Pennsylvania lawmakers looking for solution to replace state’s crumbling bridges

Scenic sunset shot of downtown Pittsburgh with The Point in the foreground

The State Senate Transportation Committee met with PennDOT officials Wednesday in Pittsburgh to discuss different ideas to fix bridges across Pennsylvania, now that tolling is off the table.

PennDOT planned to implement tolling on at least nine major bridges across the state, including the I-79 bridge in Bridgeville, in order to pay for their repair or replacement, but lawsuits stopped that from happening.

Now, alternative ideas are being considered.

One option is an electric vehicle fee potentially based on mileage.

“It’s a priority of the committee to get something to the finish line for mileage-based user fees for electric vehicles,” said State Sen. Wayne Langerholc. “Those are users that are using our roads just the same as we are when we fill up our pumps.”

Another issue the committee looked at is how to deal with out-of-state drivers who only use highways, like the turnpike, and fill up with gas where it’s cheaper before crossing state lines.

The committee also heard from members of the construction industry about whether the projects can be done more affordably and with Pennsylvania companies as the lead contractors.

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