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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 20, 2017 10:32 AM
From: Representative Stephen Bloom
To: All House members
Subject: Bridge Safety Priority Improvement Incentive

In order to expedite and encourage urgently needed bridge safety improvements across the Commonwealth, I am preparing to introduce legislation that would amend the Prevailing Wage Act to exempt the rehabilitation or repair of a structurally deficient bridge from the requirements of the act.

As we engage in the already costly process of upgrading our aging bridge infrastructure, it only makes sense to find ways to control unnecessary taxpayer costs wherever possible. To help eliminate unnecessary costs for repairing and replacing bridges that PennDOT determines are structurally deficient (those that possess deteriorated conditions of significant bridge elements and a potentially reduced load carrying capacity), my bill will waive the requirements of the Prevailing Wage Act.

Of course, federal prevailing wage requirements (Davis-Bacon Act) will still apply to bridge projects that rely on federal taxpayer dollars. According to PennDOT:
  1. In CY 2015 and CY 2016 respectively, 55% and 44% of projects including work on a bridge included federal funding.
  2. Projects that did not include federal funding were typically smaller, lower cost projects.
Unfortunately, the General Assembly cannot change the unnecessary costly mandates attached to federal dollars. However, we can and should ensure that we are stretching our scarce state taxpayer dollars for high-priority bridge projects wherever we can.

I hope you will join me by cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1227