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Gov. Wolf calls on Trump for federal money for infrastructure projects

From timesonline.com

Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on President Donald Trump to “follow through” on promises he made during his State of the Union address to work with state and local governments on infrastructure projects.

In a letter to the president, Wolf urged Trump to send federal dollars to Pennsylvania so that the state can better tackle projects aimed at improving “deteriorating” infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

Wolf made his case clear in the letter: He said more than 30 percent of the state’s 6,470 county and municipal bridges more than 20 feet long are structurally deficient, despite a multiyear effort that’s seen “dramatic headway” at reducing that number statewide.

In recent years, Wolf said, PennDOT has invested $5 billion in completing 2,325 infrastructure projects, and an additional 707 projects worth $5.3 billion are underway.

That shows that Pennsylvania on a state level is committed to repairing roads and bridges. Despite that, he said it’s time for the federal government to supplement that effort.

“Clearly, there is a need for additional investment, beyond the state’s significant contributions,” Wolf said.

He said the state has identified 2,700 miles of interstate highway that need to be reconstructed or modernized, which could cost up to $14 billion. However, the state has been able to allocate only about $5.5 billion so far.

Wolf’s letter not only addressed roads and bridges, but also asked for financial assistance for water, wastewater and sewer systems.

 

Not only are communities “struggling to pay for necessary infrastructure,” Wolf said, but federal dollars continue to decline for these types of projects.

Wolf highlighted the lack of funding for issues such as broadband internet connectivity, school construction, the upgrading of aging locks and dams, and investments in “new energy.”

In a news release announcing the letter, Wolf said it’s unsustainable for Pennsylvania to continue increasing its investments into infrastructure without the federal government’s help.

“From the beginning, I have remained hopeful that the Trump administration would prioritize infrastructure investments and would work with us to address our infrastructure needs to help bolster the commonwealth’s economy and support good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians,” he said. “I urge the federal government to work with us on a meaningful proposal that will invest in our traditional public infrastructure.”

If Trump decides to heed Wolf’s call for increased funding, he will “find a ready partner in Pennsylvania,” the letter concluded.

PA Workforce Development Association