In Pennsylvania, the responsibility for maintaining our roads and bridges rests with our state and local governments. In Erie County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation owns and maintains the Interstates (90, 79 and 86), U.S. Highways (20, 19, 6 and 6N), and state routes. The remaining roadway network, as well as all traffic signals, are owned and maintained by the individual municipal governments.
In addition to our roadways and bridges, the transportation network in Erie County includes Class I and short-line railroads, daily passenger train service, an industrial port, a commercial airport, a countywide public transit system and a network of cycling and recreation trails.
While the actual construction, maintenance and repair of the transportation system are performed by these various companies, government agencies and authorities; the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development plays a significant role in coordinating these organizations, developing plans and studies, providing technical assistance and data analysis, engaging the general public and stakeholders, and prioritizing transportation funding for projects in our area.
While Erie County does not own any bridges, it assists the Cities, Townships and Boroughs that do. The County pays the 20% local share for Federally required bridge inspections. The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) can program local bridges to receive state and federal funding on the Transportation Improvement Program. Erie County and the MPO also administer the Erie County At-Risk Bridge Program and Local Use Fee Programs described below.
To visualize where the local bridges are and which have received funding for repair from Erie County click on the map below.
Local Use Fee Program
Erie County Council adopted an ordinance on December 19th, 2017 to put in place an Act 89 $5 Local Use Fee on all non-exempt vehicles in the county. The fee went into effect on March 31st 2018. These funds will be provided back to the county on a semi-annual basis. The use of these funds is at the discretion of the Erie County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
It is the MPO’s intent to use at least the first 2 million dollars collected to repair and replace deteriorated bridges owned and maintained by the municipalities. By dedicating at least 2 million dollars of the Local Use Fee to this, PennDOT has pledged a matching 2 million dollars of federal funds.
Prioritization of bridges within the county is completed by using a data driven approach. There are 112 locally owned bridges over 20 feet in Erie County, located in 27 municipalities. Of those 112, 25 are in poor condition and 6 are structurally obsolete. The MPO worked through this list to eliminate bridges identified as redundant by the municipalities, that are permanently closed, or other prohibitive factors such as ongoing litigation. The remaining bridges were prioritized by the MPO by average daily traffic (ADT) and detour plus a rank for condition based on the inspection reports as determined by PennDOT.
For completed projects, ongoing projects and future projects, contact email@example.com or call 814-451-6336.
Erie County At-Risk Bridge Program
The County has developed the At-Risk Bridge Program to assist our local municipalities with the costs of ensuring a structurally sound and safe transportation system, by providing funding for the repair or replacement of at-risk bridges. This program is funded through the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee – Act 13.
Erie County Liquid Fuels
- The Liquid Fuels Tax Act of 1931 (the Act), as codified in Title 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Chapter 90, provides all counties that are in compliance with PennDOT guidelines with semiannual allocations in June and December of each year. Payments may be made for construction, maintenance, and repair of county roads and bridges. However, Erie County does not own or maintain any roads or bridges. Fortunately, the Act also provides that counties may allocate monies from this fund to their cities, boroughs and townships for these same purposes.
- How Erie County Distributes Funding
- Erie County Council adopted an ordinance in 1978 to establish a liquid fuels committee. The 9 member committee consists of Borough, Townships, and City representatives. Then on April 27, 1982, the Liquid Fuels formula committee was formed to determine a fair and equitable formula for the distribution of county liquid fuels to the 38 municipalities in Erie County. On September 14, 1982, the Committee approved a 50% mileage, 22% population, and 28% millage formula that determines the amount of funding a municipalities receives each year. This formula continues to remain in effect to date.
Erie County allocates all funds to municipalities. In addition to the formula distribution, Emergency Liquid Fuels funds are available by application and local bridge inspection costs are reimbursed yearly to municipalities.