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Corbett signs $2.3B Pa. transportation bill
By: WJAC Web Staff, The Associated Press and Gary Sinderson
CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. --
Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law a major transportation bill that will provide $2.3 billion a year for improvements to Pennsylvania's highways, bridges and mass-transit systems.
Corbett appeared Monday morning before hundreds of people for a signing ceremony at Potters Mills. The site along busy state Route 322 just outside of State College is one of the most dangerous stretches of roadway in the state, with four lanes tapering to two lanes on a hill and curving highway.
The transportation bill was approved in the state Legislature last week and the Republican governor praised lawmakers for the bipartisan vote to approve the measure.
For residents, the bill has been a bittersweet scenario. The additional money will be generated by higher gas taxes and motorist fees, but Corbett said there is "barely a spot in Pennsylvania" that will not benefit.
The governor said that the economic impact is far outweighed by the jobs included in the legislation in addition to improving public safety on the state's highways.
"This highway behind me has over 100 accidents in the past decade," said Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican from Centre County. "Penns Valley School District uses it twice a day. There is a cost to doing nothing."
The transportation bill included $761 million to revive the Route 322 project in eastern Centre County, a project that was stopped nearly 10 years ago when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced it could no longer fund the upgrade. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said that construction on the highway corridor is at least five years away.
6 News and WJACTV.com will have continuing coverage in our evening reports detailing other road projects in the bill.