Media & Public Relations

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

November 21, 2007


Pa. Turnpike Commission Announces Bloomburg Public-Meeting Date

Meeting on proposed I-80 tolling scheduled for Nov. 27 at Bloomsburg University

HARRISBURG, PA (11/21/2007; 1436)(readMedia)-- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will hold a Nov. 27 public meeting in Bloomsburg, Pa., to provide information and receive input about the proposed conversion of I-80 to a toll road as mandated by Act 44, Pennsylvania’s landmark transportation-funding law. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Monty’s Assembly Room, Country Club Road, on Bloomsburg University’s Upper Campus. A video presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by a question-and-answer session.

“At my request, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will hold a public meeting in Bloomsburg to foster an open discussion about the possibility of placing tolls on I-80,” said Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11). “The meeting will provide general information about the project and allow residents to ask questions and express their concerns about the impacts tolling may have on the people and businesses in this area.”

Under Act 44, the Turnpike Commission will transfer $83.3 billion over 50 years ($1.67 billion a year on average) to PennDOT for statewide investment in ground transportation. Act 44, signed in July, pulls from several funding streams including increased tolls on the existing Turnpike, the sale of Turnpike revenue bonds and, pending federal approval, tolls collected on I-80.

The Turnpike already made two Act 44 payments to PennDOT to help close a critical funding gap in the state’s transportation budget. In all, four payments totaling $750 million will be made just in the first year. Payments to PennDOT will increase in subsequent years.

“This new revenue of nearly $292 million is a significant step in addressing our transportation-funding crisis and proof that Act 44 is already paying dividends,” Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier said. “We all understand that our communities and our economy cannot grow without a viable transportation network.”

The Turnpike Commission must first get federal authorization before collecting tolls on the 311-mile I-80. In October, the Turnpike and PennDOT filed a joint Phase I Application with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) seeking approval to toll the interstate. Act 44 allows up to 10 toll collection points to be built between interchanges, and a study is now under way to determine toll-plaza locations. Preliminary locations based on that study will likely be available in early 2008, and the Turnpike will convene a second series of public meetings next spring to unveil potential toll-plaza sites and obtain public feedback.

All display materials, handouts and comment forms provided at the Nov. 27 Bloomsburg meeting are also available on the project website,