The bulk of the allocation, $350 million, will go towards therepair of 411 bridges across the state that have been deemedstructurally deficient. The investment will allow PennDOT to beginthe repairs this year.

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"At a time when this region, the state and the nation are facingvery tough economic conditions, Rebuild Pennsylvania will injectmuch needed stimulus into Pennsylvania's aging transportationinfrastructure," says Gov. Rendell in a prepared statement. "Thisis a step in the right direction in repairing Pennsylvania'sstructurally deficient bridges."

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The bridge repairs could help boost the state's economy."Certainly a safe and efficient transportation system is criticalto any further growth," a spokesperson with the governor's officetells GlobeSt.com. "It's also a matter of safety for the manypeople already using the bridges."

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As part of the legislation, the budget of the aviation grantprogram has been doubled to $10 million. According to thegovernor's spokesperson, the program is aimed at helping smallerairports upgrade their facilities. The increased grant programbudget will be used to underwrite airfield safety improvements,construct hangars and make improvements to terminals.

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"When you have an improved transportation system, especially inrural areas or small communities, it makes those areas moreattractive to big corporations," the spokesperson explains. "Havingaccess to air transportation is very important."

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Also important is rail transportation, and the investmentincludes a $10 million increase in the budget of the railtransportation assistance program. The expanded budget, which nowstands at a total of $30 million, will be used to preserve certainrailroad bridges, construct and reestablish commercial rail lines,improve safety and add new capacity.

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"Rail is an important component of a transportationinfrastructure," says the spokesperson. "It's necessary to investin upgrades and extensions to keep Pennsylvania competitive. Thereare locations around the commonwealth where corporations couldexpand or relocate if rail access for their products wasbetter."

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"I applaud legislative leaders from both parties who, by workingtogether, not only hammered out a deal to speed restoration on somebridges, but also recognized that air and rail are vitallyimportant if we are to continue to connect Pennsylvania businessesand families to the global economy," the governor said.

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