Truck Group: Pa. highway plans ‘horrible’

//June 26, 2008

Truck Group: Pa. highway plans ‘horrible’

//June 26, 2008

The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, said
both the lease proposal for the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Act 44, which would
toll Interstate 80, are bad ideas.

The political gamesmanship in Harrisburg for and against the plans is not
helping truckers and other highway users, said Mike Joyce, senior government
affairs representative for the association.

“Quite frankly, we hope that this ends in a stalemate
because they’re both horrible proposals,” Joyce said.

The association, a Missouri-based trade group for
independent truck drivers, has been against the proposals from the start, but
the latest volley in the battle against increased use of tolls on Pennsylvania highways
comes a day before the state House of Representatives holds hearings on the turnpike-lease

The House Transportation Committee will hold hearings on the
issue 8:30 a.m. tomorrow and Friday in Room 140 of the Capital.

It’s too early to say if the sessions will lead to a
committee vote on the turnpike lease, also known as House Bill 2593, said
Robert Mustin, the committee’s legal counsel.

Opinions of the trucking industry are just one of many
issues on the table, he said.

The committee plans to hear testimony from the major players
in the turnpike-lease proposal, including Morgan Stanley, financial advisors to Gov. Ed Rendell on the lease deal; Spain-based Albertis Infraestructura and New York-based
Citi Infrastructure Investors, the potential leasing companies known as Pennsylvania
Transportation Partners
; and the
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

There also will
be time for the general public to comment, Mustin said.