One Pennsylvania: Rebuilding and Reimagining Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure

One Pennsylvania:
Rebuilding and Reimagining Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure

Allyson Schwartz knows that Pennsylvania’s manufacturers, entrepreneurs, farmers and small business owners all require a first-rate transportation system. To move people and products, they rely on top-quality highways, bridges, mass transit, ports and rail facilities. Our economic success depends not only on maintaining this system, but also on implementing a new vision for a modern, intermodal transportation infrastructure.

Our state’s infrastructure is fading. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our roads and transit a “D-” on its latest report card. Pennsylvania has the largest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has imposed weight restrictions on approximately 1,000 bridges across the Commonwealth. Nearly 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s major local and state roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition. Our buses, trolleys and commuter trains are all in dire need of upgrade.

Last year, Governor Tom Corbett belatedly approved a transportation bill to address our maintenance needs. But we must do more. We must innovate and re-imagine Pennsylvania’s infrastructure system to provide our people and businesses with unmatched opportunity.

To address Pennsylvania’s current and future infrastructure needs, Schwartz will launch Build PA, a new statewide infrastructure bank.

World Class Roads, Bridges, and Transportation Infrastructure
Build PA will allow us to modernize and maximize our existing infrastructure, provide our citizens with greater transportation options, and make our communities more livable.

A Smart Investment
Build PA will be capitalized over time with hundreds of millions of dollars in natural-gas tax profits. It will offer loans, loan guarantees, grants and other financing to start, accelerate, or expand infrastructure projects that will modernize our current infrastructure to grow economic opportunity in regions across the Commonwealth. Build PA will leverage federal, state, and private dollars to maximize the impact of our investment.

More Than Roads
Build PA will support transportation, energy, drinking water and wastewater, schools, public facilities, and telecommunication infrastructure.

High-impact, Innovative Projects
Projects will be chosen on a competitive basis and must provide public benefit, contribute to economic growth, enhance safety and mobility, engage in sound environmental stewardship, deliver results efficiently, improve quality of life, and promote sustainability.

Local Commitment
Each project will be required to have its own financial plan, and project sponsors will be required to demonstrate significant public support for the project. Build PA will expect projects to be consistent with local and regional master plans and have strong local financial commitments.

Independent Review and Oversight
To ensure that projects are chosen on merit, Build PA will be overseen by an independent commission. Members of the commission will have the necessary experience and knowledge, and will represent the geographic diversity of the state

Smarter Planning
Projects will be expected to address multiple goals, employ new technologies, and identify significant positive impact on quality of life and economic growth.

Schwartz: A Proven Record
As both a state Senator and a member of Congress, Allyson Schwartz has worked closely with mayors, local officials, small-business owners, union members, community leaders, Democrats, Republicans, and everyday Pennsylvanians to revitalize local downtowns, make our communities more livable, and strengthen the Commonwealth’s infrastructure system.

Schwartz led the way in securing over $100 million for innovative and transformative transportation projects in her home area of southeastern Pennsylvania. This investment has been crucial to local economic development, has created jobs in construction and other sectors, and has enhanced the quality of life in small downtowns. In Congress, she is the main Democratic sponsor of an innovative, bipartisan plan to leverage private investment to provide $50 billion in new transportation infrastructure funding. This legislation, the Transportation and Regional Infrastructure Project Bonds Act, could mean up to 30,000 jobs for Pennsylvania.

Click here to read Allyson’s full plan on rebuilding Pennsylvania’s infrastructure.