Pennsylvania's roads and bridges are at a critical intersection. With transportation funding stagnant and labor, material and construction costs rising, the major caretakers of the state's transportation network — PennDOT and townships — have reached the breaking point. They cannot continue to fix and maintain the state's roads and bridges without additional funds.
It may cost all of us a few more dollars per year, but it will cost even more to do nothing. Harrisburg no longer can afford to delay this decision that is vital to the state's economy and public safety. Our General Assembly must provide additional funding to address long-overdue maintenance and safety issues.
Taxpayers can live with deteriorating infrastructure or fight for stable funding. The proposal now before the Legislature lifts the artificial cap on the oil franchise tax.
In many townships, road projects account for most of the annual budget. Municipalities maintain 77,000 of the 117,000 miles of roads in the state. They must find the funds to build and repair roads, maintain bridges, remove snow and ice, maintain traffic signs and signals, and control dust on dirt and gravel roads.
Pennsylvania's Legislature has reached a critical intersection: Pass transportation funding now or watch our infrastructure deteriorate even more as costs continue to mount.
We call on our state legislators to do the right thing. Don't stall out at this intersection.
David M. Sanko
David M. Sanko is executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.
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