Friday, August 15, 2014

Pennsylvania updates 12-year transport plan; awards funds to 39 freight projects

Keyser Avenue Railroad Bridge in Scranton, PA Keyser Avenue Railroad Bridge in Scranton, PA

The Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission (STC), building on the Act 89 transportation plan, has updated Pennsylvania's 12-Year Transportation Program with a $22-billion boost in much needed transportation improvements.

 

The new plan anticipates $63.2 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads. That compares with $41.6 billion in the last update two years ago. Act 89 will add $2.3 billion a year in transportation investment by 2017.

"Today's action represents a significant step forward to addressing all transportation modes," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said. "Act 89 provides a solution to a decades old problem and the legislature and I showed that unlike Washington, we are able to put partisan politics aside and do what's right for Pennsylvania."

The newly-adopted program, which takes effect October 1, anticipates $7.9 billion for public transit; the state's rail-freight systems are expected to receive $228 million and the newly-created multimodal fund will receive $284 million in the first four years.

The plan will now be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for review and approval.

Also in Pennsylvania, 39 freight rail improvement projects that will help sustain nearly 34,000 jobs across the commonwealth were approved for funding from two Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)-managed programs.

"Transportation is a proven economic driver and these investments will help these companies maintain and create more jobs,'' Gov. Corbett said. "Ensuring that these facilities and assets are ready to meet consumer demands is vital to keeping our state competitive."

The STC voted to approve nearly $35.9-million for 13 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and 26 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP).

Some RTAP projects include $1.9 million to rehabilitate the Allegheny Valley Railroad's 36th Street bridge, increasing its weight capacity and reducing a curve on the bridge; $3.2 million to install 14.5-miles of continuous welded rail on Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway's Pittsburgh Subdivision and $5 million to construct a new bridge across the Lehigh River and 1,200 feet of new connecting track for the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad.

Some of the RFAP projects include $489,636 to replace a turnout, crossties, 8,960 feet of rail and make other track improvements on the Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad; $700,000 to install 60,800 feet of continuous welded rail, as well as install 10,000 new crossties and four turnouts on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway and $697,417 to install 1,800 feet of track, a new switch, two conveyors and a track scale at Northeast Freight Transfer, Inc.

For a complete list of projects click HERE.

 

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