Continuing financial obligations will make Pennsylvania Turnpike debt unsustainable and tolls crushing for motorists and businesses, according to the state's auditor general.
"Drivers will pay $50 to cross the Turnpike in 2021, and about $150 by 2057, if Act 44 remains unchanged," Eugene DePasquale told the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday.
Act 44 of 2007, an initiative of former Gov. Ed Rendell, requires the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to pay the state's Department of Transportation $450 million annually to subsidize highway repair and mass transit. It was predicated on the Federal Highway Administration approving tolls for Interstate 80.
But the federal agency denied Pennsylvania's request for I-80 tolls. Without a dedicated revenue stream, the Turnpike borrowed more than $4 billion to continue capital projects.
The Turnpike projects it will need at least a further $11.4 billion to pay PennDOT under Act 44.