Hutchinson: New Law Stops Wolf Plan to Toll Interstate Bridges, Requires Transparency


Sen. Scott Hutchinson

 

HARRISBURG – Legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21) to stop the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) from imposing new tolls on existing bridges with a Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) has been signed into law.

The Canoe Creek Bridges on Interstate 80 was among the spans targeted for tolling.

Act 84 of 2022:

Rescinds the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative and limits the scope to the nine candidate bridges (instead of any major bridge in the state) without user fees.

Increases transparency by requiring PennDOT to publish a detailed analysis and requiring PennDOT to distribute a copy of the P3 Board’s resolution.

Incorporates public comments by creating a new 30-day public comment period prior to the P3 Board’s voting meeting.

Creates a checks-and-balance by reducing the scope of PennDOT’s power to optional user fees for new infrastructure and ensuring the General Assembly has more time to assess any transportation projects passed by the P3 Board.

“This scheme was a new tax on motorists who already pay taxes for roads and bridges and on local communities facing new infrastructure costs caused by traffic diverted to their streets by drivers trying to avoid the new tolls,” said Hutchinson. “And it was done with virtually no public or legislative input. These reforms will ensure that the process is transparent, and motorists and legislators have a say in future P3 projects.”

Gov. Tom Wolf, who had threatened to veto the bill, reached a compromise following the Commonwealth Court’s two rulings against PennDOT’s plan.

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