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 (PDF), initiative will make possible a partnership to rehabilitate 10 bridges in Cambria County, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards said today.
"The bridges owned by our local partners need significant investment just like state-owned bridges," Richards said. "The Road MaP program is helping counties address this critical need and I applaud Cambria County for recognizing and acting on options to improve their infrastructure."
The Johnstown Metropolitan Planning Organization last week added a $2 million project to its Transportation Improvement Plan that will bundle the rehabilitation of 10 bridges into one contract for efficiency and cost savings. PennDOT is allocating $2 million in federal funds toward construction.
"Cambria County owns 26 bridges. Ten bridges are structurally deficient and one is closed," said Commissioner Thomas Chernisky. "Maintaining our bridges is a safety issue and by utilizing Act 89, Cambria County will be able to repair or replace all of our county-owned bridges by 2022."
The bridge decks will be replaced on: T-476 (Vic Miller Road) Bridge; T-419 (Blackburn Road) Bridge; Ash Street over Solomon Run; D Street over St. Clair Run; McMillan Street over Solomon Run; Mine Place Street bridge; Oak Street over Solomon Run; Lang Avenue bridge; Magee Avenue bridge; and Paint Creek Bridge #2 on Bridge Street.
"The state is adding additional Road MaP funds that will repair 10 municipal owned bridges in Cambria County by 2019. Road MaP funding is an additional incentive for counties to adopt the local use fund," said Commissioner B.J. Smith.
Through Road MaP, PennDOT is making opportunities available for counties who have taken steps to enhance their transportation networks (PDF) by collecting the $5 vehicle registration fee enabled by Act 89 of 2013, the state transportation plan. Chester, Montgomery, Berks, Schuylkill, Bucks, York and Cumberland 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.
"Many of our bridges are located in rural areas where weight restrictions can affect farm equipment and larger trucks," said Commissioner Mark Wissinger.
"The County Commissioners take a proactive approach to bridge maintenance in Cambria County. Road MaP and Act 89 funds are currently programmed on bridges in rural and urban parts of the county, in communities big and small," said Cambria County Planning Commission Executive Director Ethan Imhoff. "It's a very successful partnership between the County, PennDot District 9 and our local municipalities."
This component of Road MaP is aimed at addressing the needs of Pennsylvania's 6,543 locally owned bridges, of which 2,010 – 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.
Since 2008, PennDOT has cut the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state system from a high of 6,034 to 3,114, which is roughly 12.3 percent of the total number of bridges statewide, as of January.
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