PRINTER'S NO. 1222
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE RESOLUTION
No.
209
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY RAFFERTY, HUTCHINSON, AUMENT, FOLMER, KILLION,
MENSCH, REGAN, BARTOLOTTA, VULAKOVICH AND WARD,
OCTOBER 3, 2017
REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION, OCTOBER 3, 2017
A RESOLUTION
Directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a
thorough and comprehensive analysis of the potential
consolidation of interstate operations at the Department of
Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
WHEREAS, The Department of Transportation was created in 1970
when the former Department of Highways was merged with
transportation-related functions from the Department of
Commerce, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Forests
and Waters, Department of Military Affairs and the Department of
Revenue; and
WHEREAS, With an annual budget of more than $8,000,000,000 in
Federal and State funds, the department oversees programs and
policies affecting highways, urban and rural public
transportation, airports, railroads, ports and waterways; and
WHEREAS, The department is directly responsible for nearly
40,000 miles of highway and roughly 25,400 bridges, a system
first established in 1911; and
WHEREAS, Approximately 10,600 employees at the department are
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engaged in the maintenance, restoration and expansion of the
State highway system, and work in the central headquarters in
Harrisburg and 11 engineering districts, with facilities in all
67 counties; and
WHEREAS, The department is divided into five main areas
including Highway Administration, Driver and Vehicle Services,
Planning, Multimodal Transportation and Administration; and
WHEREAS, The creation of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
was authorized in 1937, and the original 160-mile section of the
Pennsylvania Turnpike, known as "America's First Superhighway,"
opened in 1940; and
WHEREAS, The commission has an operating budget of
approximately $360,000,000 with gross toll revenue estimated at
$1,000,000,000; and
WHEREAS, The commission will have assumed nearly
$17,000,000,000 in debt by 2022, primarily as a result of
$450,000,000 in annual funding contributions to the department
required under Act 44 of 2007; and
WHEREAS, The commission is directly responsible for 552 miles
of roadway, 1,150 bridges, 79 interchange configurations, 27
maintenance facilities and 17 service plazas; and
WHEREAS, The commission is governed by five commissioners,
employs more than 2,000 employees, with two-thirds working in
field locations and the remainder working in the central
headquarters in Middletown and five maintenance districts; and
WHEREAS, The commission is divided into five main areas,
including Toll Collection, Operations, Maintenance, Human
Resources, Traffic Engineering; and
WHEREAS, The National Highway System is a network of
strategic highways within the United States, including the
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Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major
airports, ports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations,
pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities; and
WHEREAS, The department and the commission have a shared
responsibility of managing, constructing and maintaining the
Commonwealth's interstate system, including interstate and
freeway designations such as I-76, I-276 and I-476; and
WHEREAS, There has never been a study of the potential
consolidation of the interstate operations between the
department and the commission; and
WHEREAS, Both the department and the commission created a
"Mapping the Future" initiative in 2011 to discuss government
working better together by aligning areas of strength, to
initiate cooperation and reform, to maximize funding and to
explore collaboration in the areas of design, construction,
facilities, procurement and purchasing, communications and
public relations, maintenance and operations and intelligent
transportation systems; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate of Pennsylvania direct the Joint
State Government Commission to conduct a thorough and
comprehensive analysis of the potential consolidation of
interstate operations at the department and the commission
through the creation of an Interstate Operations division at the
department; and be it further
Resolved, That the Joint State Government Commission, in
conducting the study, shall do all of the following:
(1) Evaluate the cost savings, efficiencies and customer
service improvements that may materialize as a result of
consolidating the interstate operations, including personnel,
equipment, facilities and highway administration.
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(2) Identify Federal and State laws that could impact
the consolidation of interstate operations.
(3) Review cases in other states where tolled bridges or
roadways are effectively governed under a state department of
transportation.
(4) Evaluate and make recommendations on how to manage
the turnpike's debt as a result of the consolidation of
interstate operations.
(5) Evaluate and make recommendations on how to align
contractual agreements, including labor agreements,
bondholder agreements or other partnership agreements, as a
result of the consolidation of interstate operations.
(6) Propose legislation required to implement the
consolidation of interstate operations;
and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission report
its findings and recommendations to the Senate no later than 18
months from the adoption of this resolution.
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