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​Wolf Administration's Local Bridge Program to Benefit Montgomery County

10/26/2017

County Becomes Second to Take Advantage of Road MaP Partnership

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Wolf Administration announced a new partnership to replace a bridge in Montgomery County through Governor Wolf's Road Maintenance and Preservation, or Road MaP initiative.

"Our program is aimed at helping counties deal with the significant backlog of needed work on their bridges," Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. "Nearly 31 percent of county bridges are structurally deficient, and nearly 35 percent in Montgomery County are in that category. This partnership helps counties address this critical mobility issue."

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) today approved adding a bridge on Waverly Road over Tacony Creek in Cheltenham Township to its transportation improvement program, a necessary step as part of PennDOT's collaborative planning process with metropolitan and regional planning organizations statewide. The estimated $2 million bridge replacement will use federal funds made available for local bridge partnerships as a part of the state's new initiative.

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.

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. Montgomery County has committed to using funding collected from the vehicle registration fee to replace its Camp Wawa Road bridge over East Branch Perkiomen Creek in Lower Salford Township, a currently closed steel thru truss, for an estimated $2.6 million for use as its partnership match.

"Repairing our roads and bridges is one of the core functions of county government, which is why in 2013 we initiated an aggressive plan to assess, rehabilitate, or replace 62 of our failing bridges," said Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair, Montgomery County Commissioners. "The $5 vehicle registration fee has played a crucial role by creating a dedicated stream of revenue to improve our infrastructure, and enabled us to leverage even more funding through the Road MaP program which will help to further speed up the repair process."

"The Road MaP initiative is a great way for counties to take action to reduce the backlog of structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania. Getting those bridges in a state of good repair is a priority," said DVRPC Associate Director for Transportation, Elizabeth Schoonmaker. "Montgomery County's decision to implement the additional $5 vehicle registration fee ultimately benefits the entire Greater Philadelphia region. It's a great example of a local action with a regional impact."

The structurally deficient bridge on Waverly Road was constructed in 1951, has a weight limit of 15 tons except 20-ton combinations, and sees roughly 2,400 vehicles daily.

This component of Road MaP is aimed at addressing the needs of Pennsylvania's 6,536 locally owned bridges, of which 2,008 — or 30.7 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.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Rich Kirkpatrick, 717-783-8800

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