Rural road, bridge infrastructure crumbling

The recent articles in the Mirror regarding the situation in Taylor Township highlight the difficulties that can occur for all parties when the roads are not adequate to support the needs of economic and job generators.

On Plum Creek Boulevard, damage was done to a poorly maintained portion of the road, while the appropriately paved section of the route suffered negligible damage from the same volume of truck traffic.

As reported, this situation will soon be resolved, as the company has agreed to make a substantial payment to Taylor Township to help with upgrading the sub-standard portion of the roadway.

The township will also be able to continue to collect for any excess damage to the new and existing paved road through the state’s existing road posting and bonding rules.

Unfortunately, this incident is a symptom of a greater problem in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s rural road and bridge infrastructure is crumbling, due to years of insufficient funding.

PennDOT has 4,400 bridges that are structurally deficient and 9,000 miles of roads that are in poor condition.

Many township roads and bridges across the state are in similar poor condition.

Our industry relies on transporting raw materials to the mill and products to consumers.

We see firsthand the ramifications of Pennsylvania’s deteriorating rural road and bridge network. We also recognize that doing nothing to address this issue will only make the problem more acute.

What the state needs is a sustainable, long-term and steady funding stream to address Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure needs, as has been called for by the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission and Gov. Corbett.

This plan will provide needed additional dollars to both state and local road infrastructure. Such a plan is essential for the economic growth and long-term prosperity of Pennsylvania.

Paul Lyskava, Executive Director

Pennsylvania Forest Products Association