Pennsylvania Needs Infrastructure Investment, But Getting It Could Be Tough

Dec 22, 2016

 

In this file image, Ted Tuz, a Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation contractor inspects an Interstate 95 overpass in Philadelphia, Pa.
Credit Alex Brandon / AP File Photo

Pittsburgh is a pretty good place to talk about why reliable infrastructure matters, said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

“Last week we had a lock and dam failure. Fortunately it was short, but there was a lot of panic going on related to the level of commerce,” he said, before ticking off this fall’s closure of the Liberty Bridge, a main artery for the city, a lack of natural gas distribution infrastructure,  combined sewer overflows into the rivers when it rains. These are all infrastructure problems that affect the state’s ability to compete for business, Yablonsky said.

He was speaking at an infrastructure roundtable organized by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

The discussion was intended to highlight the importance of Pennsylvania's transportation and energy systems, but it began with acknowledging the elephant in the room: President-elect Trump has said he’ll prioritize infrastructure, but it's hard to say for sure how it will play out.

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Keystone Crossroads is a statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.