PHIA News Digest – Vol. 54

December 14, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Federal highway bill includes dollars for Erie-area bridges
Congress has approved a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill to improve major highway systems and help municipalities and counties replace or repair local bridges.

The bill earned bipartisan support in both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Fixing bridges proves a ‘good deal’ for Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Wolf may be having trouble bridging the budget gap between Democrats and Republicans, but his administration has drawn praise for its efforts to mend the state’s aging bridges via innovative financing.

The Bond Buyer, a New York-based trade publication that covers the municipal bond market, named the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority’s $721.5 million Rapid Bridge Replacement Project its “Deal of the Year” for the Northeast region.

PennDOT website to track salt trucks and snowplows
After limited testing last winter, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will roll out a program that Pittsburgh says it used successfully last year: a website to allow motorists to see where salt trucks and snowplows have treated roads.

PennDOT has installed an Automated Vehicle Location system on 516 dump trucks and 212 contracted rental trucks that take care of interstate highways and expressways. That will include 58 state vehicles and six rentals in PennDOT’s District 11, which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties.

PA Trips By Train extended to Pittsburgh
A discount rail fare program in Pennsylvania has been expanded to include Amtrak service to Pittsburgh, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

PA Trips By Train offers discounted Amtrak travel on excursions to and from Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York City. Travelers who buy one full-price adult ticket can buy a ticket for a traveling companion at 40 percent off.

Road Safety Officials Encourage Older Drivers To Assess Their Skills Behind The Wheel
PennDOT and the state Departments of Aging and Insurance are reminding older drivers to evaluate their driving abilities as part of “Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers age 85 and older are nearly twice as likely to crash compared to drivers between the ages of 16 and 19.

Governor Wolf appoints 13-member Port Of Philadelphia Advisory Committee
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced the appointment of a 13-member Port of Philadelphia Advisory Committee composed of representatives of business, labor, and government with emphasis on maritime commerce and regional transportation.

Federal law sparked by Farm Bureau supports infrastructure in Pennsylvania, nationwide
A law providing transportation funding for major construction in the commonwealth and nationwide recently passed, partially due to efforts by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB).

The law was signed by President Obama.

PennDOT’s safety patrol to the rescue
Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation says it has helped more than 16-thousand motorists along heavily traveled expressways this year thanks in part to a unique public-private partnership.

State Farm sponsors PennDOT’s safety patrol, offsetting the roughly $4 million annual cost by 11 percent.


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