The Daily Press
State announces annual liquid fuels distribution to support local roads, bridges
Elk County to receive $1.7 million
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that it has committed $470.2 million in liquid fuels payments to help certified municipalities maintain their roads and bridges. This year’s allocation is approximately 3% higher than last year’s. Fixing and maintaining Pennsylvania’s roads, highways and bridges is a top priority of the Shapiro administration. The announcement builds on Governor Shapiro’s commitment to ensuring Pennsylvanians can travel across the Commonwealth safely.
“We have the fifthlargest state-maintained road system in the country, and there are even more locally owned roads and bridges,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “These critical investments help keep our communities safe and connected.”
Elk County’s total allotment was just over $1.7 million for its 357.21 miles of road. The City of St. Marys received the largest amount in the county of $469,288 for their 74.42 miles of road. Ridgway’s funding was separated into two allotments, for the township and the borough at $103,860 and $129,448, for a total of $233,308, for its 36.31 miles of roads in both the borough and township. This was followed by Fox Township’s $218,021 for 47.76 miles of road, Jones Township at $163,116 for their 41.94 miles of road and Jay Township at $159,956 for their 38.76 miles of road. Additional allotments were awarded to Horton Township for $115,060 for 28.14 miles of road, Highland Township for $92,221 for 26.45 miles of road, Johnsonburg for $80,458 for 11.52 miles of road, Spring Creek Township for $70,747 for 20.90 miles of road, Millstone Township for $63,018 for 19.09 miles of road and Benezette for $42,182 for 11.92 miles of road.
The announcement also notes the population of each municipality. In Elk County this includes: 12,738 in St. Marys, 6,455 in Ridgway township and borough, 3,576 in Fox Township, 2,404 in Johnsonburg, 1,936 in Jay Township, 1,573 in Jones Township, 1,366 in Horton Township, 403 in Highland Township, 216 in Benezette, 201 in Spring Creek Township, 95 in Millstone Township.
PennDOT’s annual distributions assist with municipalities’ highway and bridge-related expenses such as snow removal and road repaving. The formula that determines the allocation a municipality will receive is based on its population and miles of locally owned roads. To be eligible for liquid fuels, a roadway must be formally adopted as a public street by the municipality, meet certain dimension requirements, and be able to safely accommodate vehicles driving at least 15 mph.
“We appreciate that PennDOT recognizes that local government is an important partner of the transportation network in Pennsylvania, being responsible for 2/3 of the road miles in the Commonwealth,” said Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Executive Director David Sanko. “This liquid fuels distribution is an integral part of local funding, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with PennDOT to help ensure that local governments are able to cover the costs of building and maintaining our portion of the network.”
“The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs commends the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for recognizing borough governments as important partners of the statewide transportation network,” said Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs Executive Director Chris Cap. “These liquid fuels allocations are an essential funding component for preserving this vast network of locally maintained roads, which are so vital to the continued economic viability of this Commonwealth.”
Act 89 of 2013 made more funding available for locally owned roadways. Before the law, municipalities received $320.8 million in liquid fuels payments.
There are 120,596 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania. Some 2,560 municipalities manage an estimated 78,000 linear miles of roadway and more than 6,600 bridges longer than 20 feet.
In addition to PennDOT’s annual liquid fuels distribution and various grant opportunities, local officials can act on several options available to them to help improve locally owned infrastructure. For example, counties can implement a $5 fee for each vehicle registered to an address within the county and use the funds on locally owned infrastructure. To date, 27 counties have implemented this fee. From December 2015 through December 2022, $218.5 million has been collected and distributed to the respective counties.
Additionally, local governments and other eligible entities may apply for low-interest loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank which helps fund and accelerate transportation projects as well as spur economic development.
For the complete list of municipal liquid fuels payments, visit PennDOT’s Municipal Liquid Fuels Program page.