Pennsylvania Struggles With Turnpike Plans

<p>As of late, how to best operate and maintain Pennsylvania's Turnpike has become a hot issue among the state's politicians. Will they ever agree on a solution?</p>
June 5, 2007, 2pm PDT | Mike Lydon
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"First there was Gov. Ed Rendell's plan to lease the 530-mile Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private operator, which might pay as much as $18 billion for the right to operate the cash-generating toll road for up to 99 years.

In response, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which has run the toll road since it opened 67 years ago, countered with a plan that would not only preserve its existence and power but could extend its control to other roads, like Interstate 80, which would be given toll status.

Now state Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Monroeville, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has proposed a third option.

Like the governor, Mr. Markosek wants to get rid of the turnpike commission, but unlike Mr. Rendell, Mr. Markosek wants to create a new state agency that would run the turnpike and any other major highways that the Legislature decides to turn into toll roads, such as I-80, I-79 or I-81."

Thanks to Jeff Wood

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Published on Thursday, May 31, 2007 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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