Lehigh Valley

$380 million in PennDOT funding cuts could triple the amount of time to complete roadwork

Becky Bradley, the Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, was gearing up to release the first-of-its-kind regional plan when she got hit with a curve ball.

PennDOT is cutting the region's transportation funding by $380 million over the next 12 years.

"We know that there's been declining revenues for a while, we didn't really know how much until this current budget was passed," Bradley said.

Act 89, passed in 2013, was designed to address PennDOT funding concerns. However, Auditor General Eugene Depasquale found that upwards of $4 billion was diverted to the state police pension fund instead.

"Our estimate in this moment today is that, in this moment today, our four year plan is now a 12-year plan," Bradley said.

The four years worth of plans already approved by PennDOT may take three times as long to get done, such as the Tilghman Street bridge replacement project and further widening of Route 22.

She said the best thing residents can do right now is get on the phone with their elected officials.

"I need to be able to get to my job. I need to be able to get to my home to my doctors appointment. And these are things that we all need," Bradley said.


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