Officials stand up for transportation in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Federal and state officials united with labor leaders to stand up for transportation Thursday morning.

They rallied at Dilworth Park for Congress to pass legislation continuing federal transportation funding by a May 31st deadline.

"The American infrastructure is crumbling and as a result, we're endangering our public safety," former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell said.

"Our goal is to generate excitement and pressure to pass a long-term transportation funding bill," Thomas Caramanico of the Chamber of Commerce said.

"Transportation is not a Republican or Democratic matter. It helps everyone," Leslie Richards, Acting PennDOT Secretary, said.

"It's a safety bill. Too many times people we read people are getting hurt, maimed, and killed on our roads," Congressman Robert Brady said.

"We need transportation in this country more than we need oxygen. We need it and we need it now," Patrick Eiding of AFL-CIO said.

Federal funding is the lifeblood for most big transportation projects involving trains, planes, and automobiles.

If the May 31st deadline is missed, many projects from current road rebuilding to mass transit upgrades would be at risk.

"If a federal bill doesn't continue all projects that are currently under construction come to a stop," Barry Seymour of the Delaware Valley Planning Commission said.

Seymour highlighted I-95 construction and SEPTA's upgrades to the viaducts on the Norristown High Speed Line as examples of projects that would come to a halt.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.