Casey: Budget Bill On Senate Floor Could Upgrade Aging Bridges Across PA, Create Jobs and Promote Economic Growth

Bipartisan Budget Approach Has Potential to Create Jobs, Spur Economic Growth While Maintaining Vital Infrastructure

Casey: Budget Bill On Senate Floor Could Upgrade Aging Bridges Across PA, Create Jobs and Promote Economic Growth

5,543 Structurally Deficient Bridges in State, County by County Breakdown of Structurally Deficient Bridges Shows Need for Infrastructure Upgrades  

Washington, DC-  With Pennsylvania number one in the country for structurally deficient bridges, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for passage of a key budget bill currently on the Senate floor that could upgrade bridges across Pennsylvania, create jobs and spur economic growth. The Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill is expected to get a vote this week and is part of Congress’ annual budget. The legislation contains several initiatives to directly address bridge repairs and broader transportation priorities that are vital to the state.

“The bipartisan Senate bill prioritizes job creation through investments in highways, transit, railways and ports,” said Senator Casey. “A safe, reliable and modern transportation system is vital to commerce in our state. Passage of this bill is important for our state’s ailing bridges and our roads and I’ll be urging Congress to pass this legislation this year.” 

Below are several programs included in the Senate THUD bill that would benefit Pennsylvania:

  • Bridges in Critical Corridors (BRICC): Pennsylvania leads the nation in the highest number of structurally deficient bridges at 5,543. The funding provided in the bill will support bridge projects eligible under the Surface Transportation Program, which is authorized under the (MAP-21).  The funding will be distributed through a competitive process, and the Committee requires the DOT to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of funds and an appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban and rural areas.
  • TIGER: The Senate bill supports the TIGER program, which provides grants for significant projects in a variety of transportation modes, including highways and bridges, public transit, passenger and freight railroads, and port infrastructure. Investments in our transportation system are critical when Americans are wasting more time and fuel in traffic and our infrastructure received a failing grade of D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers this year.  The House bill zeroes out TIGER funding.
  • Past uses of TIGER funds
    • Central PA Infrastructure Expansions to Meet Marcellus Shale Development - The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority and Lycoming County was awarded $10 million in TIGER funds in 2010.  This funding supported a $53 million multi-modal project with 18 components in six counties in Central Pennsylvania.  The counties affected are Lycoming, Centre, Northumberland, Montour, Union and Blair.  This funding has been used to build infrastructure that will position the railroads to accommodate increases in rail freight traffic associated with natural gas exploration.  It is estimated this project will divert over 5 million trucks off the road over a 20 year period between 2012 and 2031.
    • Dilworth Plaza (Philadelphia) – The Center City District (CCD), in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA are working on a complete overhaul of the Dilworth Plaza, the public space to the west of City Hall.  This project was awarded $15 million in TIGER II funds from the DOT. The goal of the project is to make Dilworth Plaza a more accessible hub for regional transportation and create a civic gathering space for residents, employees and visitors. Construction is underway in Philadelphia currently.
    • Carrie Furnace Flyover (Allegheny County) - The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County was awarded $10 million in 2011 to create a ‘flyover’ above railroad tracks along the Monongahela River to two development sites near the old Carrie Furnace steel mill.  Once the site is better connected to the highway, community officials expect businesses and manufacturers to develop it.  This project has the ability to create more than 1,000 regional jobs and will promote economic development in the low-income communities along the Monongahela. 
  • Amtrak: The Senate bill preserves the federal commitment to Amtrak, which provides an energy efficient transportation alternative for more than 31 million travelers annually and another 235 million commuter trips along the Northeast Corridor. The House bill guts funding for Amtrak to the lowest level in over a decade, and will require Amtrak to defer maintenance and other safety projects, put at-risk at least 10,000 jobs and possibly eliminate some of its existing routes. Amtrak also is a job creator in Pennsylvania and employs over 2,600 Pennsylvanians; these jobs could be jeopardy if there are further cuts to Amtrak. In 2012, over 6.1 million Amtrak passengers traveled at Pennsylvania stations and this number is expected to increase in 2013

County by county data for structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania can be found below:

Pennsylvania Counties, Ranked by Percentage of Structurally Deficient Bridges

County

Total # bridges

Deficient bridges

Percent of bridges that are deficient

Average daily traffic on deficient bridges

% of total daily bridge traffic on deficient bridges

McKean County

221

96

43.4%

117,732

29.9%

Schuylkill County

365

157

43.0%

295,268

24.4%

Potter County

198

81

40.9%

61,229

41.5%

Monroe County

304

118

38.8%

491,305

23.5%

Lawrence County

264

98

37.1%

240,310

26.1%

Clearfield County

291

105

36.1%

187,378

19.8%

Carbon County

129

45

34.9%

194,942

24.6%

Fayette County

378

127

33.6%

204,187

24.4%

Washington County

627

200

31.9%

346,524

15.1%

Butler County

373

117

31.4%

276,784

18.4%

Indiana County

312

98

31.4%

209,786

30.6%

Greene County

310

97

31.3%

75,888

17.0%

Wyoming County

137

42

30.7%

46,643

18.3%

Elk County

123

36

29.3%

47,431

24.9%

Cameron County

59

17

28.8%

22,690

50.3%

Juniata County

164

47

28.7%

63,200

16.5%

Bucks County

657

188

28.6%

1,155,914

19.1%

Perry County

183

51

27.9%

93,489

21.6%

Armstrong County

263

73

27.8%

101,961

17.1%

Montgomery County

754

207

27.5%

1,570,326

13.1%

Pike County

160

44

27.5%

103,707

18.3%

Luzerne County

445

122

27.4%

721,205

21.3%

Wayne County

253

69

27.3%

41,269

10.6%

Adams County

251

66

26.3%

169,795

21.9%

Berks County

645

169

26.2%

685,231

17.3%

Susquehanna County

275

72

26.2%

71,445

13.0%

Venango County

191

50

26.2%

36,982

10.0%

Beaver County

299

78

26.1%

221,021

15.8%

Clarion County

181

47

26.0%

96,065

20.7%

Forest County

67

17

25.4%

8,598

24.4%

Sullivan County

119

30

25.2%

12,259

18.3%

Westmoreland County

606

153

25.2%

600,650

19.2%

Lancaster County

757

190

25.1%

641,215

13.5%

Bradford County

394

97

24.6%

77,032

12.8%

Somerset County

429

104

24.2%

70,309

6.1%

Warren County

218

52

23.9%

52,348

16.4%

Blair County

336

80

23.8%

178,728

13.0%

Crawford County

399

94

23.6%

121,302

14.6%

Lackawanna County

354

82

23.2%

491,746

16.8%

Delaware County

363

84

23.1%

623,538

10.1%

Allegheny County

1272

292

23.0%

1,888,904

15.0%

Lehigh County

378

84

22.2%

643,413

15.7%

Clinton County

204

45

22.1%

80,207

10.0%

Bedford County

412

90

21.8%

137,828

9.2%

Huntingdon County

238

52

21.8%

51,049

13.2%

Philadelphia County

578

126

21.8%

2,218,371

19.0%

Northampton County

341

73

21.4%

328,736

11.8%

Chester County

621

129

20.8%

520,962

10.1%

Jefferson County

208

43

20.7%

81,698

12.3%

Mifflin County

193

40

20.7%

171,412

24.9%

Lebanon County

207

41

19.8%

127,945

13.1%

Mercer County

439

87

19.8%

111,270

8.5%

York County

545

107

19.6%

373,153

13.6%

Cambria County

282

55

19.5%

130,734

16.2%

Franklin County

278

52

18.7%

191,246

17.1%

Centre County

355

66

18.6%

170,940

10.2%

Columbia County

270

46

17.0%

26,020

3.2%

Cumberland County

341

58

17.0%

309,980

8.7%

Fulton County

157

25

15.9%

18,744

4.2%

Union County

155

24

15.5%

12,668

2.6%

Lycoming County

474

69

14.6%

82,590

4.6%

Dauphin County

439

61

13.9%

260,152

5.6%

Snyder County

158

22

13.9%

58,496

16.9%

Erie County

445

60

13.5%

109,465

6.6%

Tioga County

421

57

13.5%

33,209

5.0%

Northumberland County

294

29

9.9%

24,586

2.8%

Montour County

108

10

9.3%

3,014

0.7%

Click here for more info on the data.

Press Contact

John Rizzo 202-228-6367