PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 47

November 29, 2021

Thruway within a year of partially opening

Kim Smith, a press officer for PennDOT’s District 3, said the northern section is more than 90 percent complete.

USDOT awards $15M grant to SEPTA

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded SEPTA a $15 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant.

PA Turnpike reform package planned in Harrisburg

After more than $104 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went uncollected last year, a state senator says he’s come up with a way to prevent future losses.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 46

November 22, 2021

PA highways rank at bottom of list in nationwide study

A new study ranks the keystone state’s roads near the bottom compared to the rest of the country. Overall Pennsylvania ranked 39th in road conditions and cost effectiveness.

Officials explain how infrastructure law will benefit African Americans

Whether it is expanding child care, making sure that children have access to clean water or investing in broadband and public transportation, most everything in the $1 trillion infrastructure law will benefit African-American communities, according to some federal lawmakers.

Johnstown’s $24M transportation grant is state’s biggest winner

The city of Johnstown was one of just three Pennsylvania communities to receive an influx of U.S. Department of Transportation funds this week to revitalize and connect commuter corridors. In total dollars, the city was the state’s biggest winner, receiving about $24.5 million received this week to develop the two-mile-long Iron to Arts Corridor.

Pa. can build a clean electric vehicle future

To protect our economy and lives from devastating climate change, the future of transportation on our roads must be based on electric power. Twenty-nine percent of greenhouse gases nationwide are generated by transportation—the largest percentage of any sector of the economy.

State plans to finish U.S. 219 in Somerset County by 2031

With billions of new dollars bound for Pennsylvania highway projects and preliminary studies ongoing for the last four-lane segment of U.S. Route 219 in Somerset County, PennDOT plans to open the road to traffic by mid-2031, the Somerset County commissioners announced Thursday.

House votes to void PennDOT’s bridge-tolling plan

Legislation that has the potential to hit the brakes on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s plan to toll as many as nine major interstate bridges, including the I-83/South Bridge in Harrisburg, won approval by the state House of Representatives on Tuesday.

CSVT eligible for federal infrastructure funding

The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project is eligible for funding as part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, which is set to receive $1.25 billion over five years from the federal infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden on Monday.

Pa. Republicans file suit against PennDOT bridge tolling plan

Republicans have now filed suit in Commonwealth Court. The suit alleges PennDOT did not undergo a fair review process before announcing the plan for Pennsylvania bridges.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 45

November 15, 2021

Infrastructure bill’s passage raises hopes for passenger rail’s return

Local leaders are increasingly hopeful that the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by Congress represents a giant step forward toward returning passenger rail service along the Route 422 corridor.

Pittsburgh-area towns sue to block tolling on I-79 bridges

Three Pittsburgh-area municipalities sued Friday to block Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration from adding tolls to an Interstate 79 bridge, saying the administration violated procedures in getting to the advanced stage of considering the idea.

White House touts clean energy, transit, rail projects in sprawling infrastructure bill

Federal officials on Tuesday offered details about how money from the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill would be spent, emphasizing the pending law’s potential to add clean energy capacity.

Legislation will examine PennDOT’s highway maintenance funding formula

Senate Resolution 53 was passed with unanimous support and directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to undertake a contemporary review, comparing transportation funding and conditions from 1997 to the present, and the foreseeable future.

PennDOT expects additional $4 billion over five years from infrastructure bill

The orange barrel brigade that identifies road and bridge construction could grow by as much as 50% over the next five years under the federal infrastructure bill passed last week.

Pa. Department of Revenue releases collection totals for the state’s 2021 General Fund

The Revenue Department said that in addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $230.8 million for the month, $19.9 million above estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $960.6 million, which is $42.4 million, or 4.6 percent above estimate.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 44

November 8, 2021

Infrastructure bill: Here’s what’s in it

Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package Friday, approving a signature part of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. It will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, touching everything from bridges and roads to the nation’s broadband, water and energy systems.

Philadelphia-area transit workers ratify 2-year pact

Members of the Philadelphia area’s largest transit workers union have ratified a new two-year contract that averted a potential walkout.

Pa. governor awards $9.5 million to clean transportation

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced this week that he was awarding $9.5 million for clean transportation technologies such as hydrogen fuel, as well as to boost air quality and reduce diesel emissions.

Comments sought on PennDOT bridge project, tolling

PennDOT is hosting an on-demand virtual public meeting for the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project from noon on Nov. 1 to Dec. 1. The meeting can be accessed online by visiting

Pa. Senate endorses truck weigh system bill

Progress continues to be made at the Pennsylvania statehouse to adopt a truck weigh station bypass system. A separate bill also covers truck weights.

The future of transportation in Pa. demands many solutions

Transportation is the backbone of our economy and the cornerstone of our quality of life. The movement of goods and services on our roads and highways is a necessity, just as is the ability to commute for work, to access health care, to enjoy leisure activities and to visit with family.

I-80 Canoe Creek Bridge project receives criticism

Thompson is arguing that PennDOT is trying to “steamroll” the public comment process for four bridge toll proposals along I-80, including the Canoe Creek bridges. He also alleges that PennDOT has shared few details to elected officials. Additionally, elected officials have not been given “adequate time to ask meaningful questions about their flawed proposals.”

Pa. ranked one of the worst states for winter driving

According to PennDOT, 51 fatal crashes happened in snow, sleet, slush, freezing rain or on icy roads last year.


Featured, News

U.S. House passes Infrastructure Investment and Jobs bill

November 6, 2021

The logjam that had delayed passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill for months dissolved last night as the U.S. House voted 228 to 206 to concur with the Senate and send the measure to President Biden for final approval.

The logjam broke when six moderate-to-conservative Democrats threatened to withhold their votes on the bill until a nonpartisan analysis of the so-called Build Back Better plan touted by Biden could be completed. Seemingly weary of another delay in moving his agenda forward, Biden implored lawmakers to put the infrastructure measure up for a vote immediately.

The bill drew support of 13 Republicans. While few in number, it nonetheless qualifies to be described as bipartisan, as it was when it passed in the Senate in early August.

The infrastructure bill includes $550 billion in new investments and is the largest U.S. public works bill ever. It will upgrade the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports, broadband, and other public works. It is expected to create several hundred thousand jobs by 2025.

The bill passed in the Senate in August and immediately was linked to the social policy measure. The social policy bill has no Republican support and is to be considered under rules that will make it exempt from a Senate filibuster, a mechanism that enables a minority to block legislation.

The analysis of the social policy bill is expected to take at least a week and possibly will not be considered until after Thanksgiving.

This PDF (click HERE) shows what Pennsylvania will receive from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs bill compared with the FAST Act.