Senate committee OKs work zone speed camera bill

September 29, 2015

safezone_signThe Senate Transportation Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would allow automated enforcement of speed limits in Pennsylvania’s work zones. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

Senate Bill 840, sponsored by Senators David Argall (R-Schuylkill) and Judy Schwank (D-Berks), would establish a five-year pilot program to test the automated enforcement program in active work zones on Interstate highways managed by either PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission. The owners of cars photographed traveling at least 11 miles per hour above the posted speed limit would receive a $100 citation in the mail.  The bill also requires advanced warning signs to be placed in advance of camera usage to alert motorists that automated enforcement is in operation.

If the measure receives Senate approval, it will then be considered by the House before being sent to the governor for final approval.



Happy 75th Birthday, Pennsylvania Turnpike!

September 29, 2015

On Thursday, October 1, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will turn 75 years old.

PTC75ANNIt’s estimated that about 10,000 people traveled the turnpike in its first few days in 1940 and sent “Greetings from Pennsylvania Turnpike” postcards.

Our turnpike was one of the first superhighways in the country, and was a huge tourist attraction. Before it opened, the commute from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh took seven hours; on the turnpike, it now takes just three-and-a-half hours.

Before the turnpike opened, the only option to travel from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia was the Lincoln Highway. Now known as U.S. Route 30, it was a mountainous two-lane road that cut through many small municipalities along the way. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 43

September 28, 2015

PDSITELOGO2CEO Council for Growth calls for long-term highway infrastructure funding
Greater Philadelphia’s total number of roadway miles in dire need of repair increased by 8 percent between 2005 and 2012, the CEO Council for Growth, an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, recently said.

With more than 1,000 miles of national highways plus more than 350 interstate route miles, the Pennsylvania-Delaware-New Jersey region’s infrastructure requires quick authorization of the nation’s highway and transit programs prior to the current Oct. 29 expiration date, the council said.

PUC rejects Uber petition related to limo service in Pa.
Judging from documents filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, San Francisco-based ride sharing company Uber wants to launch its UberBlack app-based black car service statewide. But a petition to waive existing regulations governing limousine service already has been rejected by the PUC, which said the company needs to submit a formal application. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 42

September 21, 2015

PDSITELOGO2State creates travelers’ website for papal visit
A detailed travelers’ website has been launched to assist people headed for the Sept. 26 and 27 visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia. “With enthusiastic crowds expected to converge on Philadelphia, this site will offer up-to-the-minute information to assist visitors and make their experience as enjoyable as possible,” said Gov. Tom Wolf who announced the launch of the site Monday.

Projected travel times rolled out on PennDOT electronic message boards
Drivers taking to midstate highways and expressways can now better gauge the time it’ll take to reach a final destination.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation rolled out new technology that has updated electronic message signs along interstate highways and major expressways. The signs now include projected travel times.

Pennsylvania lawmakers pursue changes to truck rules
As fall nears, state lawmakers in Pennsylvania continue to put in work on issues that include addressing multiple rules that affect truck drivers.

One Senate-approved bill awaiting consideration on the House floor would sync the state’s code with federal CDL regulations on license testing and learner’s permit standards.

$500K project to fix up interstates’ sign lighting set to start in October
A project to repair highway and sign lighting along the interstate highway network in northwestern Pennsylvania is scheduled to begin soon, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The project will repair and maintain lighting along interstates 79, 80, 86, 90 and 376 in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 41

September 14, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Feds: Highway funding will last until June 2016
The Department of Transportation has updated its Highway Trust Fund ticker to say that the federal government is now projected to run out of money for infrastructure projects in June 2016, six months later than previously expected.

The agency says that an $8 billion extension passed by Congress in July for the beleaguered highway fund will cover payments to states for transportation projects until the end of the third quarter of the 2016 fiscal year.

Midstate congressman pushing long-term highway funding bill
A midstate congressman isn’t hiding his frustration with the status of federal highway funding.

Republican Lou Barletta, who represents all of Columbia County and parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, Northumberland and Perry counties, says construction companies and subcontractors need to know what to expect.

Pennsylvania finalizing 25-year rail plan
Pennsylvania, which leads the nation in the number of railroads operating within its borders, is developing a 25-year plan to shape development of its freight and passenger-rail systems.

Residents can comment on the proposal, which is online at The state is hosting public meetings next week in Pittsburgh, State College and Philadelphia.