Six Major PA Turnpike Projects at Risk Due to Spiraling Debt. PTC Presses for Rollback of Transit Subsidy Payments.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, “Plans to extend the Southern Beltway and Mon-Fayette Expressway could be in jeopardy if the economy or the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s financial situation deteriorates. Prompted, in part, by spiraling debt and ballooning tolls, commissioners [on November 15] identified six major improvement proposals that officials will look to suspend if ‘future financial or economic conditions dictate’ a construction spending reduction, officials said in a news release.” The report adds, “Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said commissioners monitor the agency’s finances monthly and will look for a downturn in turnpike traffic and toll revenues or an uptick in operating costs as they determine whether they need to defer the six projects.”

The debt is largely due to $450 million annual payments to the state for transit, and the commission continues to push lawmakers for some relief. In a statement issued this week, Chairman Sean Logan said, “We simply cannot continue to burden motorists each year because of the obligation the general assembly has imposed upon the Turnpike Commission and our customers.”