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PennDOT Ready to Repair Roads and Bridges

March 3 2014- Don Rooney
HARRISBURG- On the final day of budget hearings for 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee heard from PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. He thanked lawmakers for passing Act 89, legislation providing a stable funding source for road and bridge repair, along with mass transit funding and improvements to rail, ports and airports. Secretary Schoch says he's moved $100 million to repair accounts in the last year and a half in order to get projects ready to go, and said some construction could start in April.

Act 89 increases the wholesale tax oil companies pay on gasoline and increases fees for drivers' licenses and car registration. Sec. Schoch says that if the wholesale tax goes to 28 cents by year five of the plan, the cost to the average driver for the tax and the other increases in registration fees would be $2.50 per week.

Sec. Schoch said the department is now working aggressively across the state patching potholes. He said that the combination of not keeping up with re-paving roads and an extremely cold winter with a lot of thaw and freeze cycles will lead to a significant number of potholes. He told the committee that the road crews are out now and the department is picking up additional salt.

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