A project that will expand a York County portion of Interstate 83 from four lanes to six lanes is among the work that would be completed if a state transportation bill becomes law.
In both Gov. Tom Corbett's $1.8 billion transportation plan and the state Senate's recently approved $2.5 billion version, several hundred million would be spent on projects in York County.
The biggest chunk would go to a $220 million project to widen Interstate 83 from four lanes to six lanes between the Mount Rose Avenue exit (Exit 18) and the North George Street exit (Exit 22), said state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin County, citing information provided to lawmakers by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
That information has not yet been released publicly because the database on which it is housed is a work in progress and is only available to state legislators, said PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny.
The $220 million I-83 project in York County also includes work on 13 bridges throughout North York and Manchester, Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships, Teplitz said.
The majority of other work in York County involves multimillion-dollar resurfacing projects, he said.
The Senate plan Teplitz voted for last week would ultimately spend $2.5 billion on transportation funding each year for 10 years.
The jobs that would be
created as a result are one of the reasons he voted for the bill, Teplitz said.
Safety is another reason.
"With this aging infrastructure, someone is going to get killed when a road or bridge collapses. Time is not on our side," he said.
More support: Safety is also a reason state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover, supports an increase in transportation funding.
"The worst-case scenario is a bridge collapses and people die. We obviously don't want that," he said.
Many state and local roads are in need of repair, Grove said.
He said he also supports an increase in transportation funding because it would solve problems in York County.
Part of the $220 million I-83 widening project includes the interchange with Route 30, Grove said.
"Every day there's a major backlog of traffic there. By expanding (I-83), it will create more mobility and less congestion," he said.
The House will take up the transportation bill next week.
Though it will likely be different than the Senate's original version, Grove is hopeful a transportation plan will pass.
"Too many large projects in York County need to get done," he said. "Transportation funding is a critical tool for the York County economy."
Businesses: Greater transportation funding also has support from the York County Economic Alliance.
The YCEA is sending a letter to lawmakers next week in support of the transportation bill, said Bob Jensenius, vice president of the organization.
For six years, YCEA members have asked for more transportation funding, he said.
Many businesses want better infrastructure because it makes it more cost efficient to transport their products, Jensenius said.
For example, if there are too many weight-restricted bridges along a distribution route, tractor trailers are forced to take detours that slow down business, he said.
"I look at the cost-benefit ratio. All associated costs in this situation are greatly outweighed by the benefits," Jensenius said.
-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.