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More cash means more road construction around here

Money from the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is coming with $266 million to be allocated for projects in this area over the course of five years.

DUNMORE, Pa. — The state of bridges and roads in Pennsylvania has been a hot topic over the years. Now with federal money, it will make several projects in our area top priority.

State and local officials were on hand at the PennDOT shed in Dunmore to announce more than $1.6 billion will be coming to fund some of PennDOT's major projects.

"Investing in our infrastructure is critical in terms of safely moving people and in supporting our economy. And the reality is that infrastructure has been chronically underfunded for many years," said Mike Keiser, PennDOT acting deputy secretary for highway administration.

Some of the bridges in our area are more than 50 years old.

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey said the bridge that recently collapsed in Pittsburgh put Pennsylvania's infrastructure in the spotlight.

"I think it indicated to all of us that if you don't invest, there is a consequence. It's not as if you can wait four years or even a generation to invest in bridge and road repair. So today's another example where we can make those investments to improve safety," said Sen. Bob Casey, (D) Pennsylvania.

Rich Roman is PennDOT's District 4 executive. District 4 covers Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties. $266 million will be allocated for projects in this area over the course of five years. More than $30 million of that will be designated for repaving and repairs on Route 6, the Casey Highway.

"We're able to move that up because we could pay for it. Now with the federal bill are also able to change the scope of work on some projects, and now maybe do a fuller repair because of the additional federal infrastructure," Roman said.

Now that spring is here, PennDOT wants to remind drivers that work on some road construction projects will begin very soon.

"In District 4, we're going to have over $500 million worth of work this year because we have projects that are multiyear, and you're going to see a lot of construction work zones. On the Casey (Highway), you're going to see them in a few weeks, and I ask everybody to just slow down," Roman added.

Other projects scheduled to start this year include work on the North Cross Valley Expressway in Luzerne County and resurfacing Interstate 84 in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

Click here for the full list of projects on PennDOT's website.

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