PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Surrounded by officials from local chambers of commerce, companies hauling on roads and bridges, public transit riders, and even Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Gov. Tom Corbett used the Birmingham Bridge on the South Side to make his latest pitch.
“Different bridge, same need, absolutely,” Corbett says.
Gov. Corbett is pushing a comprehensive transportation funding bill to repair highways and bridges and fund public transit across the Commonwealth.
“People in Pennsylvania want solutions to our problems, and not excuses to inaction,” Corbett says.
Besides the public safety issues, poor transportation takes an economic toll on local companies.
Carlos Cardozo works with Kennametal and says transportation is a large expense.
“It costs us about $5 million extra to move those products back and forth,” he says.
And with neighboring states upgrading faster than Pennsylvania, failure to act means loss of jobs.
“If the work is in Ohio or in Maryland, then we’ll move there and we’ll work there,” says Rich Barcaskey of the Constructors Association.
All the good words in support of transportation funding mean nothing if state legislators, particularly House Republicans, are not listening, so Gov. Corbett says everybody needs to get involved.
The bridges don’t have an R or a D on them. The buses don’t have an R or a D on them.
While the Senate passed a bi-partisan $2.5 billion bill 45-to-5, House Republican leaders have, so far, refused to schedule a vote.
“Why the House can’t do exactly the same thing I don’t understand it. The Governor is supporting it. I’m certainly supporting it here. This really is about our economy and about jobs,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says.