August 7, 2008

Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission Approves 2009 Update to 12-Year Transportation Program

WYSOX, Pa., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State Transportation Commission today approved an update to the 12-year transportation program that outlines $68 billion in investments and improvements to state highways, aviation, public transit, bridges and rail freight.

"This plan, developed in partnership with all regions of Pennsylvania, focuses on meeting our pressing bridge maintenance needs and preserving the gains we have made in pavement smoothness," said PennDOT Secretary and Commission Chairman Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "Moreover, the updated program addresses challenges in improving aviation, rail freight and public transit."

In the 12-year program, which takes effect Oct 1, highway and bridge projects in the first four years total $12.2 billion; public transit, $7.5 billion; aviation, $604 million; and rail freight, $234 million.

Major projects that are initiated in the first four-year period may carry some phases into the second and third four-year phases. Any phase of a project listed in the second and third four years must be approved by the commission for inclusion in the first four years before construction on that phase can begin.

Seven rural planning organizations, 15 metropolitan planning organizations and Franklin County partnered with the state Department of Transportation in the review and development of the plan.

The updated program will now be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for review and approval. The Federal Highway Administration coordinates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the plan's conformity with air quality requirements.

Highway funds listed in the 12-year program are distributed across the state according to a formula that weighs population, lane miles and vehicle miles traveled. Bridge funds are distributed based on the condition of each region's structures.

The transportation commission consists of 10 appointed, private citizens and the majority and minority chairpersons of the state House and Senate transportation committees.

State law dictates that the commission review and update the 12-year program every two years. No project can move forward unless it is listed on the program.

For more information, or to view the 12-year program, visit .

CONTACT: Erin Waters

(717) 783-8800

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

CONTACT: Erin Waters of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,+1-717-783-8800

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