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Nearly 200 highway users gather for PHIA’s annual meeting

October 8, 2015

Attendees were treated to seminars given by industry experts and transportation-focused elected officials including Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton, House Transportation Chairman Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), PennDOT P3 Director Michael Bonini, Senate Policy Chairman Senator David Argall, and many more.

Lou_Barletta,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress_(2)We got an update on the status of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Program that is currently underway to repair 558 structurally deficient bridges across the state, learned about legislation to improve work zone safety and hold reckless drivers accountable and Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) explained the debate going on in Washington, D.C. about transportation funding.  Barletta announced that he plans to introduce legislation in Washington modeling Pennsylvania’s Act 89 law in order to push Congress into adoptions of a comprehensive, long-term funding bill for the nation.

Secretary-Richards2PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards also joined us for lunch to address the need for consistent, reliable funding to maintain our roads and bridges. She says there have been talks about new sources of recurring revenue, but also emphasized the need to protect existing funding for highways – the Motor License Fund.

This year’s budget proposal from the Governor’s office had nearly $750 million diverted from the MLF to go to non-highway line items. If this trend progresses, it will only be a few years until $1 billion is siphoned away from necessary transportation projects. The incredible progress made since Act 89 was passed will stall and the quality of our roads will suffer.

“Improving quality of life and ensuring driver and worker safety are our top priorities at PHIA,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “Protecting the Motor License Fund is critical to maintaining high quality transportation in Pennsylvania.”

 

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