Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials have transferred another $229.2 million to the state Department of Transportation to help address an ongoing funding crisis.

 

This is the third payment the PTC has made to PennDOT in accordance with Act 44, signed into law last year by Gov. Edward G. Rendell to generate funds for transportation and transit needs.

 

Act 44 allows for the PTC to lease Interstate-80 from PennDOT and begin tolling the road, with the commission paying PennDOT annual lease payments starting at $750 million for the current fiscal year. The PTC and PennDOT entered into a 50-year lease agreement for I-80 last October.

 

Act 44 must garner approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation before the state can begin tolling the roadway.

 

Under the legislation, the commission would have the capacity to borrow $5 billion through the issuance of special revenue bonds with no more than $600 million of those bonds to be issued in one year.

 

This most recent disbursement brings the PTC’s total payments made since last August to $520.8 million. The money, generated by toll revenues and bonding on the existing Turnpike system, will help repair roads and bridges, as well as aid public transit.

 

The PTC will make the next payment of $229.2 million by April 30. Once that is made, the commission will have fulfilled a fiscal year 2008 obligation of $750 million. The PTC expects to provide average annual payments of $946 million over the next 10 years to PennDOT. It anticipates making $83.3 billion of payments over 50 years.

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