Work to begin earlier

U.S. 30

July 01, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Improvements to U.S. 30 east of Chambersburg are expected to begin sooner than originally planned thanks to extra money raised from the increase in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.

The state Transportation Commission last week agreed to spend an additional $750 million on road projects throughout the state over the next four years, moving up projects that had been on a waiting list or weren't being considered at all.

"Drivers will see improvements over the next four years that just months ago seemed out of reach," said state Transportation Secretary Brad Mallory.


Moved up from the latter half of the transportation department's 12-year road improvement plan is a $9.9 million project for U.S. 30 East in Franklin County.

Plans call for widening the road from two lanes to five in a 2.9-mile stretch extending from the intersection of Walker Road in Chambersburg Borough to Old U.S. 30 in Guilford Township, according to Greg Penny, spokesman for PennDOT.

The 15-member board of private citizens and lawmakers added more than 60 major road projects worth $2 billion to the 12-year plan. Projects cannot be funded without being on the plan.

Of the $2 billion, $465 million will be used for major reconstruction, $63 million for improvements to highways, $118 million for interstate and expressway renovations, and another $69 million held in reserve for future projects.

The extra money comes from the additional state revenues generated by the 3.5-cent-per-gallon gas price increase and 50 percent hike in vehicle registration fees.

The gas price increase costs the average motorist $30 more per year. The new tax is in addition to about $350 a year residents already pay in state and federal fuel taxes.

The vehicle registration fee hike for cars from $24 to $36 will go into effect today.

Drivers of tractor trailers and other heavy rigs will face $700 to $800 in registration fees as of Jan. 1.

The increases will raise $404 million annually to improve Pennsylvania's 40,000-mile state highway system.

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