New administration may give the county infrastructure boost
President-elect Donald Trump says one of his priorities early in his term will be to create jobs with a nationwide infrastructure initiative. Lycoming County transportation officials say bring it on. Mark Murawski, transportation supervisor for Lycoming County, said last week’s election outcome brings with it “new opportunities.” Heartened by Trump’s highlighting of infrastructure, Murawski said, “there’s no doubt about it that we have been under-investing in infrastructure for years.” He said the key is to be ready when opportunity knocks. Murawski says transportation planners are, in fact, ready to take advantage of a big break on the federal level. Among a battery of projects ready for action as new federal investments become more likely are a new terminal at the Williamsport Regional Airport, renovation of Route 220 between Jersey Shore and Williamsport and multiple bridge renovations. All of these projects are either in progress or ready to start. That puts the county in position to jump to the front of the line if and when fresh federal funding support becomes available. Given the country’s nearly $20 trillion debt, we believe the new administration needs to be cautious about how it spends money, across the board. So we don’t want to see gobs of money thrown out there recklessly. But overdue infrastructure work that produces jobs which, in and of themselves, return tax revenues to the federal coffers, make sense. The idea must be executed with efficiency and adequate monitoring, which the federal bureaucracy is not often good at. But, if it can be executed in that manner, it makes sense.