TOP STORIES

APC to seek work zone safety solution

It probably comes as no surprise that speeding through work zones is the top safety concern among highway construction workers. Add to that the increased speed limits on the Turnpike and on sections of some Interstate Highways,… [read more]

APC to seek work zone safety solution APC to seek work zone safety solution

Governor Corbett Announces Updated 12-Year Transportation Program

The State Transportation Commission today updated Pennsylvania’s 12-Year Transportation Program with a 50 percent boost in transportation spending directly attributable to passage of Act 89 last fall. The new plan anticipates… [read more]

Governor Corbett Announces Updated 12-Year Transportation Program Governor Corbett Announces Updated 12-Year Transportation Program

NEWS & UPDATES

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4

December 16, 2014 -- Leave a Comment

Falling Gas Prices Will Have No Effect on New PA Funding Law
Retail gasoline prices have fallen to the lowest levels in more than five years, and many are wondering whether this drop will negatively affect the revenue available from the recent enactment of Act 89, PA’s most significant comprehensive transportation funding law since 1997.

Mega-bundling: Pennsylvania issues single P3 contract for 558 bridges
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has taken that concept to the extreme, bundling 558 full replacements of structurally-deficient bridges under a single US$899-million design-build-maintain contract.

Mapping out Pennsylvania’s structurally deficient bridges
We mapped out all of Pennsylvania’s structurally deficient bridges. Zoom in on your city or town, then click each dot to see a bridge’s ratings, owner, posting status, age, and more.

The state of Pennsylvania’s bridges, Part 1: How are they holding up?
Pennsylvania has more than 30,000 bridges. Some span rivers, like the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, and others are much smaller, crossing rural creeks and highways. More than 6,000 of these bridges are structurally deficient. (We put together an interactive map of the state’s structurally deficient bridges.)

The state of Pennsylvania’s bridges, Part 2: Rebuilding them faster
Twenty-three percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient, and many need to be replaced. But between permitting, design, and construction, building a new bridge takes years. Read more

News

Falling Gas Prices Will Have No Effect on New PA Funding Law

December 10, 2014 -- Leave a Comment

Price changing on gas signRetail gasoline prices have fallen to the lowest levels in more than five years, and many are wondering whether this drop will negatively affect the revenue available from the recent enactment of Act 89, PA’s most significant comprehensive transportation funding law since 1997.

The answer is no…but here’s why.

Act 89 did not change the fact that Pennsylvania’s highways are still funded by a user-pay system. Fuel taxes on gasoline and diesel remain the cornerstone of this user pay system. However, only about 11 percent of the actual price of a gallon of gasoline is determined by federal and state taxes. The vast majority is dependent upon the market price of crude oil.

The authors of Act 89 were wise in that they protected the state revenues derived by Act 89 and by effectively freezing the calculation rate used to determine that state tax level. Prior to Act 89, a large portion of the state tax rate was dependent upon a calculation of the average wholesale price of gasoline and then was run through a formula. An artificial cap was placed on this calculation formula in the mid 1980’s. This is the main reason Pennsylvania’s highway funds became stagnate because the cap was reached in the early 2000’s. Read more

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3

December 8, 2014 -- Leave a Comment

November lettings push yearly total to $2.4 billion
Act 89 continues to push construction lettings to significantly higher levels compared to last year. In November, PennDOT put out over $60 million in projects.  This now brings the year-to-date total to $2.46 billion.

What Midterm Election Results Mean for Transportation
Several victorious governors promised to find more money for transportation, while the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate may slow progress on a federal surface transportation bill.

Increase in Bike Deaths Prompts Concerns
Most of the fatalities in the past three years happened in a handful of states and were adult men, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Rabbit Transit rolls out Find My Ride PA in York
A new program is rolling out in York County aimed at increasing access and awareness of transportation options for veterans, members of the military and their families.

The hardest to build train routes in the United States
China is pondering an 8,000-mile rail route that will extend all the way into the United States. This would require a 125-mile undersea tunnel, among other feats of engineering. It’s an impressive, if not impossible-sounding, project. But back in the 1800s and 1900s, lots of U.S. rail routes looked impossible, too.

Keystone College receives PennDOT grant for trail system upgrades
Keystone College has been awarded a $755,905 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to partner with the Countryside Conservancy on the joint development of a 1.5 mile segment of hiking trail known as the Trolley Trail.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2

December 3, 2014 -- Leave a Comment

PennDOT to private companies: We want you to build CNG stations
The state Department of Transportation wants to spur the building of compressed-natural-gas stations and is using the state’s Public-Private Transportation Partnership Office to find a private company to build them.

Lehigh, Northampton counties to get $5.5M in transportation funds
Lehigh and Northampton Counties will receive nearly $5.5 million in Multimodal Transportation Funds from Act 89, the state’s transportation plan and $965,000 in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) federal funds as announced Monday morning at a meeting of the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study’s technical committee.

Pennsylvania Turnpike project to get foreign cash
Agents for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission have begun signing up Chinese investors who are promised permanent residency under a U.S. law in exchange for loaning money to help finance a major project to connect between the turnpike and Interstate 95 in suburban Philadelphia.

America’s healthy freight rail system is vital to the economy
In order to move record amounts of U.S. goods and products, U.S. rail companies have been investing hundreds of billions of dollars — $525 billion since 1980 and $26 billion in 2014 alone — to maintain and upgrade the nationwide rail network. That’s all private investment in infrastructure for the public good — and not a nickel of taxpayer investment.

STS may be part of state fueling project

The state’s Public-Private Transportation Partnership Office invites the private sector to submit qualifications to develop clean burning compressed natural gas fueling stations at public transit agencies throughout Pennsylvania.

Highway funding fix should be Congress’ top 2015 priority: Nick Ivanoff and Robert Latham

As we close the door on the 2014 General Election, it was encouraging to hear both President Obama and congressional leaders express a willingness to seek common ground on issues that present the greatest opportunity for bipartisan cooperation.