State Sens. Katie Muth (D-Chester/Montgomery/Berks) and Lindsey M. Williams (D-Allegheny) announced plans to introduce legislation that would authorize the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to borrow funding to continue ongoing large construction projects statewide.
The PennDOT Motor License Fund’s cash reserves are shallow, and the agency will need to borrow money to continue large construction projects and pay its December bills. The shortfall has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Nov. 20, the legislature passed the fiscal year 2020-2021 Supplemental Budget. Language in the budget permitting PennDOT to borrow these funds was removed during final negotiations.
If funding is not obtained, PennDOT would have been forced to shut down more than 6,000 ongoing projects and jeopardized more than 240,000 jobs. These projects include roadway safety enhancements, bridge repairs, and infrastructure expansion to accommodate traffic demands.
“These projects are vital to motorist safety, provide economic security for many hardworking Pennsylvanians, and are critical to infrastructure stability and expansion,” Muth said. “While this temporary fix allows for projects to continue and our workers to remain employed through the holiday season, we need a permanent solution that ensures long-term planning and continued improvements of these critical transportation corridors without unnecessary interruptions.”