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Paying for roads

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The authors of the column “When is it enough? Pennsylvania takes another dive into taxpayers' pockets” don't get it. The fact is that Gov. Corbett and the state legislators who voted for the transportation-funding bill in November get what these authors do not — that the cost of doing nothing was greater than the cost of addressing the problem.

If politicians are always so quick to spend, why has it been more than 16 years since Pennsylvania enacted a meaningful transportation-funding program, seven years since Gov. Rendell's transportation commission report and two years since Corbett's transportation commission report?

Furthermore, when these professors/authors complain about paying more fuel taxes in Pennsylvania than in other states, they are not making a fair comparison, since many states use other funding sources, which are not true user fees, to pay for highways and bridges.

As a civil engineer employed by local construction contractors in highway work for 46 years, I have seen firsthand how the historic lack of funding to do it right the first time has resulted in problems such as in New Stanton, where economic development has made it almost impossible to build an efficient, safe intersection of major roads.

John McCaskie

East Huntingdon

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