Dear Editor:

Like many of your fellow constituents, I remember a time when our local highways were a source of pride, opportunity and convenience. Our bridges were safe, our commutes were fast and convenient, and our highways connected us to economic opportunity. Sadly, that's changed, with traffic congestion costing our economy over $80 billion and wasting 2.8 billion gallons of fuel every year. Nearly half of our bridges are structurally unsound or functionally obsolete. Meanwhile, poor road conditions contribute to roughly half of the nation's highway fatalities.

As constituents, each of us relies on our transportation network to get to work, to deliver the goods and services we rely on, to send our children to school and to improve our quality of life. That is why I find it troubling to learn that our road and transit network faces even more declines because of Congress' failure to enact the six-year surface transportation legislation almost a year after the previous law expired. I understand that unless new legislation is passed soon, federal investments in our roads, bridges and transit systems will be cut in half by 2012.

Needless to say, the last thing I want to do is spend more time stuck in traffic or on a broken down bus, drive over unsafe bridges, or spend more money on the groceries and goods that are shipped to my local stores. I'm also sure the last thing any of our local employers want to do is shoulder the additional costs - in lost productivity, delayed shipments and stalled deliveries - that come with congested, aging roads.

I strongly urge you to do everything possible to get Congress to pass a fully-funded transportation bill before the end of this year. Such a bill should provide the resources our state and local officials need to cut traffic, repair aging roads and bridges and improve local transit service.

Sincerely,

Denise Shaffer

1228 Hampshire Dr

Whitehall, PA 18052