Tuesday, February 26, 2019

PennDOT Secretary: Over $110 Million In Emergency Costs From Flooding, Landslides, Biggest In A Decade

On February 25, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards told the Senate Appropriations Committee her budget was severely stressed in the last year by over $110 million in emergency repair costs to roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure as a result of widespread flooding and landslide events.
She said it was the highest number PennDOT has seen in at least a decade.  
The PA Emergency Management Agency last week reported there was over $101.5 million in flood damage to public infrastructure in Pennsylvania last year not covered by federal disaster assistance.
In response to a question from Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, about PennDOT doing stream cleaning near roads to prevent flooding, Levine said that it would cost money adding her agency is prohibited from cleaning streams with Motor License Fund moneys.
Levine suggested funding from Gov. Wolf’s proposed Restore Pennsylvania proposal might help with that.
The State Transportation Commission recently released a report on cost pressures further straining existing PennDOT funding resources that included the $110 million emergency repair costs, the cost to comply with MS4 Stormwater Pollution Reduction Requirements, toll litigation against the PA Turnpike Commission that might take away more than $2.2 billion in highway and bridge funding, $1.8 billion in transfers out of Motor License Fund to support the State Police, uncertainty over federal funding and the reduction of the buying power of existing PennDOT funding of over $110 million a year.
Click Here for a summary of the hearing and to watch a video (when posted) by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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