Area highway upgrades and PA firefighters are impacted by shutdown funding

I-83 signs 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, January 29, 2019:

Anyone traveling in and through central Pennsylvania on area highways knows that truck and car traffic volume is on the rise. Traffic growth is one of the pitfalls of a thriving economy.

More traffic means greater wear and tear on the highway system and highlights the need for possible road expansion projects.

Construction projects on I-83 around Harrisburg are currently underway. The master plan includes improvements to area interchanges and bridgework. Funding is approved and work on I-83 will happen over the next 10 years. I-83 could be expanded to 12 lanes between Paxton and Second Streets in Harrisburg.

The I-81 “plan,” however, is still in the concept phase. A feasibility study is complete, but no money is allocated and there is no timeline, either. A lot must happen before any construction takes place. I-81 may be widened to six lanes between the Maryland border and I-78.

Appearing on Smart Talk Tuesday to discuss highway planning is Mike Keiser, PennDOT District 8 Executive.


Mike Keiser

Also, fire companies in Pennsylvania are experiencing extreme shortages of volunteers. Since the 1970s the number of volunteers have dropped dramatically.

Some area companies recently received a FEMA grant to help pay for a recruiting campaign to attract volunteers. The problem is that while companies have obligated the grant money, they have yet to be reimbursed due to the recent government shutdown.

The shutdown may be over for now, but that doesn’t mean the money is flowing yet.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the impact this has on recruitment is Duane Hagelgans, spokesman for the Lancaster County Fire Chiefs Association.