Road & Bridge Safety Awards now open to PA Boroughs

January 17, 2012

Each year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.   Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2011.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.   

The 2012 program is now open to those members of the PA State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).  The progam will recognize boroughs use of highway user fees for needed community safety improvements, culminating in a presentation to the winners at PSAB’s annual conference at Seven Springs Resort on May 2, 2012.  Click HERE to download a copy of the entry brochure.  The entry deadline is March 16, 2012. 

For more information on other municipal organization’s Road and Bridge Safety Award programs, click here.



Iowa legislators stepping up on transportation

January 6, 2012

While we haven’t forgotten that the “P” in PHIA stands for “Pennsylvania,” from time to time it’s worth noting how other states are dealing with transportation funding issues.  News reports from Iowa suggest that legislators from both parties are coalescing toward a proposal to raise user fees in order to address the Hawkeye State’s transportation needs.  The effort is being advanced by legislators and is based on recommendations of the governor’s transportation advisory commission.  Sound familiar?

For a news account, click here.

To read a copy of the PA’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission Report, click here.


News, Video

Transportation funding goes bipartisan, bicameral

January 5, 2012

Support for a transportation funding solution broadened considerably this week as three leaders of Pennsylvania’s House Democratic caucus introduced legislation that mirrors the bills introduced last fall by a Senate Republican. The House and Senate versions are both patterned after the recommendations of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

State Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton), the minority whip, described the initiative as “extending an olive branch” to Republicans and Governor Corbett, signaling bipartisan support for a major policy issue at a time when school vouchers, privatization of state liquor stores and a Marcellus Shale drilling fee have languished in partisan disagreement.

At a Capitol news conference, several reporters expressed skepticism that legislators could muster the political will to address the problem in an election year. However, recent public opinion polls show that a majority of voters believe transportation funding is the most important issue currently facing Pennsylvania, and the TFAC’s proposed solution might actually save a typical motorist more than it costs in wasted gasoline and vehicle maintenance.

To view an excerpt of the news conference, click below:  [youtube][/youtube]

To see Associated Pennsylvania Constructors’ response, click here.



PennDOT ends 2011 with $1.8 billion in lettings

January 3, 2012

PennDOT lets $263 million in projects in December

The state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) bid just over $263.7 million in projects in December bringing the final year-to-date total to $1.812 billion.  In 2010, PennDOT ended the year with $2.119 billion in lettings.

PennDOT initially forecast the 2011 year to see $1.7 billion in lettings, which was the level of the program back in 2006-07.  While PennDOT slightly exceeded its forecast, the total still represents a flat construction program.  PennDOT made a 2012 construction year forecast at $1.5 billion due to a decrease in state funding and stagnant federal funding.  For more information regarding the department’s forecast you can view Dep. Secretary Scott Christie’s presentation at the annual APC Fall Seminar by going here.

It is important to note that just a few years ago, PennDOT’s 2009 lettings were $2.8 billion due to the billion dollars in economic stimulus funds, which have been completely spent.

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

*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 updates.