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Harper: Turnpike Work Behind Schedule

Montgomery County State Representative Kate Harper says the widening project on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is about a year behind schedule, partly because of disagreements and possible litigation between the turnpike commission and the contractor.

She says it’s a very big and very important project.

“It’s not just going to be three lanes in each direction.  It’ll have a median strip.  Right now you have two lanes in each direction, no shoulder and a Jersey barrier in the middle.  More than 60,000 cars use that road each day, so if you have a problem and you’re in the left land it could be deadly.”

Harper says the Turnpike Commission is also deeply in debt because of a law passed a few years ago that has it paying hundreds of millions of dollars a year into a statewide transportation fund.  The plan called for tolling Interstate 80 to pay for the fund, but a federal government agency blocked the plan and more must be done to pay for road and bridge maintenance both on and off the turnpike.

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