PHIA News Digest – Vol. 53

December 7, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania lawmakers advance bridge commission, authority reforms
Multiple efforts moving through the Pennsylvania statehouse would reform and provide more legislative oversight of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and Delaware River Port Authority.

The DRJTBC maintains and operates seven toll bridges and 13 free bridges connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The agency is made up of 10 commissioners with five from each state.

Pennsylvania’s P3 Board endorses bridge, transit improvements
Supported by Gov. Tom Wolf, the state’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board recently authorized a project aimed at improving county-owned bridges throughout the commonwealth and bolstering Middletown transit development in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Federal bill includes funds to fix Pennsylvania bridges
The new federal transportation bill, known as the FAST Act, includes nearly $370 million over five years to help counties and municipalities repair or replace bridges.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., pushed for the additional funds for bridges that are not part of the federal highway system. About $73 million a year was authorized for Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2014 and had to be approved annually.

Pennsylvania P3 Board approves bridge, transit projects
The Pennsylvania Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board recently approved projects that will improve 34 bridges in Northampton County and assist in “transit development” at a Middletown train station. “Public-private partnerships are one way that we can leverage private-sector ideas and resources to improve transportation in our state,” Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary and P3 Board Chair Leslie Richards says. “Whether started by the department or suggested by the private sector, we have many options to deliver improved or new services.”

PennDOT works to reduce wait times at photo license centers
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is making a special effort to reduce waiting times at photo license centers in Pittsburgh and four other area facilities.

The state announced Thursday that the centers will be among 27 using a computerized system known as “Orchestra” to monitor wait times. If supervisors in Harrisburg see a center with a long wait time, they can redeploy personnel from other centers to the busy location.

PennDOT, Safety Partner Present Traffic Safety Program to Local College Students
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Community Traffic Safety Project today partnered to highlight the dangers and consequences of impaired driving at Mansfield University in Mansfield. The program was presented as part of “Operation Safe Holiday,” an enforcement initiative that focuses on nighttime seat belt use and impaired-driving.


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