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​​Wolf Administration Local Bridge Program to Benefit Bucks County

12/06/2017

County Commended For Taking Advantage of 'Road MaP' Partnership

Harrisburg, PA – A local bridge improvement program announced as part of the Wolf Administration's Road Maintenance and Preservation, or Road MaP, initiative will make possible a partnership to rehabilitate a bridge in Bucks County, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards said today.

"The bridge challenges facing counties are in some ways more daunting than what we have faced tackling the backlog of maintenance on the state system," Secretary Richards said. "Since we are making significant progress, we are using the new Road MaP program to help counties with their bridges. I commend the county and our regional planning partner for recognizing and acting on these needed improvements in Bucks County."

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission today added a $2 million project to rehabilitate the King Road Bridge over Herkaken Creek in New Britain Township to its transportation improvement program, a necessary step as part of PennDOT's collaborative planning process with metropolitan and regional planning organizations statewide. PennDOT is allocating $2 million in federal funds toward the project. The King Road bridge, built in 1912, is structurally deficient and is posted with a 7-ton weight restriction.

Through Road MaP, PennDOT is making opportunities available for counties who have taken steps to enhance their transportation networks by collecting the $5 vehicle registration fee enabled by Act 89 of 2013, the state transportation plan. Chester, Montgomery, Berks, and Schuylkill counties are also leveraging the partnership for bridge projects in their counties.

The partnership makes available up to $2 million for each county that has passed a fee resolution, with a 50-percent local match commitment required to secure the program funding.

"The $5 bridge fee has served as a terrific way for taxpayers to know their entire contribution has gone to infrastructure repair and replacement in their own county," said Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, Bucks County commissioner. "Moreover, the impact on residents' commutes as well as emergency response time and easy access to the local businesses is easily seen and improves the quality of everyone's life in Bucks County. It is also pretty amazing to watch governments of two levels work swiftly and cooperatively together."

"Approximately a third of Greater Philadelphia's local bridges are structurally deficient. The Road MaP initiative is a way for Bucks County to take action to reduce that backlog," said DVRPC Associate Director for Transportation Elizabeth Schoonmaker. "By helping to keep our bridges in a state of good repair, this program will ultimately benefit the entire Greater Philadelphia region."

This component of Road MaP is aimed at addressing the needs of Pennsylvania's 6,477 locally owned bridges, of which 2,038 – or more than 31 percent – are structurally deficient. The need to improve local bridges was underscored when the biennial Transportation Performance Report, assembled by PennDOT, the State Transportation Commission, and the Transportation Advisory Committee and viewable at www.TalkPATransportation.com, identified local bridges as the only category receiving a "low" performance rating. Since 2008, PennDOT has cut the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state system from a high of 6,034 to 3,280.

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MEDIA CONTACTS: Rich Kirkpatrick or Erin Waters-Trasatt, 717-783-8800

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