HARRISBURG - The state Senate's top Republican yesterday called two U.S. representatives from his party "obstructionists" for trying to stop a plan to add tolls on Interstate 80 and use the revenue to pay for bridge and highway improvements and help mass transit.

Sen. Joe Scarnati, the chamber's president pro tempore from Jefferson County, said in a statement that the money was badly needed to fix nearly 6,000 bridges that are structurally deficient and 9,000 miles of road in poor condition.

And he blamed U.S. Reps. Phil English and John Peterson for failing to secure enough federal transportation dollars for Pennsylvania.

"It's unfortunate the congressmen only seem interested in being obstructionists, rather than working with us in finding solutions to address this crisis," Scarnati said.

Scarnati, whose north-central Pennsylvania district substantially overlaps with Peterson's, cited legislation announced last week by English and Peterson that would eliminate the state's economic incentive to place tolls on the interstate.

Peterson contended that Pennsylvania already got one of the largest shares of federal transportation funding, and that tolls on I-80 would hurt local economies.

"I think that Mr. Scarnati would be well served to have visited with his companies" before he backed the toll legislation, Peterson said.