U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited Norristown yesterday to tour the Bridgeport-Norristown Viaduct. The century-old rail bridge used by SEPTA's Norristown High Speed Line is one of hundreds of pieces of transportation infrastructure in need of serious upgrades and repairs in Pennsylvania.
According to SEPTA, the bridge was constructed in 1911 and shows signs of deterioration. Inspections in the past two years have revealed severely corroded trusses, cracks in concrete piers and failing timber ties.
According to TheTrucker.com, LaHood took the opportunity to call on Congress to pass at least the transportation portion of President Obama's American Jobs Act.
“There’s no such thing as a Democratic or Republican bridge," LaHood told the crowd, according to The Trucker. "And there’s no such thing as a Democratic or Republican job when it comes to rebuilding our aging infrastructure. Congress needs to pass the transportation portion of the American Jobs Act as soon as possible so we can continue to modernize our transportation systems and keep our economy moving forward.”
According to the Department of Transportation, the transportation piece of the American Jobs Act would make an immediate investment of $50 billion in transportation infrastructure and put people back to work upgrading 150,000 miles of road, laying or maintaining 4,000 miles of train tracks, restoring 150 miles of runways, and building an next-generation air-traffic control system that will reduce travel time and delays for everyone.