PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 16

April 24, 2018

The four-letter word changing daily commutes

Paying an extra toll for rush hour driving isn’t a popular idea with many motorists. But its time seems to have come. Is it here to stay?

Be aggressive on toll evaders

The turnpike’s prosecution decision is a sound one. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported in 2016 that the turnpike commission had written off about $20 million a year in unpaid tolls. Tracking down that money is important not just for the sake of revenue but as a matter of fairness for the vast majority of drivers who dutifully pay the tolls.

Associated PA Constructors holds first-ever TQI and Partnering event

Sixteen highway construction projects shared the limelight last week with the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors’ James J. Skelly Award winner at the first of what will be the Annual TQI and Partnering Awards Banquet, intended to recognize and honor projects exemplifying the goals of Pennsylvania’s Act 89 of 2013.

Pennsylvania sets stage for increased AV oversight

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has drafted guidelines for autonomous vehicle testing, but it’s unclear whether car manufacturers will comply. Without legislative action, there’s still no requirement beyond having a licensed driver behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

View from Route 30 — what’s left of it — shows enormity of collapse, landslide

The quiet media scrum on the remaining road surface Wednesday and the distant sound of two excavators and a bulldozer grading the hillside below were a stark contrast to the normally bustling highway that carries 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles a day. But the highway has been closed since three lanes collapsed April 7, causing a landslide behind Electric Avenue below that displaced 31 people and destroyed two apartment buildings and two houses.

SEPTA touts economic growth in Bucks County

A stagnant budget and aging infrastructure had SEPTA officials considering a dramatic scale-down of its transportation network five years ago. The passage of Act 89 in 2013 represented a complete reversal of fortunes that gave the transit agency funds necessary to upgrade rail stations, equipment and train cars, according to SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel.

Pa. rapid bridge replacement fast but ‘distinctly different’ from method used in deadly Fla. collapse

As Pennsylvania pushes to replace 558 bridges in a greatly compressed timeframe, engineers are convinced the methods contain no flaws such as those that resulted in the deadly bridge collapse in Florida in March, officials said Wednesday.

Number of deficient bridges cut in half by PennDOT, public-private partnership

In 2008, Pennsylvania had more than 6,000 state-owned bridges rated “structurally deficient.” Today, that number has been cut in half, to 3,098, including repairs and replacements on more than 1,600 bridges between 2015 and 2017, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announced Wednesday.

Landslide-damaged Route 30 could reopen by mid-July

PennDOT plans to repair and reopen a portion of Route 30 that was wiped out earlier this month by a devastating landslide in East Pittsburgh by mid-July.

2017 had lowest number of traffic deaths in Pa. records: PennDOT

The lowest number of people died in 2017 on Pennsylvania roads since PennDOT began keeping records, and 173 fewer than 2012.

Alternative fuel project in Honey Brook awarded $446,749 to dispense biodiesel

The Wolf Administration recently announced the approval of funding through the Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) program to support alternative fuel projects across the state that will save hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel and reduce air pollution in Pennsylvania. The program is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).


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