PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2016) – The president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association today urged a legislative committee to request a study to determine the appropriate level of support for State Police operations with… [read more]

PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards held media availability recently to discuss PennDOT’s ongoing projects and needs. One of the more pressing needs she addressed was reliable federal funding. “It helps us if we have a long-term… [read more]

PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding

Happy 75th Birthday, Pennsylvania Turnpike!

On Thursday, October 1, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will turn 75 years old. It’s estimated that about 10,000 people traveled the turnpike in its first few days in 1940 and sent “Greetings from Pennsylvania Turnpike” postcards. Our… [read more]

Happy 75th Birthday, Pennsylvania Turnpike! Happy 75th Birthday, Pennsylvania Turnpike!

Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety

Drivers may begin to see more roundabouts in their Pennsylvania commutes, as studies have concluded that they are safer than traditional intersections. One such study was recently conducted in the Lehigh Valley and found that… [read more]

Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety



Highway Community Mourns Former PA Highway Secretary and PHIA President Bartlett

February 11, 2016 -- Leave a Comment

BartlettFormer Pennsylvania Highway Secretary Robert G. Bartlett, who led the Pennsylvania Highway Department under Governors Scranton and Shafer and was PHIA president from 1980 to 1986, passed away last week.

Bob was born in 1931 and graduated in 1953 from West Point with a BS in engineering. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea and had various postings in the U.S. until retiring from active duty as a captain in 1957.

He then worked as an engineer and labor relations specialist with Bethlehem Steel, and became Secretary of Highways while Pennsylvania was building the Interstate System. He served as PHIA president while he was executive vice president of L.B. Smith Inc. in Camp Hill.  He also received PHIA’s highest honor–The Transportation Advocate of the Year Award–in 1986.

“Secretary Bartlett was a terrific advocate for the highway industry in Pennsylvania, and our highway department was recognized as a national model under his leadership,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 62

February 8, 2016 -- Leave a Comment

PDSITELOGO2Transportation funding expected to fall $6B short in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania will be about $6 billion short of being able to fund all the projects legislators promised their constituents during passage of Act 89, the transportation funding bill of 2013.

Secretary Leslie Richards will break the news to the Senate Transportation Committee when she testifies Tuesday, according to a copy of her testimony obtained by the Tribune-Review.

New federal transportation bill puts Pa. on the right track – but more work is needed: Yassmin Gramian
Washington’s recent delivery of a long-term, national transportation-funding package was eagerly anticipated – and warmly welcomed – by Pennsylvania, which has a significant backlog of vital transportation needs to address.

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which was signed into law in December, will provide $305 billion in funding to states over five years, helping them build and maintain bridges, transit, rail lines, freight capabilities and ports.

Editorial: Lawmakers over-promise yet again
The growing applause from Pennsylvania drivers as gas prices dip below $2 for the first time since 2009 hit a speed bump this week with the announcement that the higher prices at the pump will not lead to many of the promised infrastructure repairs.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards said this week the three-year old transportation bill — perhaps the crowning achievement of former Gov. Tom Corbett’s one term — which was expected to lead to more than 9,500 projects worth $30 billion lacks funding for 2,800 bridge and road proposals.

PennDOT offers traffic pattern options for road project
A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation representative attended Tuesday’s Northumberland Borough council meeting, offering some thoughts and options for re-directing traffic during a borough-wide Pennsylvania Department of Transportation road upgrade.

The two-year $11 million-plus project, scheduled to commence in April 2017, will include the complete reconstruction of Route 147 (Duke Street), Route 147 (King Street), Route 11 (Water Street) and Route 11 south (Front Street) within the borough limits. Intersection improvements will be made at the Duke Street/Water Street and King Street/Water Street intersections.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 61

February 1, 2016 -- Leave a Comment

PDSITELOGO2Can Pennsylvania prevent drivers from being stranded on the Pa. Turnpike?
Hundreds of motorists that were trapped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have been freed after a statewide rescue effort. Which leaves many wondering: Can the state prevent this from ever happening again?

More than 500 vehicles — including those carrying college athletes and teenage parishioners — were stuck on the Pa. Turnpike following crashes and historic snowfall on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, the 90-mile stretch of road was reopened.

Planes, trains, automobiles: East back in business after blizzard
Airline traffic, public transportation and businesses were returning to normal across the East on Tuesday as the Blizzard of 2016 begrudgingly relinquished its icy grip on the battered region.

About 670 flights had been canceled nationwide as of 9:10 a.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. That number was down significantly from the 1,658 cancellations reported a day earlier and the 3,526 cancellations Sunday. Saturday was the worst day for fliers, with more than 4,500 cancellations across the nation.

Pennsylvania Governor Applauds State For Handling Storm
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf is showing gratitude for the work of state crews and the Department of Transportation, known as PennDOT.

The state has nearly 40,000 miles of roadway to maintain and this was a difficult task with the massive amounts of snow that fell during the weekend storm. Wolf expressed pride in the work of his state in digging out.

America’s Sudden U-Turn on Highway Fonts
In a notice posted in the Federal Register on Monday, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration announced a small change that has huge implications for the nation. The agency terminated an order it had issued back in 2004 approving the use of a new font in highway signs. Now those signs are going to change. Again. Read more


Turnpike, PennDOT Challenged By Storm

January 27, 2016 -- Leave a Comment

snow-jonasRecord-setting Blizzard Jonas proved to be a tough test for Pennsylvania’s snow removal efforts. Hundreds of motorists were trapped on the PA Turnpike as up to three feet of snow accumulated in the mid-state. According to some news accounts, the Turnpike blockage occurred when two westbound tractor trailers collided near the Allegheny tunnels.

Throughout the snow removal process, which will continue through this week in many municipalities, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards and Gov. Tom Wolf visited with PennDOT crews and monitored progress. The governor has described PennDOT’s performance as “nearly perfect.”

“PHIA supports any effort to make Pennsylvania’s highways safer, but would also like to applaud the efforts of PennDOT, the National Guard and the Turnpike Commission who worked tirelessly to make sure motorists were kept safe and evacuated as quickly as possible,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We caution motorists to stay safe for the rest of the week as their local roads are cleared.”