Commonwealth Court has voided the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) plan to begin tolling nine interstate bridges across the state. The June 30th decision from the majority of the Court found that PennDOT, the P3 Board, and Sec. Gramian exceeded their statutory authority under Act 88 of 2012 and failed to comply with its requirements. The No P3 Bridge Tolls Coalition praised the Court’s decision in the South Fayette Township case that voids the P3 Major Bridge Tolling Initiative.
“The Commonwealth Court has reinforced the arguments the members of the No P3 Bridge Tolls Coalition, the Legislature, and affected communities have been making to PennDOT since the tolling efforts were announced,” said John Stroup, former Mayor of Clarion. “Thank you for the leadership of officials in South Fayette Township, Bridgeville Borough, Collier Township, and the other entities who joined in this and the 1-83 bridge case. These challenges are neither cheap nor easy, but your efforts are winning the day.”
“This is a win for businesses, residents, and communities across Pennsylvania,” said Fred Gaffney, President of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce. “This ill-conceived plan would have created unnecessary disruptions for local communities. The decision by the Court should send a message to PennDOT that it needs to work with stakeholders to find better solutions for funding our transportation infrastructure.”
Katie Hetherington Cunfer, Director of Government & Community Relations for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance said, “Berks County businesses and the rural communities surrounding the Lenhartsville Bridge project greatly appreciate this strong decision from the Commonwealth Court. We all hope the Wolf Administration and PennDOT will not appeal this decision. Instead, we hope they will reengage with stakeholders to find long-term, sustainable, and equitable funding solutions for our infrastructure needs.”
While PennDOT could appeal the decision to the State Supreme Court, the Coalition and legislators are urging the administration to abandon this plan once and for all.