Montour Bridge 2

A truck drives over a bridge on Route 254 in Montour County on Thursday that was deemed structurally deficient by Penn DOT.

More than $4 billion has been diverted from Pennsylvania's Motor License Fund to help pay for the Pennsylvania State Police, one of the reasons why the state has more than 2,800 structurally deficient bridges, according to State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

In a press release, DePasquale noted that transfers from the Motor License Fund to State Police have totaled more than $4.25 billion since the 2012-13 fiscal year, money that PennDOT could otherwise have used to address a growing list of needed repairs across the state.

“More than 2,800 state-maintained bridges across Pennsylvania are structurally deficient and our bridges average over 50 years in age – beyond what they were designed to last,” DePasquale said. “That $4.25 billion could have cut that list in half and if PennDOT could use all of the gas tax money for roads and bridges we could get that number to zero in about 5 years.”

Under the state Constitution, proceeds from the Motor License Fund are to be used solely for the construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of and safety on public highways and bridges, DePasquale said.

“There’s a whopping 57.6 cents of state tax added to each gallon of gas sold in Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said, noting that adds $5.76 to the cost of every 10 gallons of gas put in the tank. “Pennsylvanians are frustrated that our roads and bridges still need so much help at the same time we are paying the highest gas tax in the United States.”

This is a developing story.