care for the transportation assets used by Pennsylvanians every day.

Whether it’s improving pedestrian safety on a major corridor, resurfacing a rural roadway or replacing an old bridge, we’re aiming to improve safety and mobility for all users.

As we transition from construction season into winter operations, I wanted to update the public on what the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has delivered this year on your behalf.

This year, through the end of October, roughly 2,100 urban and rural roadway miles were paved. In fact, nearly 1,500 of these paved miles are on roads seeing an average of fewer than 5,000 vehicles daily.

We also put out contracts to preserve, repair, and replace more than 450 state-owned bridges and 18 locally owned bridges, and completed 20 bridge projects with department forces.

In the PennDOT region including Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties, 234 state road miles were paved and 53 bridges were repaired or replaced.

Communities across the state can expect even more progress, especially on lower-volume roadways and interstates, due to a program that Gov. Tom Wolf and I announced earlier this year. The Road Maintenance and Preservation, or Road MaP program, dedicates sorely needed investments in roadway maintenance and our interstates.

The total Road MaP program, $2.1 billion through the 2027-28 fiscal year, will go toward critical highway and bridge projects completed by PennDOT staff and our private sector partners. This program will benefit roads and bridges across the state, but here are examples of what $2.1 billion would translate into if it were fully allocated to one of three categories: paving nearly 21,000 miles of low-volume roadway; paving 2,100 miles of two-lane interstate; or 1,050 bridge projects worth $2 million.

These are just one year’s examples of how we’re putting Act 89 — the state’s landmark, bipartisan transportation funding plan — to work. As of mid-November, nearly 3,000 projects have been completed or are underway that were accelerated or made possible by Act 89. More than 4,200 projects are on our four-year and 12-year plans.

At a time when many areas of the nation are struggling with how to make much needed investments in transportation, Gov. Wolf has reinforced our commitment to improving pavement smoothness and tackling our long-standing challenge of many bridges in desperate need of repair. We have cut the number of these so-called structurally deficient bridges from a high of 6,034 in 2008 to 3,280 as of October.

I’m very proud of what PennDOT is accomplishing, and I reinforce our commitment to improving the public’s mobility and quality of life as we enhance our large and critical transportation system.

Leslie Richards is the PennDOT secretary.

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