HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court today conducted a hearing on a lawsuit filed by South Fayette and Collier townships and Bridgeville Borough against PennDOT to halt its plans to include the I-79 bridge near the Bridgeville exit on its list of nine bridges throughout the Commonwealth that will be tolled under the public-private partnership (P3) bridge program, said Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny).
In November 2020, PennDOT’s P3 Board voted to toll interstate bridges it planned to repair or replace but did not name the specific ones. Three months later, in February 2021, PennDOT announced the list at the governor’s direction. According to Act 88 of 2012, the board must assess each project’s scope, framework and impact on citizens and do a cost/benefit analysis before approving the project. The three municipalities filed suit in November 2021 demanding PennDOT be stopped as it violated this law. In March 2022, PennDOT hired a foreign company to be the lead contractor on the tolling projects.
“From the start, I have said that PennDOT skirted the law,” Ortitay said. “Almost 18 month later, we finally have had our day in court. I’m hopeful the court will rule in the municipalities’ favor. This ill-conceived plan is just another example of the Wolf administration refusing to come to the table to find a collective solution. Instead, as it has done on many occasions, it used executive power to steamroll and get its way.”
The court is expected to rule in the coming weeks.
The 46th Legislative District includes Collier and South Fayette townships and Bridgeville, Heidelberg, McDonald and Oakdale boroughs in Allegheny County. It also encompasses Canton, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Robinson and Smith townships and Burgettstown, McDonald and Midway boroughs in Washington County.
Representative Jason Ortitay
46th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick