State House Halts PennDOT Toll Proposed to Fund Nine PA Bridges Desperately in Need of Repairs

bridge over trees
Image via kisforkateatkins at Creative Commons.
The Girard Point Bridge, one of nine area spans in need of repair.

A PennDOT plan to add tolls on nine bridges to finance their repairs was halted on Tuesday by the State House, which passed a bill to void the proposal, writes Mark Scolforo for WHYY.

The legislation, however, currently requires one more vote in the state Senate. And it currently faces opposition from Gov. Tom Wolf.

Tolling of the bridges would pay for their repair or reconstruction. And it would free up funds from the new federal infrastructure bill for other projects throughout the state.

But opponents claim that tolls would hurt the surrounding economy and that there was not enough public input in the process.

Rep. Mike Carroll said that the money approved in the federal bill is insufficient to cover all the necessary projects in Pennsylvania, which is 49th on the list of states with the worst bridges.

“Every single county in the state will have projects that do not get done if we have to dedicate $2 billion of the $4 billion to fix nine bridges,” he said.

The Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia is among the spans that could be tolled, along with I-81 over the Susquehanna River in northern PA and I-83 South Bridge across the Susquehanna River, and others.

Read more about the PennDOT toll plan for funding Philadelphia area bridges at WHYY.