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Transportation spending's multiple benefits

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

As Pennsylvania prepares for what is likely to be a crucial debate in Harrisburg about transportation funding early next year, here’s an article that describes both the benefits of increased spending and the costs of not doing enough, via Transportation Issues Daily. An excerpt:

A new report from economists contends each dollar invested in transportation projects can have a multiplier of 1.5 to 8 …

How does that dollar multiply? The researchers don’t examine that specifically, but we know. In just one example, the dollar multiplies through construction companies purchasing equipment and materials, and hiring or retaining workers who buy things they wouldn’t if unemployed. And these days, far too many construction workers private and union – are unemployed.

And this doesn’t even take into account how the completed projects help move people and goods faster, safer and cleaner.

On to the traffic stuff …

PennDOT today revised the schedule of lane closures and detours at the south junction of Interstate 79 and Interstate 70 in Washington County, pushing back the planned closure of eastbound I-70 by a day. The new schedule calls for closing the northbound I-79 ramp to eastbound I-70 from 8 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Thursday, with traffic detoured via the Laboratory exit to routes 40 and 519.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, I-70 will be restricted to one lane in both directions at the interchange. At 11 p.m., eastbound I-70 will close, with traffic sent via I-79 south to Laboratory and routes 40 and 519. Also at 11 p.m., the northbound I-79 ramp to westbound I-70 will close. The detour also is via routes 40 and 519.

All restrictions are to be lifted by 6 a.m. Friday. The restrictions are necessary for ongoing construction of a reconfigured interchange at the south junction in South Strabane.

UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN POSTPONED BY RAIN -- The ramp connecting inbound Route 28 to the Veterans Bridge and the ramp from the bridge to outbound Route 28 will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday for installation of signs and pavement markings. PennDOT suggests alternate routes.

A new bridge that carries Presto-Sygan Road over Thoms Run in Collier and South Fayette will open by early evening Thursday, per PennDOT. The road has been closed since mid-September.

The northbound passing lane on Route 28 between Creighton (Exit 13) and Tarentum (Exit 14) will be closed until 3 p.m. today during shoulder work.

Vance Station Road in North Strabane is scheduled to reopen at 7 a.m. Monday.

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