Associated Pennsylvania Constructors supports transportation funding plan

The trade association representing Pennsylvania’s highway construction industry has strongly endorsed the recommendations of the Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

Robert Latham, executive vice president of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APCST) and a member of the Commission, said the benefits to residents of Pennsylvania far outweigh the modest cost to the average motorist.

“This plan, over the next decade, will give Pennsylvanians a safer, less congested highway system, as well as an efficient and safe multimodal transportation system overall,” Latham said in an Aug. 1 written statement issued by APCST. “When you consider that it’ll cost the average motorist less per week than a gallon of gas, it’s clear the investment is worth the cost.”

Latham says the Commission’s plan is fair to both Pennsylvania citizens and to motorists who travel through the state in paying their fair share of highway upkeep.

“During the last three years, our public opinion research has shown multiple times that a majority of Pennsylvanians are willing to invest $10 per month or more to improve safety and relieve congestion,” Latham said in a written statement. “That’s virtually identical to the weekly cost cited by PennDOT.

“A program of this magnitude will create tens of thousands of jobs and will be a lifeline to our industry, which is barely weathering a depressed market,” he continued. “Also, it will create jobs in industries other than highway construction, and nearly everyone will benefit from transportation system improvements in their own communities.”

Latham noted that the recommendations also include a number of modernization initiatives that will ensure transportation dollars are spent as efficiently as possible, and he pledged that the construction industry would work with PennDOT to carry those out.