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Gov. Corbett Fights For Funding To Fix Structurally-Deficient Bridges

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Paul Martino Paul Martino
Paul joined KDKA-TV in 1984 as a general assignment reporter and later...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gov. Tom Corbett is fighting to get billions of dollars to fix the state’s structurally-deficient bridges.

Without that money, the state is threatening to put weight restrictions on about more than a thousand of those bridges.

To illustrate the problem, Gov. Corbett held a news conference underneath the rusting, aging Liberty Bridge Friday afternoon.

The Senate’s already passed a transportation bill, but Gov. Corbett says if the house doesn’t go along with it, trucks will soon be barred from about 1,400 bridges in the state.

When it comes to bridges, Pennsylvania is number one in the country. Number one when it comes to the number of structurally-deficient bridges.

One of the biggest examples in our area is the Liberty Bridge. Rusting and aging, it carries about 17,000 vehicles a day. It needs about $50 million in rehab work.

Without it, the state is threatening to put weight restrictions on it.

“Think if we weight restrict this bridge, and the cost of the trucks that are going across it now, diverting around it, and the added congestion to other routes around Pittsburgh,” Pennsylvania’s Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch said.

The Pennsylvania Senate has already passed a $2.5 billion transportation bill that goes further than what Gov. Corbett recommends.

It’s paid for with a wholesale gas tax that will likely be passed onto you – increases in driver’s license and driver’s registration fees.

Also, a $100 surcharge on traffic violations. The surcharge is prompting a lot of griping, even from Gov. Corbett.

“I do have a concern that a $100 surcharge on top of what is already a ticket is somewhat problematic,” said Gov. Corbett.

If he had to, Gov. Corbett says he could live with the Senate bill, but worries it won’t get traction in the House.

The House has 23 days to pass the transportation bill. That’s when the new budget is due.

But Gov. Corbett says he’s left his calendar open for July, if he has stay in the Capitol beyond the deadline.

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