2021 Road and Bridge Safety Award Program Open for PA’s Counties

July 27, 2021 by · Comments Off on 2021 Road and Bridge Safety Award Program Open for PA’s Counties
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 38th straight year, the program is now open for Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2020 or 2021.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information including the entry brochure. The deadline is October 1, 2021.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 29

July 19, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 29
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

PennDOT releases crash data from 2020

PennDOT has released crash data and statistics from crashes in Pennsylvania in 2020, where over 100,000 crashes were reported.

Commission considers gasoline tax alternatives

A commission appointed by Governor Wolf is looking at alternative ways to fund road and bridge repairs in the Commonwealth. But those alternatives could end up costing taxpayers a lot more.

PennDOT releases transportation equity report

PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian announced the release of the department’s first Dismantling Systemic Racism and Inequities report, which evaluates PennDOT’s diversity and inclusion efforts, better understanding structural racism in transportation, and evaluating programs and initiatives that could help support equitable transportation in Pennsylvania.

SEPTA, other Pa. transit agencies seek new funding methods

SEPTA and other Pennsylvania transit agencies are asking state legislators to create new funding streams to address money from the state turnpike system that is coming to an end, and to take other measures to address transit needs.

 

History and Impact of Motor License Fund and General Fund Payments to the PA State Police 2001-2021

July 13, 2021 by · Comments Off on History and Impact of Motor License Fund and General Fund Payments to the PA State Police 2001-2021
Filed under: Facts & Figures 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 28

July 12, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 28
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

State considers package fee to help fund transportation

When Gov. Tom Wolf set up a commission in March to review how transportation should be funded in Pennsylvania, he encouraged members to think outside the box. Instead, they’re thinking about the box itself.

Police patrolling for aggressive drivers through Aug. 22

During the enforcement effort, officers will be on the lookout for red light running, tailgating, pedestrian safety, heavy truck violations, driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or other aggressive driving behaviors.

PennDOT to disperse more than $15M in grant funds

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that 50 municipalities will receive more than $15.6 million to support traffic signal upgrades, increasing mobility and efficiency across Pennsylvania’s communities through PennDOT’s “Green Light-Go” program.

Pa. Turnpike tolls to jump by 5% next year

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will rise another 5% in January, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission decided Tuesday. The agency board voted to impose the higher rates as of Jan. 2.

 

Transportation advocates turn attention toward Washington

July 8, 2021 by · Comments Off on Transportation advocates turn attention toward Washington
Filed under: Featured 

Two weeks ago, we expressed optimism that the then soon-to-be-enacted PA budget would include a boost in transportation funding. We’re pleased to report that the General Assembly and governor saw fit to add $279 million to PennDOT’s construction program this fiscal year, enough to keep hundreds of highway builders working and continue much-needed bridge and road improvements. The added revenue comes from American Rescue Act funds.

As we put the budget behind us and state lawmakers recess until late September, our attention turns toward activities in Washington, where the bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act awaits Senate approval after advancing from a unanimous Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Our ever-vigilant Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition distributed this draft letter to Coalition members asking them to consider contacting Senators Casey and Toomey to push for Senate leaders to schedule floor time for the bill this month. Doing so would signal support for the measure, which would increase federal highway investment by 34 percent.

As those who follow transportation funding know, the previous funding mechanism expired in 2020, but the renewal process stalled and the funding program was extended for just a year. A longer-term funding mechanism would provide the certainty that the industry requires to function efficiently.

We hope to be able to report good news in the coming weeks.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 27

July 6, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 27
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

PennDOT invites private industry to submit P-3 qualifications

The state’s Public-Private Transportation Partnership Office is inviting the private sector to submit their qualifications to compete for the opportunity to enter into a progressive public-private partnership with PennDOT to administer the Major Bridge P3 Initiative.

Key senator infuriated after PennDOT moves forward on bridge tolling plan

Senate Transportation Committee Majority Chair Wayne Langerholc Jr. said the agency’s “knee-jerk announcement” left him and other lawmakers “blindsided” after they negotiated a $279 million increase in funding for the agency with Gov. Tom Wolf last week.

Feds award $275 million to ease truck congestion

Highway expansion projects aimed at improving the flow of truck freight in seven parts of the country will collect roughly $275 million from federal coffers in the latest round of discretionary grants awards.

Gov. Wolf, U.S. DOT announce $70 million for infrastructure

Governor Tom Wolf joined U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on a press call to announce that Pennsylvania has been awarded $70 million in federal grant funding to address two critical infrastructure projects in the commonwealth – safety improvements to Route 61 in Schuylkill County and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s Southport Wharf Development and Port Expansion project.

Rep. Smucker introduces legislation assessing e-vehicle user fee

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) introduced legislation Wednesday to establish a user fee for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to fund the Highway Trust Fund.

Plan for PA roads and state police

The Pennsylvania General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help fix our deteriorating roads and bridges while also solving the funding dilemma of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Pa. statewide mask mandate lifted unless you’re on public transportation

The mask mandate in Pennsylvania was lifted on Monday, June 28. However, there are some exceptions.

PennDOT opens diverging diamond interchange in York County

PennDOT opened a diverging diamond interchange or DDI in York County on Sunday. It is the third in the state and second in the south-central region. It is on I-83 Exit 4-Route 851 in Shrewsbury Township.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 26

June 28, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 26
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

Pa. must stop raiding fund to repair roads, bridges

We are seeing both in Harrisburg and Washington serious discussions on infrastructure which is an encouraging sign, including bipartisan discussions with President Biden on a long-term plan.

Pa. charges into future adding ‘at least 500 more’ EV plugs statewide

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is charging into the future with the addition of at least 500 new electric vehicle plugs statewide. The “shocking” news is a positive sign for car buyers who were already on the edge of making the leap to all-electric.

Officials say speed cameras are working, but stiffer fines needed

A year after PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission used cameras to spot more than a quarter-million drivers speeding through Pennsylvania construction zones, those organizations are praising the system in a report to legislators and promoting strengthening the program.

Study highlights Pa.’s aging infrastructure

A new study highlights Pennsylvania’s aging and crumbling infrastructure.
A nationwide study found the state has some of the worst highways and bridges in the country.

Guest column: We need to address infrastructure needs today

While the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave an overall grade of C-, a GPA outside of the D range for the first time in 20 years, we still have a funding gap of over $2.5 trillion.

 

Highway builders await budget approval with optimism

June 25, 2021 by · Comments Off on Highway builders await budget approval with optimism
Filed under: Featured, News 

It appears that the 2021-22 Pennsylvania state budget could be wrapped up by the end of this week. The construction industry is hopeful that its advocacy efforts will pay off with additional funding for PennDOT’s capital projects, which could support several thousand family-sustaining jobs for this construction season.

The advocacy efforts generated hundreds of emails and phone calls to legislators and Governor Wolf. The contacts were made to demonstrate widespread support for addressing PennDOT’s short-term funding needs, nudging the capital project expenditures back closer to where they have been in recent years. They had been proposed to dip to levels not seen since 2008.

The advocacy efforts also included news media outreach through TV, radio and print media outlets. APC’s Bob Latham was at the center of those efforts. To hear Bob’s 4½-minute interview on ABC27’s “This Week in Pennsylvania,” follow this link.

We’ll be back with an update once the budget is approved.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 25

June 21, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 25
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

This Week in Pa.: APC transportation funding initiative

In part 2 of This Week in Pennsylvania, Dennis Owens interviews Robert Latham of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors. Follow the link to hear the 4½-minute segment.

Pa. Reps. Lamb, Fitzpatrick introduce bridge legislation

The Support for Community Bridges Act would set aside 2.5 percent of federal highway aid to fund repairs for off-system bridges that are structurally deficient. Any bridge or road not on the National Highway System is designated as off system.

Billions diverted away from transportation projects

Pennsylvania pays the second highest gas tax in the nation at more than 58 cents per gallon. The money generated by the tax is earmarked for the state’s highway fund to pay for transportation infrastructure construction and repair. But since the early 2000s, billions of dollars from the fund have been used to pay for State Police operations away from their intended purpose.

Pa. lawmaker proposes alternative to tolling bridges

Pennsylvania state Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., (R) 35th District, is the architect of a package of bills, supported by Republican colleagues, called the Drive Smart Act. Proposals in that package of bills include funding alternatives to tolling.

PennDOT warns motorists after work zone crashes

PennDOT is reminding motorists to drive safely in work zones following three separate work zone intrusions in the northwest region resulting in motorists hitting a PennDOT crash truck.

Philly schools invest in clean transportation

The district hopes to replace 4% of its bus fleet with electric buses every year. The district currently has 350 buses. Eventually they’d like to have a total of 410 vehicles, with 20% electric.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 24

June 14, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 24
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

Pa. Turnpike unveils possible remedy to issue of truck parking

Pennsylvania is in the middle of the nationwide truck parking problem, where an initial lack of parking spots has gotten worse amid the dramatic growth of e-commerce and its need for home deliveries.

All PennDOT driver’s license, photo centers will close in observance of Juneteenth

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that all driver license and photo centers will be closed on Friday, June 18, in observance of Juneteenth.

Senate committee unveils rail and transportation safety bill

The Senate Commerce Committee unveiled a bipartisan bill Thursday to provide $78 billion in funding for rail networks, major grant programs and road safety agencies, a second jigsaw piece in efforts to put together a transportation spending package.

House panel advances $547 billion surface transportation bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced, 38-26, a five-year, $547 billion surface transportation bill largely along party lines early Thursday morning. Two Republicans, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico, supported the bill.

All the Pa. projects in U.S. House Dems’ $547B transportation bill

U.S. House Democrats’ highway funding bill is poised to include roughly three out of five transportation projects submitted by members, as legislators vie for their share of federal dollars through the resurrected congressional earmarks process.

Pa. Senate bill aims for statewide EV infrastructure

The Pennsylvania Senate is considering legislation (SB 435) requiring the State’s electric distribution utilities to build out transportation electrification infrastructure statewide.

Pittman’s transportation funding bill passes committee

State Senator Joe Pittman has announced the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved legislation concerning diverting state funds from essential transportation improvement projects to support the Pennsylvania State Police.

Selling Americans on electric vehicles handicapped by charging time

If the auto industry is to succeed in its bet that electric vehicles will soon dominate the roads, it will need to overcome a big reason why many people are still avoiding them: fear of running out of juice between Point A and Point B.

 

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