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Transportation bill will impact drivers at the gas pumps

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 21 2013 04:33:38 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 21 2013 06:06:17 PM CST

Some say Pennsylvania's transportation funding plan is good because it will repair roads and bridges, but it alsowill impact prices at the pump and the amount of money you pay to PennDOT.

WEST READING, Pa. -

Some say Pennsylvania's transportation funding plan is good because it will repair roads and bridges, but it alsowill impact prices at the pump and the amount of money you pay to PennDOT.

"This bill is about re-paving roads. It is about maintaining bridges, in some cases replacing bridges," said Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach.

Berks County has a number of bridges in need of repair, Leinbach said. The weight restrictions were just lowered this summer.

"Many of those bridges, if they are lowered again because we are unable to take care of those bridges, they will be closed," said Leinbach.

Leinbach said there is also good news for drivers who travel Route 222 near Maidencreek Township. With the funding in the bill, Route 222 will be widened to a four lane highway, with possibly an additional lane for left hand turns over the next five to 10 years.

But the transportation bill will impact gas prices. The bill removes the 12 cent-a-gallon liquid fuels tax that drivers pay, but over the next five years, taxes will increase for gas stations by an estimate of 28 cents per gallon. Those opposing the bill said that can trickle down to the consumer. Drivers have mixed reviews. 

"It is outrageous. I am going to have to get me a horse," said Jeffery Bell, of Sinking Spring.

"I think higher gas prices mean people are going to drive less. They are going to stay in the area more and spend more money here instead of driving a distance to go spend money. So as a local merchant I do not think it is a bad thing," said Philip Davis, of West Reading.

With the new transportation bill, you will have to pay another dollar when you need to renew your license, and if you run a red light, the fine goes up by $125.