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Kurt Myers to Speak at May 23 PHIA Breakfast

The Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) will host another policy briefing breakfast on May 23, 2017, featuring PennDOT Deputy Secretary Kurt Myers.  Mr. Myers was appointed Deputy Secretary for Driver &… [read more]

Kurt Myers to Speak at May 23 PHIA Breakfast Kurt Myers to Speak at May 23 PHIA Breakfast

Committee concludes PA should restore more than $220 million for highway work

The Pennsylvania Legislative Budget & Finance Committee has released the long-awaited report determining the appropriate and justifiable amount of Motor License Fund revenue that can be used to fund State Police operations. Using… [read more]

Committee concludes PA should restore more than $220 million for highway work Committee concludes PA should restore more than $220 million for highway work

The times they are a-changin’

Although we are and always have been the Pa. Highway Information Association, we tend to take a broad view of transportation, thinking of it as a single, integrated, multi-modal system of mobility. This month, Governing Magazine… [read more]

The times they are a-changin’ The times they are a-changin’

Driverless technology advances in Pennsylvania

While engineers and auto manufacturers continue to work on driverless technology, Pennsylvania is beginning work on the regulations that will guide this fledgling industry. PennDOT assembled an Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy… [read more]

Driverless technology advances in Pennsylvania Driverless technology advances in Pennsylvania

‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag

In the last few weeks, editorials and op-ed articles have appeared in newspapers around the state in reaction to the Associated Press story about “free” state police coverage. The AP noted that nearly half of Pennsylvania’s… [read more]

‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag ‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag

NEWS & UPDATES

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 21

May 23, 2017 -- Leave a Comment

PDSITELOGO2PennDOT unveils three alternate routes for Routes 11/15 bypass in Snyder County

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has made public three alternate routes for the Central Susquehanna Thruway in Snyder County to avoid two fly ash waste basins.

Project design team members will display detailed maps of the alternate routes and be available to address questions at the meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Selinsgrove Middle School on 18th Street in the borough.

Mr. President, where’s that infrastructure plan?

Missing in action amid the hoopla on the barely passed House health-care bill and the broadly supported government funding measure is the promised infrastructure package by President Trump.

During a speech in Kenosha, Wis., on April 18, Trump declared that a sweeping change is on the horizon. “Infrastructure. Big infrastructure bill,” he said. “Infrastructure is coming, and it’s coming fast.”

But just a month before, Philadelphia’s city planning director, Anne Fadullon, had addressed the National Press Club in Washington about the uncertainty of necessary infrastructure reform. “We have no more information than you do,” she said.

Should struggling airports be turned over to companies?

St. Louis has a vexing problem with its airport: It’s too big.

Lambert International today handles only about half as much traffic as it did just over a decade ago. That’s left the facility with more than enough runway capacity and a lot of empty gates.

Why the precipitous drop in traffic? Airline consolidations. When American Airlines took over TWA, which was based in St. Louis, it stopped using Lambert as a Midwestern hub.

State officials discuss bicycle safety, improvements for cyclists

With the start of Bike to Work week, the Wolf administration announced a series of improvements for bicyclists during an event featuring an executive bike ride around Harrisburg by several cabinet members and others. Representatives from PennDOT and the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, Health and Labor & Industry joined in the ride.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 20

May 15, 2017 -- Leave a Comment

PDSITELOGO2Pa. boroughs, townships divided over Wolf’s proposed state police fee

Two local government organizations appear divided over Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to impose a $25-per-person fee on municipalities that rely solely on state police for protection.

Elam Herr, assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, said his members are wary of the fee because they fear it will eventually increase. Ed Troxell, a top lobbyist for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, said his members recently approved a resolution supporting a per-person user fee for municipalities with a population of more than 4,000.

Should PennDOT pay for most state police costs?

We’ve got to solve the Pennsylvania state police funding problem…so said one state representative Friday.  Right now, the state police budget is $1.2 billion and most of that comes from state transportation funds.

State house member Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108th, Sunbury) says this is a big problem, “We need to come to some consensus as to how we will fund the State Police, because we are taking money out of the motor license fund right now which is in the future going to hinder future road projects and maintenance.”

Municipalities to receive funds for upgrading traffic signals

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced that 94 municipalities across the state will receive $33 million to support the costs of upgrading traffic signals under PennDOT’s “Green Light-Go” program.

The reimbursement grant awards can be used on existing traffic signals to install LED technology, upgrade traffic signals and perform operations such as retiming, developing special event plans and monitoring traffic signals.

Raising the gas tax is no longer taboo in many states

While raising the gas tax is still a politically treacherous idea in Washington, lawmakers in state capitals are increasingly coming around to it. Already this year, governors in California, Indiana and Tennessee signed laws to raise fuel taxes, meaning a total of 22 states have passed laws imposing higher gas taxes in the past five years. Chances are also good that the list will grow even longer this year. Read more

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 19

May 8, 2017 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 19

PDSITELOGO2Analysis concludes municipalities with own police force pay twice the tax burden

A new report by a Pennsylvania bipartisan think tank asserts police departments are a burden to municipalities with local departments while those who rely solely on state police may get a free ride.

The report by the Pennsylvania Economy League released last week focuses on Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to charge $25 per person to municipalities without police departments, the latest proposal in what has become an ongoing debate about who should bear the cost of police services throughout the commonwealth.

PennDOT Secretary Richards receives Peter Quinn Award

Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards was given the Peter P. Quinn leadership award from the Greater Valley Forge (GVF) Transportation Management Association at a ceremony today in King of Prussia.

The Quinn award is given annually to recipients who have embodied his spirit of leadership and his belief of giving back selflessly in all that you do.  Quinn, the late founding director of GVF, worked in many different industries and leadership positions across the U.S. and throughout the world.

High-tech signals keep Monroeville-Murrysville traffic flowing

In the 30 years Shelley Earhart has lived in Monroeville and traveled U.S. Route 22, she doesn’t remember the commute being as easy as it has been over the past two years.

Traffic on Route 22 is running a whole lot smoother thanks to a $2 million traffic signal project that can think on the go — with the help of some very complicated algorithms.

Some of Pa.’s wealthiest communities get state police coverage at no cost

About half of communities home to 21 percent of the state’s residents don’t have their own police force, instead relying on state troopers.

For years, there have been complaints that this setup is unfair and proposals to address the issue — to no avail. A new study’s put hard numbers on the long-term effects of this setup. Read more

News

PennDOT Lets $172 Million in April

May 4, 2017 -- Comments Off on PennDOT Lets $172 Million in April

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let just over $172.6 million projects during the month of April according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has let just over $862 million in project lettings to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $833 million in projects.  The official 2016 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT anticipates a $2.4 billion letting program by year’s end.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full April letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

April Letting Report* (PDF)

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

Thruway project moving toward new milestone

May 2, 2017 -- Comments Off on Thruway project moving toward new milestone

Of all the transportation improvements planned or already underway since the passage of Act 89 of 2013, few fall into the category of “marquee projects.” One that does is the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project, a new, four-lane, 13-mile limited access highway in Monroe Township and Shamokin Dam Borough, Snyder County.

Looking southwest from Ridge Road across PA 147, river, and US 15The project will connect Routes 11/15 north of Selinsgrove to U.S. 15 south of Winfield and include a connector from the new highway to the Veterans Memorial Bridge on Route 61. Projected for completion in 2024, it will separate trucks and through traffic from local traffic, reducing congestion, improving safety and spurring economic growth.

Work on the northern section has commenced. The project will reach another milestone May 25 when PennDOT unveils a first draft of the southern section during a public meeting at Selinsgrove Middle School. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m.

In February, PennDOT announced that several environmental and engineering challenges had surfaced, requiring some route modifications. The proposed alternatives will be unveiled at the meeting, and PennDOT hopes to identify the preferred alternative later this year.

“Nearly every project funded by Act 89 will improve safety, reduce congestion and accommodate economic growth in some manner, but the thruway project is really a shining example,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “We hope to have more of these kinds of projects that will add capacity once we bring the existing highway infrastructure up to a better state of repair in the years ahead.”