Harrisburg, PA- With Pennsylvania #1 in the country for structurally deficient bridges, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse and City Engineer Paul Francis, pushed for additional funds for bridge repair in an upcoming long term transportation bill. At Harrisburg’s 13th Street Bridge, which was built in 1965 and is structurally deficient, Casey highlighted a recent letter calling on Congress to dedicate more funds to bridge repair when it debates a long term transportation bill in the coming weeks. During 2012 an effort by Senator Casey resulted in $74m for so called ‘off-system’ bridges owned by counties and municipalities in FY 2013.
“Fixing structurally deficient bridges in Harrisburg and throughout South Central Pennsylvania will increase safety and provide a boost to the economy,” Senator Casey said. “Congress has an opportunity in the upcoming transportation bill to make a significant commitment to bridge repair. This is an issue that Democrats and Republicans should come together on because it’s a commonsense step to improve infrastructure and create jobs.”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below. Data on structurally deficient bridges is attached.
Dear Chairman Boxer and Ranking Member Vitter:
As you prepare the next surface transportation reauthorization bill, I want to take this opportunity to urge you to provide resources to fix our Nation’s bridges. I applaud your commitment to investing in our Nation’s infrastructure and to creating and sustaining jobs. We need to build on the progress we made under MAP-21 and continue to invest in our Nation’s transportation system.
The Federal Highway Administration recently released data that highlights the challenges Pennsylvania faces in repairing its bridges. Specifically, the data indicates Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of structurally deficient bridges, with a total of 5,218. The data also shows that nearly a quarter of all bridges in Pennsylvania are classified as structurally deficient. Every day, nearly 17 million Pennsylvanians make trips over bridges with structural issues. I urge you to consider these issues as you work on the next transportation reauthorization bill. Passing a strong transportation reauthorization bill with resources for bridges is vital to the Commonwealth’s economy and to my constituent’s safety.
I look forward to working with you on a long term reauthorization bill.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator