PHIA News Digest – Vol. 32

July 13, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls to go up again
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission today approved a 6 percent toll increase effective Jan. 3, the eighth consecutive year in which tolls will have risen.

The increase will apply to both cash customers and E-ZPass users but will leave in place a roughly 40 percent difference in electronically paid tolls and the higher-priced cash option.

Planned highway closure in 2016 draws business complaints
PennDOT says the work is necessary to prevent debris from falling from the rock slopes cut out of a mountain during the 1930s.

The department says the project will require the use of giant cranes that won’t leave room for traffic. It says the work will be done when the days are long so contractors can work longer.

Highway dilemma ignites new tax fight
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water Wednesday on a bipartisan plan to use revenue from tax reform to repair the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, even as Republicans grope for a way to keep highway projects running this summer.

McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled plans to take up consideration of a highway funding bill as early as next week, less than three weeks before a July 31 deadline. But while McConnell gave few details on what Republicans would offer, he expressed deep skepticism that a new tax reform framework put forth by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) holds the solution.

McConnell, Ryan at odds over highway fix
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are at odds over how to extend highway funding past a looming July 31 deadline.

The two men can agree on this: A full six-year extension of highway projects won’t come together in the next few weeks — making some sort of short-term extension necessary — and Congress won’t raise the gas tax.

Pa. Turnpike looks to do away with toll collectors
The opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s first all-electronic toll facility in Bucks County in January will be the first step toward doing away with cash tolls – and toll collectors – all along the turnpike.

All-electronic tolling also is part of the long-delayed direct connection between the turnpike and I-95, now under construction.


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