The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will host a Public Hearing and receive public comment in-person, online and by mail on an Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared for the I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges Project in Luzerne County.
The I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges is a candidate for bridge tolling through the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (MBP3) Initiative, as part of the PennDOT Pathways Program. The Pathways program seeks to identify potential alternative funding solutions for transportation in the state. Under the initiative, tolls collected would be used for the replacement bridges’ construction, maintenance and operation.
The in-person Public Hearing will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the Nescopeck Township Social Hall, 510 Zenith Road in Nescopeck. An open house display on the project will begin at 3:30 p.m. with public testimony starting at 4:30 p.m. All materials that will be presented during the open house, including a project overview, maps, low-income tolling details, diversion route improvements and EA documents, are available online and accessible on-demand at www.penndot.pa.gov/i80Nescopeck through May 27. A physical copy of the EA is also available for review at McBride Memorial Library, 500 N. Market St., Berwick.
PennDOT and FHWA encourage the public to review and comment on the EA during this 30-day period. All comments will receive equal consideration regardless of the method of submission, whether they are provided verbally in person, in writing, via email, through U.S. mail or by way of a form on the online hearing page.
Options to provide comments are as follows:
- Public testimony will be received at the in-person hearing before an audience with a stenographer. Those providing testimony are asked to register in advance at www.penndot.pa.gov/i80Nescopeck or by calling 570-218-3559. Oral testimony will be limited to five minutes per participant and the number of slots will depend on available time.
- Individuals may provide testimony privately in a separate hearing room with a stenographer.
- Written comments may be brought to the in-person hearing, completed at the event and deposited in a comment box, or mailed to: PennDOT District 4, Attn: I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges Project, 55 Keystone Industrial Park, Dunmore, PA 18512.
- Comments may be emailed to i80Nescopeck@pa.gov.
- The public may provide comments through the form available online at www.penndot.pa.gov/i80Nescopeck.
- Comment forms will be provided at the in-person Public Hearing and at locations where the EA is available for review.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors opposes PennDOT’s plan to begin tolling nine bridges along Pennsylvania interstates beginning in 2023. The Board believes that PennDOT did not follow the proper process for selecting the bridges and that spot tolling will cause unnecessary disruptions to businesses and local communities. The Chamber has joined the statewide No P3 Bridge Tolling Coalition to advocate that PennDOT work with the legislature to identify long-term solutions to fund Pennsylvania’s infrastructure that do not cause such disruptions.