On Feb. 18, 2021, PennDOT announced a toll proposal to repair and maintain the Canoe Creek bridges along Interstate 80 in Beaver Township as part of a public-private partnership. It was one of nine bridges statewide, and one of four on Interstate 80. In fact, the second bridge is next door in Jefferson County, also along I-80, over the North Fork of the Red Bank Creek. Thousands of residents, businesses and others use both of these bridges frequently.

Since the day I took office in the state House and as a local official before that, I have remained adamantly opposed to tolling any aspect of I-80. Even though this is in the very early stages of a tolling proposal, I can assure you that I remain steadfastly opposed to tolling along this important transportation and economic corridor.

PennDOT said they will consider minority and low-income populations, diversion routes through local communities and impacts of tolling infrastructure in their final decision. Once these studies on the impact of tolling are completed THIS SPRING, PennDOT will present the findings for public review and comment in a virtual public meeting. During the meeting, the team will also share project details, such as engineering design, environmental impacts, construction schedule and maintenance and protection of traffic during construction.

The Clarion County project is currently in final design. Construction is anticipated to begin between 2023 and 2025 with a three- to four-year construction period. The Jefferson County project is currently in preliminary design, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.

If we are going to stop this proposal, we need your help in the form of comments. Please use the following means to submit your comments and let PennDOT know how you would be impacted by a toll on either of these bridges:

Canoe Creek.
  o   Website: www.penndot.gov/i80CanoeCreek (Scroll to bottom of page to access link to submit comment.)
  o   Email: i80CanoeCreek@pa.gov  
  o   Phone: (814) 201-9939
  o   Mail: PennDOT District 10-0,
c/o I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project,
2550 Oakland Ave.,
Indiana, PA 15701-3388            

North Fork Creek.
  o   Website: www.Penndot.gov/i80NorthFork (Scroll to bottom of page to access link to submit comment.)
  o   Email: i80NorthFork@pa.gov
  o   Phone: (814) 796-5009
  o   Mail: PennDOT District 10-0,
c/o I-80 North Fork Bridges Project,
2550 Oakland Avenue,
Indiana, PA 15701-3388

In the meantime, we will be actively engaged with PennDOT and other relevant stakeholders to convince the state agency that these two projects should not be part of the Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative.