JENKINTOWN, PA — U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, a Democrat representing Pennsylvania's Fourth Congressional District, stopped by this Montgomery County borough late last week to tout the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and how it is expected to benefit the Keystone State.
Dean, who was joined by local, county and state officials, gathered for a news conference at the Noble SEPTA train station in Jenkintown on Feb. 11 to speak about the legislation's role in funding infrastructure in Pennsylvania and the general region.
"Montgomery and Berks counties are ready to take advantage of the infrastructure investments Congress passed last year — from our roads, bridges, and highways to Noble station and beyond," Dean said in a statement. "These once-in-a-generation dollars will transform our communities and equip our Commonwealth for the 21st century. I'm grateful for the commitment from PennDOT, SEPTA, and local officials to see this potential realized."
Dean was joined at the event by officials including Montgomery County Commissioners Val Arkoosh and Ken Lawrence, as well as State Sen. Art Haywood, D-4, State Rep. Ben Sanchez, D-153, and Scott France of the Montgomery County Planning Commission.
Dean's visit came after Pennsylvania was recently identified as having the second highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the entire country.
"We are more than ready to put this new bridge funding to good use by working with our planning partners across the state," PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said in a statement. "We have no shortage of needs, and we have many meaningful projects that will modernize our infrastructure while creating sustainable, good-paying jobs that will be transformative for our transportation system and our local economies."
Arkoosh said that the new federal law would help Montgomery County to make even "more substantial improvements" to roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure, and fellow Commissioner Lawrence said it would help provide funding for SEPTA so the transit agency could address station accessibility.
Sanchez, who represents the 153rd Legislative District in Abington, which used to be Dean's district before she became a congresswoman, thanked Dean and the other officials at the event for helping to highlight the "desperate need for massive investment in Pennsylvania's infrastructure.
"Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act we finally hope to make that investment a reality and we could begin right here in Abington with the Noble Bridge," Sanchez said in a statement. "I look forward to working with our federal, state, county and local partners to make that happen."