New federal bill could help state infrastructure

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HARRISBURG, Pa.-- Congress passed a long term transportation act. It is five years and $305 billion.

"It's very welcomed that after a very long period of time that Congress was able to reach a compromise and deliver these much needed resources to Pennsylvania," PennDot spokesperson Rich Kirkpatrick said.

He said those funds can help with infrastructure project across the state. The average age of the bridges in Pennsylvania is more than 50-years-old, according to Kirkpatrick. There are more than 25,000 bridges in Pennsylvania and about 4,000 of them need replaced or fixed, according to Kirkpatrick. He said many short term bills were passed, but a long term bill was needed to budget to fix the problems.

"Projects like this, they're big, they're complicated," he said. "You can't just decide I'm going to fix this bridge now."

Kirkpatrick said with a long term bill, long term plans can be started. He said the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project will not be funded by these federal dollars. These dollars will go to other projects.

According to Congressman Scott Perry, the bill should be signed by President Obama by the new year.