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PennDOT picks construction group for bridge-tolling project

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Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has picked a consortium of companies to manage construction on as many as nine major interstate bridges in Pennsylvania. Gov. Wolf’s push for tolling comes as states increasingly look to user fees to make up for declining gas tax revenue. Opponents say it will be costly to locals and businesses and create congestion.

The group’s selection was based on experience and qualifications on similarly sized projects, investment and financial experience and understanding of the project.

The companies must be based in the United States or have parent companies with a headquarters in Pennsylvania, and specialize in design or heavy construction.

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PennDOT and the consortium will enter into a “pre-development agreement” to finalize the design and packaging of the bridges. All construction work is mandated to be performed by contractors prequalified for work in Pennsylvania. At least 65% of the construction work will be subcontracted.

Tolls would be between $1 and $2, probably both ways, and could last from the start of construction for up to 30 years. The agency tried to give geographical balance to the bridges it selected to distribute the impact.

The gates would read E-ZPass transponders or license plates to collect fees, PennDOT said. The agency is in the midst of conducting public hearings and environmental reviews on the project. The first package of 33 bridges is scheduled to be under contract by December, it said.

Complete News Source: Swva Today

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