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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 19, 2017 03:27 PM
From: Senator Donald C. White
To: All Senate members
Subject: Reimbursement Rate for Turnback Roads
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to adjust the reimbursement rate annually (based on inflation) for municipalities under the State Highway Transfer Restoration Restricted Account (Turnback Program). This proposal would also adjust the rate retroactively ten years to bring the reimbursements more in line with the actual costs associated with road maintenance and repair.

The Turnback Program allows municipalities to take over certain state-owned roads and bridges that serve local traffic. Prior to receiving ownership, PennDOT either rehabilitates the road or provides the municipality with funding for rehabilitation, reimbursing $4,000 per mile each year for road maintenance. The program, which was established in 1983, has had its maintenance payment rate increased only one time—from $2500 to $4000 in 2006. Since then, the costs of materials, labor and equipment have increased significantly, leaving many municipalities struggling to make up the difference.

My proposed bill would adjust the reimbursement rate annually for inflation (going forward and retroactively 10 years) based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland area as determined by the United States Department of Labor. Based on this proposal, the current rate of reimbursement would increase from $4000 to $4,599.

By entering into this cooperative program, municipalities have taken on the responsibilities associated with caring for roads and bridges once owned by the state. It is only fair the state maintains their end of the agreement by providing adequate funding for maintenance and repairs. This may also incentivize municipalities to take ownership of more state roads, resulting in a long-term savings to the state for maintenance of the current highway network.

Please join me in cosponsoring this bill so we can work together with our local governments to improve Pennsylvania’s road network. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Achenbach, of my staff, at 787-4404 or at aachenbach@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB444