PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 4

January 24, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Delaware River turnpike bridge between Pa., N.J. will be closed at least 2 weeks

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s preliminary evaluation of a fracture discovered Friday on the bridge that carries Interstate 276 over the Delaware River has determined the need for a continued closure for an indefinite period of time.

Construction is now taking place to stabilize the bridge while engineers engage in a more comprehensive assessment and structural analysis necessary to determine a permanent repair plan, according to a press release.

Pittsburgh, Penn State chosen as national autonomous vehicle testing sites

Expect to see even more autonomous vehicles driving around Pennsylvania in the coming months. The federal Department of Transportation accepted PennDOT’s request to make Pennsylvania a National Proving Ground — testing site — for Autonomous Vehicle Technologies on January 19, one month after PennDOT submitted their application.

According to a press release, the DOT chose the 10 sites out of 60 applicants based on each site’s ability to manage various roadway states, safety conditions and types of vehicles.

Feds give Pa. an extension on identity card security upgrades

Thanks to an extension granted by the federal Department of Homeland Security, Pennsylvania has been given until early June to show compliance with “REAL ID” security upgrades.

The extension forestalls – to the great good fortune of event planners, delivery truck drivers and anyone else headed for federal offices, courthouses or military bases – the federal government’s refusal to recognize Pennsylvania driver’s licenses as a valid form of identification.

Pence Tells Nation’s Mayors to Expect ‘Big’ Highway Bill

Mike Pence, just days ahead of being sworn in as the country’s new vice president, assured hundreds gathered for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting that Donald Trump will follow through with an infrastructure plan.

Trump’s Commerce pick backs public spending on transportation

Amid concerns from rural Republicans on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Commerce Department voiced support for public investments in transportation.

Wilbur Ross, who co-authored the private funding-focused infrastructure proposal that Trump floated on the campaign trail, assured senators during his confirmation hearing that the concept of using private financing was not the “be all and end all” solution.

Urban transportation’s multimodal future

The car-centric redesign of the American city that began in the early 20th century was embraced with open arms by urban planners and citizens alike. Yet now, in the early 21st century, its limitations are clear. There is a rapidly growing awareness that simply expanding our roadways won’t end congestion and gridlock.

Report predicts future boom in southwest PA freight movement

A recent analysis of the freight industry in Pennsylvania has concluded that the state’s 10-county southwest region can expect movement to increase up to 40 percent by 2040. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission released its 104-page assessment last month.

The report estimates that the southwest region will move 282 million tons of material worth $255 million annually by 2040. In 2011, the region moved 201 million tons of freight valued at $124.5 million.

Transportation agencies form ‘Smart Belt Coalition’ to collaborate on autonomous vehicles

PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission have formed the Smart Belt Coalition – a first-of-its-kind collaboration – with transportation agencies in Ohio and Michigan that will focus on automated and connected vehicle initiatives.


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