Highway fund may run out of money by fall

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With 9,561 deficient or obsolete bridges, Pennsylvania is second in the nation, only behind Texas, for having the most bridges that need to be upgraded.

Throughout the nation, road conditions are deteriorating.

A report issued by the White House on Monday, prepared by the National Economic Council and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, said 10 percent of the nation’s bridges need to be repaired or upgraded.

In Pennsylvania, it is 42 percent.

But the federal Highway Account is expected to run out of money by the end of August, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Blair, supports funding highway and rail programs through May 2015 while Congress works out a long-term solution to funding highways and transit. The cost of that short-term fix would be about $9.8 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The White House, instead, has proposed a four-year, $302 billion bill that would spend $199 billion on highways, $72 billion on mass transit to maintain and expand transit systems, and $19 billion on rail programs.

According to the White House report, 63 percent of the nation’s road are in less-than-good condition with 14 percent in poor condition.

Pennsylvania’s roads are slightly worse than the rest of the nation, with 15 percent in poor condition.

Ann Belser: abelser@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1699.

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