May. 28, 2020

HARRISBURG – To help improve vital infrastructure and economic development, Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Allegheny/Washington) today introduced House Bill 2556, legislation that would require the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to construct, operate and maintain the Southern Beltway Projects.

The project begins with the interchange at Interstate 79 near the Allegheny/Washington County line and proceeds approximately 12.5 miles eastward to a new interchange with the Monongahela/Fayette Expressway near Finleyville.

“This legislation is essential to the development of our local economy,” said Puskaric. “The Shell cracker plant combined with U.S. Steel will enable us to build anything in the future, but to be successful, we must have a reliable transportation network. Enacting this legislation would also allow the completion of two vital trucking routes into the Mon Valley, as well as connect us to the city of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh International Airport.”

The legislation would require the Turnpike Commission to appropriate no less than $500 million from the following sources for the implementation of the project:

• Any money of the commission that is unexpended, uncommitted or unencumbered on the effective date of the legislation.
• Any money of the commission that, for a period of five years from the effective date of the legislation, is not legally required to be expended, committed or encumbered, including any money that is necessary to preserve the rights of bondholders that exist on the effect date of the legislation.
• Any money made available to the commission from the federal government that may be expended for the projects.

“We need to repair our economy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and this is one way to do so,” said Puskaric. “It is necessary we make these critical infrastructure investments now. It will enable us to attract environmentally safe jobs and businesses back to our region.”

In addition, House Bill 2556 would require the Turnpike Commission to prepare and submit to the General Assembly a written report that explains if the issuance of debt by the commission or the Commonwealth, or both, is necessary to complete the Southern Beltway Projects.

The legislation has been referred to the House Transportation Committee for consideration.

Representative Mike Puskaric
39th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell) /