The following is an excerpt from an article posted on www.pottsmerc.com. It was written by Holly Herman MediaNews Group.
Nearly $700 million in upgrades to three major highways in Berks County — Routes 422, 222 and 61 — is set to be slashed from the county’s transportation budget, officials revealed Thursday.
The cutbacks are required in the wake of a PennDOT funding reallocation from local roads to interstate highways.
Berks County has already secured $270 million for Interstate 78 upgrades extending from exit 35 in Greenwich Township to exit 45 at the Lehigh County line, and upgrades to intersections near the Cabela’s in Tilden Township.
In comparison, Routes 422, 222 and 61 are the primary roads commuters drive to work in Berks, the Delaware Valley, the Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, Lebanon and Harrisburg.
The federal funds trickle down to PennDOT and are allocated to local transportation networks.
Berks County faces a $68 million cut in funding during the next four fiscal years, which begin Oct. 1, 2020. A $240 million reduction is anticipated in the next decade, which concludes Sept. 30, 2030.
“The 422 project takes priority over the 222 project,” Michael W. Rebert, executive director of PennDOT’s District 5 office, said during a standing-room only meeting in the Maidencreek Township municipal building on Thursday.
As a result, he said, the state plans to allocate $312 million in discretionary funds to the project in 2027.
The funding is expected to be spread out over six years.