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Tracking the Transportation Bill Money

The $2.3 billion transportation funding bill is still working its way through the state capitol, but the governor is expected to sign it by Friday.

There is an outcry from many drivers about the potential big hike in taxes on gasoline that comes with the bill, so Newswatch 16 decided to find out how PennDOT plans to spend the money.

Route 509 through Wayne County can be a bumpy ride at times, but this is one of thousands of roads PennDOT plans to repave or repair thanks to the transportation bill.

Drivers in Hawley said they need it.

“Well the roads have to be fixed, there’s no doubt about it. I used to drive trucks, and you come into Pennsylvania from out of state and you start bouncing around,” said Herbert Morris of Tafton.

“Everywhere we go, Route 84, 402, Route 6, everywhere we go there’s potholes, there just a mess,” said Denise Astorino of Hawley.

Every road she named would be repaved under PennDOT’s plan, including busy Route 6 through much of Wayne and Pike counties.

It’s not just major state routes and interstates that would get help from the transportation bill, more rural state roads are on the list for repairs too.

“You gotta start somewhere, you keep chipping away at it, it will be the way to go,” said Tom Carius of Paupack Township.

Tom Carius is one of many drivers not happy with how road repairs will be paid for, mainly through a hike in gasoline taxes, possibly 28 cents more a gallon over the next five years.

“You got a lot of people on fixed incomes. They’re getting squeezed at the pump as it is right now,” said Carius.

Others are tired of riding on the rough roads and said if the money really goes to repairs, they’ll pay it.

“I don’t have a problem with the gas tax, it has to come from somewhere,” said Nick Astorino.

“If you have to travel, you want to have a good road to travel on, I don’t have a problem with it,” said Denise Astorino.

A lot of people have been asking why the state isn’t funding all this through a tax on the natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. There is a state impact fee on that, but that money goes to county and local governments.

Governor Corbett is against a tax on natural gas.

3 comments

  • Gary Pierce

    This is so one sided that it isn’t even ethical. There is no way all the money will be spent where it is supposed to. And, no discussion of the millions that will go to mass transit that benefits a tiny fraction of Pennsylvanians. At least you do have the courage to not pretend to be objective.

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