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Turnpike Comm. warned about increasing debt

Published January 07. 2012 09:02AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state auditor general says the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has seen its long-term debt more than double since state lawmakers approved legislation requiring the commission to provide infrastructure funding to PennDOT.

Auditor General Jack Wagner says the agency's debt has ballooned from $2.6 billion to $7.3 billion since Act 44 was passed in 2007.

Under Act 44, the turnpike commission must supply the state Department of Transportation with $450 million annually to pay for bridge repairs, road work and mass transit. The arrangement expires in 2057.

The agreement allowed the turnpike commission to install toll booths on Interstate 80 to raise additional revenue, but the Federal Highway Administration nixed that plan.

Turnpike CEO Roger Nutt says the commission is financially sound and has a fiscally responsible approach to its debts.

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