Exec Highway Group To Hear Rt. 422 Tolling As ‘Model’

HARRISBURG PA – The 25-mile stretch of limited-access, four-lane U.S. Route 422 between King of Prussia and Reading PA will be promoted June 6 (2011; Monday) as a potential model for tolling highways across the state in answer to Pennsylvania’s need for increased transportation funding, The Pennsylvania Independent online news service reported Friday (May 27).

The 30-member executive commission, appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett, will see a presentation demonstrating how tolls would work on Route 422 in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties, The Independent said. The commission is “looking for a way to generate more than $2.5 billion in annual transportation funding in the post-stimulus environment of declining federal spending on infrastructure,” it added.

The commission’s meeting intends to “focus on ways to make transportation spending more efficient and effective, including cost-saving proposals with revenue-raising options,” The Independent quoted state Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch as saying. “I think it is appropriate for any commission that is examining financing to look at how we are spending the current dollars,” Schoch said.

The article did not report who would make the presentation, but proposals to impose tolls on 422 automotive traffic have been advocated for almost two years by the Philadelphia-based Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and affiliated agencies.

A Route 422 Master Plan created by DVRPC identifies the need to relieve the highway’s congestion, and the agency has consistently said tolls may be the best way to raise funds to solve the problem. It also continues to study tolls as a prime revenue-generating option. The master plan itself has been endorsed by Limerick (PA) Township supervisors, rejected by the Pottstown Borough Council, and received no comment from Lower Pottsgrove commissioners.

Related (to U.S. Route 422 Corridor planning):

Graphic from The Pennsylvania Independent