PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 37

September 25, 2017

Route 219 extension set to open summer 2018

Construction crews are paving the way for drivers in Somerset County. The 11-mile Route 219 extension will connect Somerset to Meyersdale. The four-lane highway features six new bridges.

PA state budget woes may affect Pittsburgh’s bus system

The latest attempt to fund the state, which was passed by the PA House of Representatives, has the Port Authority warning of drastic consequences which would affect Pittsburgh residents and Duquesne students. The PA Senate voted on Wednesday, Sept. 20, to send the bill back to the House.

Pa. budget impasse leads to credit downgrade

When it returned to the Capitol last week, the House instead passed a no-new-tax plan that involved transferring money out of special state funds that pay for transportation and environmental projects, among other things.

Pennsylvania’s destructive budget machinations

Oh, what a tangled and fiscally risky web is woven when tax dollars meant to be spent on one thing are diverted to other things, scholars at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy say.

House committee chair says U.S. must explore all options to improve infrastructure

As the conversation around U.S. infrastructure increasingly turns to the dire need for new and innovative methods, leaders from across the nation gathered Monday at Texas A&M to discuss creating more efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Here’s how PennDOT is getting ready for a driver-less future

We’re in the midst of an explosion of activity related to the development of autonomous vehicle technology. What was once a figment of science fiction, self-driving cars – officially known as highly automated vehicles (HAV’s) – are ready to make their mark in a big way, particularly here in Pennsylvania.



Senate to consider House-passed plan to divert another $100 million from transportation

September 19, 2017

House Republicans, trying to avoid increasing taxes and having already approved a spending measure, have sent to the Senate a proposed revenue plan that would peel another $100 million away from transportation in Pennsylvania.

Although it’s not as much as the nearly half-billion dollars proposed to be diverted initially, it would represent yet another leak in the increased revenue stream created by Act 89 of 2013.

You may recall that the budget for this fiscal year, passed during the summer, included a diversion of $778 million from the Motor License Fund to support State Police operations. The General Assembly had rolled back the amount diverted last year by about $24 million, but instead of decreasing the diverted amount this year, the House plan would actually increase it by a $76 million. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 36

September 18, 2017

PA House Passes Bill to Raid Transportation Funds

Around 10pm on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania state House voted to raid various funds throughout the state government—including $100 million from transportation—to plug up the state budget hole.

Editorial | A completed Route 219 would give tremendous boost to region

Motorists are anticipating the opening of the new Route 219 south segment almost as much as kids look forward to Christmas.

Alloway warns lawmakers: Leave transportation money alone

A group of conservative Republicans in the House have proposed balancing Pennsylvania’s overdue budget by withdrawing money from special government accounts, including nearly half a billion dollars from transportation accounts.

Wolf administration hosting Pennsylvania’s first-ever summit on automated vehicles

A Carnegie Mellon University expert on self-driving cars is one of the featured speakers at an automated vehicle summit convened by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The murky future of driverless vehicles

There is little doubt that autonomous vehicles (AVs) are going to transform our transportation landscape. But predicting the timing of the arrival of self-driving vehicles into the mass market, and the manner and magnitude of their impact on our communities, carries considerable uncertainty.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 35

September 12, 2017

House GOP to test budget-balancing plan in growing stalemate

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will return to session Monday for the first time in seven weeks as a lengthening budget stalemate is drawing warnings by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that he is out of options to make payments on time. Hanging in the balance is $2.2 billion in program funding — about 7 percent of approved spending — and another downgrade to Pennsylvania’s battered credit rating.

Agency heads voice concern over Pa. GOP budget proposal

Agencies are raising alarms over a Pennsylvania GOP-backed House plan to redirect billions of dollars to fill gaps in the state’s badly unbalanced budget.

PennDOT, Leslie Richards to hold town hall on women, diversity at Penn State

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards is visiting Penn State Monday to help host a town hall for students and young professionals on the importance of women and diversity in transportation, engineering and public service.

Philadelphia port sees continued growth in imports

The Philadelphia port continues to be on a roll, with more containerized freight, more liquid bulk cargoes, and more cars arriving at Philadelphia’s 15 piers and terminals on the Delaware River.

2017 Highway Safety Survey

The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete and all responses, including the “comments” fields, are completely anonymous. Read more