PennDOT toll plan for I-79 bridge blocked
By Alice Crow
The PennDOT toll plan for the I-79 bridge has permanently been blocked by the Pennsylvania court. The ruling from the Commonwealth states that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has no authority to toll nine bridges across the state, including the I-79 bridge in Bridgeville.
In its decision, the court claimed that the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board, which had voted to toll the bridges, had approved a multibillion-dollar project based on a four-page PowerPoint presentation from PennDOT that did not include which public infrastructure would be impacted.
A lawsuit against the tolling plan was brought by multiple boroughs in November 2021. An injunction was placed on May 18 of this year. All work by PennDOT ceased until the court came to a final decision on June 30.
Petitions in opposition of the tolling plan were also created to show it would be a burden to some select communities who consistently use the bridges. One such petition was created by former Crafton resident, Pete Linko, on Change.org. The petition was able to garner more than 15,000 signatures and hundreds of comments.