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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2020 02:14 PM
From: Senator Scott E. Hutchinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: State Highway Law Revision
In the near future I intend to re-introduce legislation amending the State Highway Law to require that PennDOT maintain all surface and subsurface drainage facilities connected with the state highways within boroughs and incorporated towns with populations equal to or less than 2,500 people.

Currently, responsibility for state highway maintenance varies based on municipality type. Generally, if the state highway is located in a township then surface and subsurface drainage systems are maintained by PennDOT, and if the state highway is located in a borough or incorporated town then only the surface of the road is maintained leaving the subsurface maintenance to the borough or town.

When the State Highway Law was originally passed, townships were small and boroughs and towns were where people lived outside of cities. The boroughs consequently had the financial ability to maintain the subsurface of the road where a township did not. In the more than 50 years since the State Highway Law was passed, the population distribution in Pennsylvania has changed dramatically. Boroughs have seen a decline in population over the years with people moving to townships or cities. This leaves the boroughs and towns with less tax base to maintain the subsurface of the state highways in their boundary. This maintenance then results in a financial strain on boroughs and towns, causing them to either cut services or increase taxes on an already shrinking and strained population.

Boroughs and incorporated towns are the backbone of rural Pennsylvania, and changing this law to reflect the current residential trends in our state would help to make boroughs and incorporated towns more solvent and successful for the citizens living in them.

Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Nathan Akers in my office at nakers@pasen.gov or 717-787-9684.

Introduced as SB283