Leaders must show courage on funding for infrastructure
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The Aug. 20 article "Cuts in Transportation Funding Mean Worse Pennsylvania Roads, Bridges" all too accurately describes the dire condition of our state's highways and bridges and outlines the continued reductions in available state and federal transportation funding, ironically, at a time when increased funding is needed more than ever to address this spiraling problem!
Pennsylvanians pay a user fee of 32 cents per gallon, unchanged since 1997, while the cost of construction continues to rise. In addition, more fuel-efficient vehicles have led to fewer gallons being purchased -- further reducing available dollars. One could compare it to a homeowner whose take-home salary decreases year after year for 15 consecutive years -- while his monthly expenses (groceries, utility bills, general home maintenance costs, etc.) continue to increase with inflation.
PennDOT has done an exceptional job at optimizing efficiency to use every available dollar to ensure the safety of the traveling public. Additional innovative solutions are proposed in the Governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Committee's report (see tfac.pa.gov) -- ideas that would generate tens of thousands of Pennsylvania jobs and provide the quality transportation system that expanding national companies require to effectively move their goods and services.
Our leaders must show the courage to advance much-needed transportation funding legislation to ensure our safety, create employment opportunities, make Pennsylvania the state of choice for expanding businesses and provide overall quality of life for our children and future generations.
The writer is vice president/transportation section manager for HDR Engineering Inc. and president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Pittsburgh Section.
First Published September 4, 2012 12:00 am