PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 10

March 7, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Turnpike bridge closed by fractured truss on track to reopen in April

Engineers say work to repair a major bridge that links Pennsylvania and New Jersey remains on track for it to reopen in about a month. Officials with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Friday good weather has helped speed work on the Interstate 276 bridge over the Delaware River. They’re optimistic the bridge won’t need to be partially reconstructed or completely replaced.

New interchange in New Stanton designed to ease traffic flow

Jeff McLaughlin doesn’t hesitate to extol what he sees as the positive virtues of the new interchange that opened last week off Interstate 70 into New Stanton.

As manager of the Westmoreland County borough, Mr. McLaughlin is well aware of traffic congestion the old interchange caused for residents and firms like UPS, FedEx and SuperValu that have distribution warehouses there.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s decision to move the interchange 800 feet west, add longer entrance and exit ramps, install roundabouts and upgrade bridges on Center Avenue should have a positive effect, he said.

Report: PennDOT Commits to Spending $100M for I-95 Cap

PennDOT has committed $100 million to the plan to cap I-95 in Center City, Billy Penn is reporting.

In today’s budget address, Mayor Jim Kenney called for $90 million in city funding over six years to cap I-95 in town and create a park between Chestnut and Walnut streets that would allow a greater connection between Center City and the Delaware waterfront.

Lawmakers say restructuring police budget is vital. But how?

Every year, a hefty portion of the budget for the state police comes from a fund that’s supposed go toward roads and bridges.

While the commonwealth has made some moves to fix that incongruous fiscal relationship, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they still need to find a replacement revenue source.

The state police drew more than $800 million of their $1.2 billion budget from the motor license fund this year. That’s almost 70 percent.

Lawmaker says Trump infrastructure plan not all gov’t money

President Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan will likely include private projects like pipelines that don’t involve federal money but have been hindered by a lack of government permits or regulations, according to a key Republican lawmaker.

Trump has repeatedly pledged, including in his speech Tuesday to Congress, to seek $1 trillion in public and private funds to improve America’s infrastructure and create jobs. But he hasn’t provided specifics about where the money would come from or when it would be spent.

PA Municipalities to Receive Nearly $466.2 Million for Local Roads

Pennsylvania’s far-reaching transportation plan, Act 89, will allow PennDOT to distribute nearly $466.2 million in liquid fuels payments to municipalities on March 1 to help them maintain their roads and bridges.

This distribution marks a $20.9 million, or 5 percent, increase over the $445.3 million distributed in 2016. In 2013, before Act 89 was enacted, municipalities received $320.8 million in liquid fuels payments.

A human might not have to be behind the wheel of a self-driving car anymore

A new bill on self-driving vehicle testing won’t change how crashes are reported or who’s liable — but it might change whether a, you know, human has to be behind the steering wheel.

Ten state senators, including Allegheny County’s James Brewster (D), Jay Costa (D), Wayne D. Fontana (D) and Randy Vulakovich (R), introduced legislation that builds on a previous bill and creates rules for testing self-driving cars in the state.

PennDOT Announces Highway Maintenance & Preservation Initiative

Pennsylvania’s transportation secretary told lawmakers Monday about PennDOT’s new major highway maintenance and preservation effort.

Appearing at Senate Budget hearings, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards told lawmakers about PennDOT’s new “RoadMaP” initiative, with “MaP” being an acronym for Maintenance and Preservation. Richards says more than $2 billion will be allocated.

 

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