LEMOYNE, Pa. (WHTM) — Republican candidate for governor and Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman made his way to the I-83 South Bridge on Tuesday morning where he pledged that he will, if elected governor, stop the bridge toll plans.
“Gov. Tom Wolf and his money-hungry administration are trying to impose an admission charge on everyday life as families and businesses continue to recover from his pandemic lockdowns,” Corman said. “I’m here to stop them.”
As previously reported by abc27, PennDOT proposed tolls on several bridges, including the I-83 South Bridge, to pay for replacing or preparing the, but in a unanimous resolution back in March, Dauphin County commissioners said it is the wrong move.
PennDOT proposed the toll in 2021 to pay for replacing the bridge between Dauphin and Cumberland counties, a project that could cost between $600 and $800 million. Officials said it would create congestion on other routes as people try and avoid the toll, and it could discourage people from crossing at all.
Commissioners and state legislators recognized the need to replace the bridge but said a toll is the wrong approach. The I-83 South Bridge is one of nine across the state that would be tolled. The proposed toll would cost between $1-2 per car.
Corman said on Tuesday that PennDOT’s plan would add traffic congestion as drivers change their routes and head for local, community roads to avoid paying the possible tolls.
“The Wolf administration and its political allies on the tax-and-spend left simply haven’t met a tax or a toll they don’t want to pass,” Corman said. “At least when it comes to tolls, I intend to make these bridges ‘no passing’ zones.”
Corman says there was too little public input or legislative oversight on the proposal. He also questions why all of the bridges for which tolls have been proposed are in the districts of Senate Republicans and why I-95’s bridge in Philadelphia isn’t on the list.
“It’s got more out-of-state commuters going through it, it’s tolled south of Pennsylvania, it’s tolled north of Pennsylvania, but yet for some reason, they didn’t choose that bridge,” Corman said. He urges “some sort of analysis of why these communities were picked.”
Corman did vote for the bill that created the public-private partnership board that has authorized the tolling to generate money to pay for crumbling roads and bridges in the commonwealth.