HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is not appealing the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruling, which found PennDOT lacked the authority to toll nine interstate bridges, according to Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37).
Last year, Bridgeville Borough and South Fayette and Collier townships, which are in Robinson’s district, filed a lawsuit against PennDOT regarding the proposal for the I-79 bridge in Bridgeville. The lawsuit stated PennDOT violated the Public-Private Partnerships (P3) law, which requires certain steps be taken before the P3 Board can vote to implement bridge tolling.
“This is a clear example of how good things happen when local officials and members of the General Assembly shine a light on an overreaching and unconstitutional decision,” said Robinson. “We came together to take a stand against PennDOT and the Wolf administration on their lack of transparency and legislative input. We were elected to be the voices for our constituents, but they muted us. I am pleased they finally listened.”
Robinson co-sponsored Senate Bill 382, now Act 84 of 2022, which was signed into law after compromise was reached with the governor’s office, reforming the Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) statute, cancelling PennDOT’s Major Bridge P3 Initiative and authorizing PennDOT to continue work on the nine candidate bridges under a different P3 delivery model.
PennDOT claimed the tolling of the interstate bridges was designed to raise revenue to address the state’s growing backlog of major bridge replacement and rehabilitation needs. However, Pennsylvania already has the funding and sources for the projects. Pennsylvania is receiving $13 billion during the next five years for highways and bridges through the federal infrastructure bill.
“I look forward to continuing efforts on how to properly fund our roads and bridges with existing infrastructure funds, rather than another tax and financial burden for hardworking Pennsylvanians. Now is not the time to solicit them for more money, especially when we have the needed infrastructure funds,” said Robinson.
Contact: Elizabeth Weitzel