, according to reports by the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Gov. Ed Rendell called on the General Assembly this week to help him in developing a plan to adequately fund the state's transportation systems.
The state has proposed tolls on Interstate 80 three times, with the federal government rejecting the third proposal last month. Federal rules require tolls on an interstate be dedicated to improvements on that highway. Pennsylvania's plan, however, called for the income from the tolls to be spread around the state, and so it was rejected.
This time around, the tolls would be collected where vehicles enter and leave the state and would be allocated to that particular road, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports. This would include I-79 in western Pennsylvania, I-90 in northwestern Pennsylvania, I-80 in the north, I-95 in the Philadelphia area, and on I-78 and I-84 in the east.
The new tolling structure was proposed by Reps. Bill Kortz of Dravosburg, Michael O'Brien of Philadelphia and Scott Conklin of Centre County.
Gov. Rendell said the federal government's third rejection created an immediate need for $472 million in next year's budget and a $60 billion hole over the life of Act 44, the 2007 transportation funding law that was enacted with widespread bipartisan support. It called for tolling I-80 as well as annual toll increases on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
According to Conklin, the new tolls could generate between $235 million and $300 million a year, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports.
To read more about the state's transportation funding crisis, visit www.dot7.state.pa.us/transportationfundingcrisis.