PennDOT Invites Public to Comment on Proposed Tolling of I-80 Bridges
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – PennDOT released new information today regarding mitigation measures and public comment opportunities regarding the proposed tolling program on the Canoe Creek bridges in Clarion County and North Fork bridges in Jefferson County.
Tina Gibbs, director of community outreach for PennDOT’s tenth district, told exploreClarion.com they “are ready to move into the next phase of progress” for the program.
Following meetings with local stakeholders in which PennDOT took under consideration community concerns and ideas for improvement, they decided to make two major changes to the way tolling on the Canoe Creek and North Fork bridges.
“We’re recommending some changes to our original plan so we can kind of mitigate any potential impacts based on the information we got directly from community members, EMS members, legislators, et cetera,” said Gibbs. “There’s two big changes that we’ve realized that would help mitigate a combination of traffic and economic issues.”
Gibbs explained there will only be one-way tolling on the Canoe Creek and North Fork bridges, with eastbound traffic being tolled on Canoe Creek and westbound traffic being tolled on North Fork.
There will be no need to stop at the tolling stations, as they will utilize toll-by-plate or E-Z Pass toll collection schemes.
“There’s two reasons we’re doing that. One is to reduce the cost for travelers and to reduce the diversionary traffic that was estimated would go through the communities,” said Gibbs.
Additionally, low-income drivers that qualify for certain state departments of Human Services will be able to choose one bridge for them to cross with no fee.
“It was something that was brought in our stakeholder meetings and through our public comments,” said Gibbs. “The folks in the area, in the local communities, were concerned how this would impact low-income families. It is one of the mitigation measures after they looked through some things that would help address those concerns.”
The full press release is below:
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is hosting an on-demand virtual public meeting for the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project from noon on November 1 to December 1, 2021. The meeting can be accessed online by visiting www.penndot.gov/i80CanoeCreek. An in-person public open house will also take place on November 8 at Keystone Elementary School in Knox.
The I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project is a candidate for bridge tolling through the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership Initiative (MBP3I), as part of the PennDOT Pathways Program. The Pathways program seeks to identify potential alternative funding solutions for transportation in the state. Under the initiative, tolls collected would be used for the bridges’ construction, maintenance, and operation.
The virtual public meeting includes new information about PennDOT’s planned tolling approach for the two candidate bridges on the western end of I-80: Canoe Creek in Clarion County and North Fork in Jefferson County. Initially, each bridge was proposed for tolling in both directions, but based on public feedback and the proximity of the bridges, PennDOT will pursue one-way tolling at each of the bridges. This means that traffic would be tolled eastbound at Canoe Creek and westbound at North Fork. This reduces the number of tolls drivers would have to pay on I-80, as well as overall diversions and the need for additional tolling infrastructure.
Additional information about the project, its planned improvements and impacts, potential tolling implementation, environmental studies and mitigation, and schedule are available for review in the public meeting. PennDOT encourages everyone to review the materials and provide input on the information presented. A virtual public meeting for the I-80 North Fork project is scheduled to be available online from November 22 to December 22, 2021, with an in-person open house set for December 15.
The I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges, which cross over Canoe Creek and State Route 4005 (Tippecanoe Road) in Beaver Township, Clarion County, were built in 1966. Recent inspections show the westbound bridge is in poor condition, and the eastbound bridge is in fair condition. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe and reliable crossing of I-80 over Tippecanoe Road and Canoe Creek. The proposed project involves replacing the existing structures and updating the roadway within the project limits to meet current design standards and improve safety along the corridor.
The project team will be accepting comments throughout the duration of the comment period, which ends at 11:59 p.m. on December 1, 2021. Online comments can be submitted directly from the meeting website or via the below methods. All comments will receive equal consideration regardless of the method of submission.
Email: [email protected]
Mail: PennDOT District 10, Attn: 1-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project, 2550 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA 15701-3388
The public can also attend an in-person public open house for the project on Monday, November 8, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Keystone Elementary School, 451 Huston Avenue, Knox. At this open house, participants will have the opportunity to learn more and speak with members of the project team. The public can drop by any time during the open house at their convenience.
Those who would like to request translation services for the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project can reach out via the project email at [email protected] or hotline number, (814) 201-9939. Si usted desea solicitar servicios de traducción para el Proyecto de Puentes I-80 Canoe Creek, por favor contacte al correo electrónico del proyecto [email protected] o llame a la línea directa del proyecto (814) 201-9939.
Subscribe to PennDOT news in in Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson Counties at www.penndot.gov/District10.
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