HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Secretaries from the state Departments of Agriculture and Transportation (PennDOT) highlighted the link the two industries share to each other and the state economy.

During the meeting, PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian discussed the progress on the department’s Road Maintenance and Preservation (Road MaP) initiative, which included improvements on lower traffic roadways like the ones used by the state’s agricultural industry.

“We’ve been forced to move funding from lower-traffic roadways to interstates or other high-traffic roads, and we’re doing what we can to address this problem,” Gramian said.

According to studies done by the department, 26% of the PennDOT-owned roads that are not interstates or part of the National Highway System are rated as “poor” on the International Roughness Index. On roadways with fewer than 2,000 vehicles, the number increases to 33%.

“Investing in transportation infrastructure strengthens competitiveness across the agriculture industry. It ensures farmers, agribusinesses and food processors can safely navigate and transport items to market and into a global economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.

On March 12, Governor Wolf signed an executive order establishing the commission, which was tasked with developing comprehensive funding recommendations for Pennsylvania’s vast transportation network.

The TROC included transportation, economic, and community stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including majority and minority leaders from the House and Senate Transportation and Appropriations committees. 

The TROC report submitted to the Governor and General Assembly on July 30 presents an overview of transportation funding in Pennsylvania and outlines the commission’s review of several potential revenue sources including road user charges, tolling, redirection of funding, fees, and taxes.

Get the latest local news, weather, and community events. Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter.