2023 Road and Bridge Safety Award Program Open for PA’s Counties

June 8, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, News, PHIA Programs & Awards 

Each year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 40th straight year, the program is now open for Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all safety improvements were completed in 2022 or 2023.  The competition recognizes major, high-cost projects and any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information including the entry brochure. The deadline is July 7, 2023.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 23

June 5, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

Carnegie Mellon University to lead transportation consortium

Carnegie Mellon University will lead a national consortium that will establish Safety21, a new university transportation center. The U.S. Department of Transportation will provide the consortium with $20 million over the next five years.

Neilson introduces legislation to target speeding in Pa.

State Rep. Ed Neilson, chair of the PA House Transportation Committee, has introduced legislation (H.B. 1284) to make Pennsylvania’s automated speed enforcement programs in active work zones and along Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia permanent. Without legislative action, these programs are scheduled to expire in February 2024 and December 2023 respectively.

Millions in federal funding target dangerous railroad crossings

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration is awarding more than $570 million in Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program funding to 32 states, including two projects in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Revenue Department releases May collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $280.8 million for the month, $27.2 million below 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 $2.7 billion, which is $38.8 million, or 1.5 percent, above estimate.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 22

May 30, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
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Legislative shift in how PSP is funded given preliminary approval in Pa. House

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance House Bill 1162 to the full chamber. The bill is sponsored by the committee’s minority and majority chairs, Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Philadelphia, and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre.

Mon/Fayette Expressway’s next phase

A groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of the next phase of the expressway project. It will go from PA Route 51 in Jefferson Hills to PA Route 837 in Duquesne. This latest phase will have seven sections and cost an estimated $1.3 billion. Work on this phase will continue into the year 2028.

SEPTA’s Richards reappointed as manager, CEO

SEPTA announced the reappointment of Leslie S. Richards as the agency’s general manager and CEO. The SEPTA board and Richards agreed to terms of a four-year contract that runs through January 2027.



Turnpike Commission breaks ground on next phase of Mon/Fayette Expressway

May 25, 2023 by · Comments Off on Turnpike Commission breaks ground on next phase of Mon/Fayette Expressway
Filed under: Featured, News 

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials have broken ground on the next phase of the Mon/Fayette Expressway, a $214 million contract for a three-mile section from Route 51 to Coal Valley Road in Jefferson Hills.

The current expressway runs 54 miles from I-68 near Morgantown to Jefferson Hills. When completed, the $1.3 billion southern section will ultimately extend eight miles from Route 51 to Route 837 in Duquesne.

The Tribune-Review posted a two-minute video of a drone’s-eye view of the construction site. To view it, follow this link.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 21

May 22, 2023 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 21
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10K bridges should be checked for corrosion in wake of collapse

Investigators looking into the collapse of a Pittsburgh bridge want transportation officials nationwide to examine more than 10,000 other bridges with similar construction to ensure they don’t have the same kind of corrosion that was found on the bridge that collapsed.

PennDOT announces Cargo Growth Incentive Program fund extension

The Pennsylvania Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program, which looks to increase containerized cargo activity by incentivizing shippers to move cargo through Pennsylvania ports, is being extended to July 2024. PennDOT announced the extension of the program, which was scheduled to end in June 2023.

Buttigieg says Transportation Dept. is working to avoid summer travel disruptions

Just ahead of what airlines say could be the busiest Memorial Day weekend for travel since before COVID-19, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is sharing how his department is prepping for the potentially record-breaking season.

Report shows benefits of Coatesville Train Station project

Findings from an Amtrak report on the $65 million reconstruction of Coatesville’s 155-year-old train station demonstrate a ripple effect for growth that’s spurring investment totaling more than $135 million in 40 projects.

PennDOT releases Critical Infrastructure Plan

PennDOT has released the 2045 Freight Movement Plan, a comprehensive strategic plan for moving goods throughout the state. The plan provides information on Pennsylvania’s freight infrastructure and PennDOT’s efforts to continually improve the safe and efficient movement of freight statewide.

Lawmakers address rising pedestrian deaths

In response to the alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities, lawmakers propose higher fines for drivers who pose a risk to pedestrians. Rep. Steve Malagari, D-Lansdale, advocates for quadrupling the current $50 fine to $200 for drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way, particularly in school zones.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 20

May 15, 2023 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 20
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

PennDOT says motorcycle safety is a choice

As the weather gets warmer, more and more motorcycles will be on the roads. Officials in Pennsylvania are reminding drivers to use extra care. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

Number of PA motorcycle riders is declining

Data released by PennDOT show the state is slowly but surely losing the number of motorcycle riders in the state. There were 60,000 fewer in 2022 than there were in 2015.

PennDOT, PSP reminding PA riders, drivers to practice safety 

PennDOT, PA State Police, and motorcycle safety advocates joined forces to promote and encourage the safe operation of all vehicles.

PA Senate committee approves electric scooter legislation

Senate Bill 692 would allow certain municipalities the ability to approve the program locally. This includes ordinances, policies, and regulations for the safety, operation and management of the scooters.

2 PA metro areas among top 10 best for public transportation: report

The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area scored the second overall spot on the list with a composite score of 92.4 out of 100. Pittsburgh laid claim to the number 10 ranking with an 85.3.

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 19

May 8, 2023 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 19
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PennDOT secretary confirmed

A former state representative has been confirmed as Pennsylvania’s newest transportation secretary. The state Senate confirmed Mike Carroll to serve as the new leader for PennDOT. Carroll comes to the position after serving as a Democratic chairman for the House Transportation Committee for the last four years.

Your peeling license plate could cost you a $100 fine

PennDOT says thousands of state-issued license plates are peeling. At a drive-in clinic at the AAA Pleasant Hills facility on Tuesday, cars, trucks and SUVs lined up to fix their peeling license plates.

PennDOT announces 20+ forms can now be submitted online

PennDOT has announced that over 20 driver licensing and motor vehicle forms are now available to be submitted electronically. The department says the move is designed to provide faster and more efficient customer service to Pennsylvania residents.

Pa. Turnpike starts final phase of all-electronic tolling

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced it has begun the final stages of the All-Electric Tolling program.

Revenue Department releases April collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $291.0 million for the month, $4.5 million below 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 $2.4 billion, which is $66.0 million, or 2.8 percent, above estimate.

House panel examines ways to collect road costs from EV users

Thirty states have enacted road use fees for electric vehicles, Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Neilson, D-Philadelphia, said. The challenge for Pennsylvania is determining a fair and equitable way to do so, Neilson said.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No.18

May 1, 2023 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No.18
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Pa. traffic deaths fall 4% after increasing for years

Statewide traffic deaths fell to 1,179 in 2022, compared with 1,230 in 2021 (a 4% drop), according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Overall crashes, too, have dropped: the agency noted reportable crashes fell to their second-lowest level since 1951.

State police want more women on the force as vacancies pile up

In keeping with the governor’s strategy to incentivize residents to pursue work in critically short-staffed essential services, the Pennsylvania State Police has focused its efforts on recruiting more women into the force.

Buttigieg says ‘now is the time’ to push for rail safety

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says he has not forgotten East Palestine even months after the train derailment. On Tuesday, First News had a chance to get his views on President Joe Biden’s budget proposal. Buttigieg says it calls for safety enhancements in all modes of transportation.

Hopes rise for more communal transportation planning

As the public response window for PennDOT’s biennial transportation survey closes, state and local officials hope future spending plans go beyond crumbling highways.

Multimodal trail project to start soon in Erie County

The project will include installing the multi-use trail for enhanced safety along the side of the Edinboro Rd. from the entrance of the Edinboro Cemetery to the south entrance of the Giant Eagle Plaza. PennDOT said construction is expected to begin on Monday, and is expected to be completed by September 2023.

For Philadelphia transit, a canceled project could be a blessing

The scrubbed rail extension illustrates the financial crisis at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and at other transit agencies around the country. Still, some advocates say it’s an opportunity, too.


Remembering Bud Shuster

April 28, 2023 by · Comments Off on Remembering Bud Shuster
Filed under: Featured, News 

This week, the transportation world mourns the passing of former Republican Congressman Bud Shuster, who in three terms as chairman of the House Transportation Committee built a legendary record for directing federal highway funds to his beloved PA 9th Congressional District.

Nicknamed “the King of Asphalt,” he resigned his congressional seat in 2001, a day after being sworn in to his 15th term. He cited party rules that limited members to three two-year terms as committee chairs, as well as family reasons. He was succeeded by his son, Bill, who served until 2019.

According to the New York Times, Bud’s two signature pieces of legislation were the 1998 surface transportation bill, which reserved revenue from gasoline taxes for road and transit projects, and a 2000 bill guaranteeing that money from a tax on airline tickets would be dedicated to aviation.

His constituents benefited from a vast array of transportation infrastructure, up to and including the Bud Shuster Highway, which links State College, Altoona and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In 1991, former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was asked which state had received the biggest share of highway money, to which he responded, “the State of Altoona.”

Among his many honors was being named PHIA’s Advocate of the Year in 1983. PHIA extends sincerest condolences to Bud’s family and friends.

To read his Altoona Mirror obituary, follow this link.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 17

April 24, 2023 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 17
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

‘King of Asphalt’ Bud Shuster dies at age 91

Former Rep. Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania, a congressional power broker whose mastery of earmarked spending and highway projects in the 1990s earned him the sobriquet “King of Asphalt,” died Wednesday at age 91.

Charles Anderson Bridge may now be closed until 2025

An update from the city Tuesday indicates the Charles Anderson Bridge, closed since February, may stay closed into 2025. A post on the rehabilitation project’s page said repairs are “anticipated to take two construction seasons, with the possibility of extending into a third season.”

SEPTA launches on-demand transit

The Philadelphia suburbs will soon have a new transit option thanks to an on-demand service from SEPTA. Riders will be able to request a lift through their phones and see when a driver could arrive. SEPTA says there will be a 30-minute response time from the initial request.


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