I-80 Tolling Application Denied

Many transportation advocates were shocked today by the news that the Federal Highway Commission rejected Pennsylvania’s application to toll Interstate 80 . During his press conference, Governor Rendell stated that he was deeply disappointed with the decision, as it means that the future of transportation funding is in jeopardy. According to sources at the Patriot News:

The application will be rejected because it would violate language in a federal transportation law that would require money from I-80 tolls to be used only for that roadway.

Without the anticipated revenue from I-80 tolling, Act 44 – PA’s transportation law – is on its way to having a $450 million funding gap. Though new capital projects will be the first items on the chopping block, basic public transit operations will also be significantly affected.

It’s not yet clear what the next step is for the state administration and what this means for the upcoming budget season. With the gubernatorial election this year, this matter is bound to become a campaign issue – and, hopefully, a priority for voters.

What is your reaction to the FHWA’s decision? And how can the massive gap be filled?

About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on April 6, 2010, in Public Infrastructure, Transportation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Why can’t the state appeal to Congress or DOT to try to get the federal law changed? We pay for public transit through gas tax, so why can’t we do it through tolling? And why can our I-476 tolls be used to support other roads but the I-80 tolls wouldn’t? This is especially strange with the DOT’s new partnership focus on sustainable transportation.

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