PHIA News Digest – Vol. 19

April 13, 2015

PDSITELOGOVolunteers Needed in Statewide Roadside Cleanup
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking volunteers for this year’s Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, which began March 1 and runs through May 31.

“Pennsylvania is a beautiful state, and it’s imperative that we work together to keep it that way,” Acting Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “I urge individuals to join the thousands of volunteers in their communities to participate in the cleanup this year to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.”

Not all of Pa.’s new ‘transportation’ taxes and fees are paying for transportation work: As I See It
Having spent a worklife in the highway construction business, I was pleased to see the Pennsylvania legislature pass Act 89, the transportation funding bill of 2013. It created a sustainable funding mechanism and went a long way toward shoring up our transportation system, improving safety, relieving congestion and putting people back to work.

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, a considerable and growing portion of that new funding is being diverted from bridge and highway work for other purposes – primarily for the state police, but also for the Department of Agriculture’s weights and measures activities. This is not a transparent funding process.

Shuster says Congress will act on transportation funding this year
The current funding authorization law, MAP-21, was to expire in October, but Congress extended it to May. Mr. Shuster said he doubts a long-term measure can be pushed through by then but predicted action would come later this year.

Transportation Committee Stresses Long-Term Solution On Roadshow
A team of six members of Congress led by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster crossed the state of Pennsylvania this week, emphasizing the importance of a long-term transportation bill along the way.

Dubbed the Pennsylvania Roadshow, the event focused on the state of infrastructure in Pennsylvania and the nation as well as the federal-state partnership in infrastructure. Shuster’s committee is responsible for oversight of and legislation authorizing the federal transportation and infrastructure programs.

‘Devastating’ impacts to Pennsylvania bridges, roads if federal funding not approved: say lawmakers, officials
Approximately $1.6 billion worth of road and bridge projects in Pennsylvania are in jeopardy of being lost as lawmakers urge Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill.

Federal and state lawmakers as well as transportation secretaries from several states toured various areas of the state Tuesday to bring attention to infrastructure needs and the need for federal funding.

Former Pa. Gov. Rendell, auditor general DePasquale argue for transportation funding
The federal government’s failure to invest in money on roads, bridges and public transportation is fiscally irresponsible, former Gov. Ed Rendell and state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said at a transit conference in Lancaster on Wednesday.

The pair called on congressional lawmakers to pass a comprehensive transportation bill.

Pa. officials stress economic need for more transportation funding
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster hosted three other congressmen, four state transportation secretaries and three logistics industry leaders Wednesday at a roundtable meeting to make his case for a five- to six-year federal transportation bill.

“Transportation is the lifeblood of Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Jeff Stroehmann, vice president of Moran Industries.


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