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For Whom the Bridge Tolls.
A victory for no one,
But an opportunity, if one can seize it.
July 3, 2022
Recently, the Commonwealth Court put to bed the proposal by PennDOT to toll 9 bridges across the state, including the I-83 South Bridge, AKA the John Harris Memorial Bridge. Politicians rejoiced. Like they were looking out for our interests. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Wayne Langerholc stated, “Today’s decision is a win for all Pennsylvanians, a win for all those who stood with us fighting this oppressive overreach, and a win for Pennsylvania businesses who were arbitrarily shut out of the process.” The total estimated cost of the bridges was around $2.2b. Tolling would have freed money to be applied to other needed PennDOT projects. To put this in perspective, it would have been enough money to replace around 1,000 plain vanilla bridges across the state, or about 1 of every 2-1/2 state-owned bridges currently in poor condition. The new Federal Infrastructure monies allocated $1.6 b over 5 years just for bridges. That money would just about replace about half of the 1,250 bridges that would be added to the poor condition group during that 5-year time.
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