On Sept. 17, Asphalt Care Equipment & Supplies hosted a conference titled, “Bucks County 2005 and Beyond,” at its Bensalem, PA, facility on Galloway Road.
Hosted by local news radio personality, Paul Kurtz of KWY, the conference provided a forum in which several politicians and transportation officials from the local, state and federal levels discussed building, highway and utility projects with Bucks County contractors. Participants included U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-PA; Pennsylvania State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks County; Bensalem Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo, R; Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley; and Andy Warren, former District 6 executive of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Fitzpatrick spoke of Bucks County’s portion of the recent $286.4-billion “SAFETEA-LU” (or Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Act — A Legacy for Users) legislation signed by President Bush this past August. According to Fitzpatrick, Bucks County is to receive $26 million for eight special, or earmarked, projects, with the most significant of the lot being $8 million allocated for the long-awaited I-95 and Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange project.
Warren, who recently retired from PennDOT, spoke last during the morning conference, but fielded the most questions from the audience, who were interested in topics such as how to become a PennDOT-qualified contractor and the recent revival the Route 202 Section 700 Corridor project.
Warren also offered a caveat to the contractors in attendance. He said that when money is allocated to a particular project, contractors and other interested parties, such as the various townships and boroughs affected by that highway job, should get involved to ensure that it moves forward. By avoiding “civil wars,” as Warren put it, a much needed project can not only be completed, but the money set aside for it won’t ultimately be wasted and diverted to other less important projects, adding that the money may never return.