HARRISBURG - Months before the federal government could approve even a plan to make I-80 a toll road, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says it knows how it would spend part of the money.
Within a decade, the commission says, it would resurface more than 200 miles of I-80 across northern Pennsylvania - most of which has not been fixed in 30 years.
Additionally, it would replace 62 bridges along I-80 that officials believe are in poor condition or are too low, according to a list of projects unveiled by the commission yesterday.
"We're just getting started," Barry J. Schoch, a commission consultant, said yesterday at a news conference.
The annual price tag for the repaving, bridge replacements and other construction work would be $250 million. It is projected that tolls would bring the state about $1 billion a year in their first decade.
The list comes amid continuing debate in Harrisburg over how to raise the $620 million needed each year to fund highway projects.
Turnpike Commission members favor tolls on I-80, while others, including Gov. Rendell, are backing a consortium's $12.8 billion bid for a long-term lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The plan to put 10 tolling stations along the 311-mile stretch of I-80 has raised the ire of businesses and legislators along the corridor.
Critics say it would impose an unfair hardship on the trucking industry and commuters.
Soon after the news conference yesterday, Pennsylvania Transportation Partners, the group that won a bid to lease the turnpike, called the commission's improvement plans "disingenuous."
Such plans are premature, said Jim Courtovich, the group's adviser, noting that the commission has yet to submit to the federal government its revised plans for I-80 tolls.