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Study Highlights Pennsylvania's Aging And Crumbling Infrastructure

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A new study highlights Pennsylvania's aging and crumbling infrastructure.

A nationwide study found the state has some of the worst highways and bridges in the country.

The study was conducted by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. TRIP said traffic is increasing, but highway conditions are falling apart.

In Pennsylvania, the study found 5 percent of the state's interstate highways are in poor condition, good for the 11th-worst mark in the country. Another category was structurally deficient interstate bridges. Pennsylvania was 12th worst nationally at 4 percent.

"Infrastructure is not a one-and-done project. It is something that needs reinvestment and continued investment," said Jason Wagner, managing director of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association.

Wagner said funding for highways is eroding and suggests the state should start building it back with the gas tax money. Some of the money currently helps fund state police.

"We are not by any means advocating or suggesting they get a budget cut. We are suggesting they fund the state police from the general fund or another dedicated fund for the state police," Wagner said from his Harrisburg office.

According to Wagner, that would free up about $750 million a year, which could help replace some interstate bridges. The TRIP study said about 60 percent of bridges in Pennsylvania are at least 50 years old.

"The amount of freight traffic and the amount of smaller truck deliveries is increasing, and it's putting a toll on our infrastructure network," Wagner said.

As for our highways, they need an overhaul too. In fact, Wagner said Interstate 70 in our area needs major upgrades and repairs.

Wagner feels repairs should be done sooner rather than later or upgrades will cost even more. KDKA has reached out to PennDOT to see how it is addressing these issues and is waiting for a response.

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