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PennDOT Pathways: Immediate Solutions

The Major Bridge P3 Initiative

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The Major Bridge P3 Initiative is the first alternative funding initiative of the PennDOT Pathways Program, a program to secure sustainable funding for our transportation system. The Major Bridge P3 Initiative is designed to raise revenue through tolling to address the state's growing backlog of major bridge replacement and rehabilitation needs. These bridges would use a Public-Private Partnership (P3) contracting and delivery method. Through the P3 model, PennDOT can leverage private investment to rebuild critical bridges during a period with historically low interest rates and a favorable labor market. This initiative can provide a dedicated source of revenue for these infrastructure improvements and could create significant savings over the life of the program while ensuring the vitality of the state's transportation system and economy.

Bridge tolling can provide the funds to repair or replace these costly bridges without using PennDOT's current funding, which in turn allows those funds to be used for other roadway maintenance, operations and improvements. Tolling would be all electronic and collected by using E-ZPass or license plate billing. The funds received from the toll would go back to the bridge where the toll is collected to pay for the construction, maintenance and operation of that bridge.

Our Proposed Immediate Solution

Bridge Tolling

195 roads

137 bridges

15 tunnels

This is a solution that can be implemented quickly. Why...

E-ZPass and toll collection systems already exist

We are authorized under current federal and state laws

We can implement within 2-4 years

Public-Private Partnerships can accelerate project delivery


Bridge Tolling: A Closer Look

All-electronic (AET) technology on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

How It Works

1

Tolling equipment installed over the roadway, recording tolls electronically without a driver having to slow down.


2

Tolls are collected through E-ZPass and Toll by Plate, by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and sent to PennDOT.

3

PennDOT uses the revenue to pay for the bridge replacement or rehabilitation and continued maintenance of the facility.

Benefits

Creates a dedicated funding source for that bridge, including costs of construction, regular maintenance and operations

Avoids the reallocation of traditional funding away from other local/regional projects

Only those that use the bridge pay for it, including out-of-state travelers that may not have purchased gas in the state and don't pay license and registration fees

The interstate system in Pennsylvania carries 25 percent of our traffic and serves as the economic backbone for many communities as well as the Northeastern portion of the US. By investing in our infrastructure, we will enable Pennsylvania to remain economically viable into the future

For every $1 billion of investment in our highways and bridges, we generate 10,493 jobs and additional economic output of $2.2 billion for our economy

Challenges

Drivers may avoid tolls

Potential for impacts to local communities

Perception of unfairness by users living/working near toll bridges


What We've Heard About Tolling

So far, we've heard from nearly 5,000 Pennsylvania drivers with thoughts about which funding options would work best for our communities. Here are some of the things we"ve heard to date about bridge tolling:

It's important to invest funds from the tolls directly into the facility that generated the toll

Bridge tolling location and pricing should not unfairly impact lower income communities

Drivers generally prefer bridge tolling to fee/tax increases

10,493 job-years is equivalent to a total of 10,493 years of individual employment over the life of the project.


Top Job Categories

Pie chart depicting the top 5 job categories of construction (5,413 jobs); professional, scientific and technical services (1,563); health care and social assistance (1,067); retail trade (1,066); and durable goods manufacturing (969).
Pie chart depicting the top 5 job categories of construction (3,628 jobs); professional, scientific and technical services (1,047); health care and social assistance (715); retail trade (714); and durable goods manufacturing (650).
Click to view chart larger.

How This Impacts You

The candidate bridges being considered for tolling through the Major Bridge P3 Initiative were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Located on the interstate or expressway;
  • Structures of significance based on size, location and cost to replace or rehabilitate;
  • Structural conditions that warrant timely attention to enhance safety and avoid disruption and community impacts if closure or weight restrictions were imposed;
  • Geographic balance across the state;
  • Can begin construction in two to four years for near-term benefit; and
  • The ability for the project to be financially viable with a reasonable toll rate.

Click on your bridge of interest to learn the status of the project and the benefits that it can bring to your area.

Candidate Bridge Projects

PennDOT District Map Key Bridge Project Year(s) Built
4 A I-81 Susquehanna Project 1961
4 B I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges 1965
5 C I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project 1955
5 D I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridge Project 1965
6 E I-95 Girard Point Bridge Improvement Project Late 1960s-1970s
8 F I-83 South Bridge Project 1960
10 G I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges 1966
10 H I-80 North Fork Bridges Project 1962
11 I I-79 Widening, Bridges and Bridgeville Interchange Reconfiguration 1965

Next Steps for Major Bridge P3 Initiative

Over the next year, PennDOT will evaluate these candidate bridges through individual environmental documents being prepared or re-evaluated for each bridge. Each project will advance with an evaluation on the impacts of tolling in the community to include:

  • Impacts to minority and low-income populations
  • Traffic diversion impacts from drivers avoiding the toll

Visit the candidate bridge website for more information on how to engage on a specific bridge project.