PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 8

February 21, 2019

AG: Rising police demand tied to pension problems

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale drew a link last week between helping struggling municipal pension plans get out of debt and easing demand for state police coverage in additional parts of Pennsylvania.

State Police nab 1,800 drivers for ignoring restrictions during winter storms

Pennsylvania State Police issued citations to more than 800 drivers of commercial vehicles — including tractor-trailers, flatbeds, box trucks and buses — for ignoring or violating emergency road restrictions during severe storms this week.

‘Roadmap’ puts DEP squarely behind greater use of electric vehicles

It may not be the Green New Deal, but a new report by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tries to nudge the state toward greater use of electric vehicles.

Pennsylvania commits funding $670 million transportation project for State College connection

A $670 million project to improve the connection on U.S. Route 322 between the top of the Seven Mountains and State College will become a reality, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Rep. Smucker to serve on three transportation infrastructure subcommittees

Smucker will serve on the Hazardous Materials and the Subcommittee on Aviation, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol 4. No. 7

February 11, 2019

Change is coming for people who need rides to medical appointments, and LANTA is worried

Transportation authorities are warning the switch could mean a change in service hours, a change in providers and potentially higher costs for clients.

Pittsburgh residents don’t fear driverless vehicles, survey says

Pittsburghers are – by and large – comfortable sharing the road with autonomous vehicles, bucking national trends that show most U.S. drivers distrust driverless technology.

State, local leaders urge Congress to act on infrastructure plan

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti both told members of Congress how they campaigned to raise their constituents’ taxes for infrastructure, and emerged victorious.

Should all Pa. towns pay for police protection? Q&A with Rep. Mike Sturla

For more than a decade, state Rep. Mike Sturla pushed legislation to force municipalities that rely solely on the state police for protection to help pay for those services.

PhilaPort nears completion of deepening project

PhilaPort, the Port of Philadelphia, is nearing completion of the Delaware River Deepening Project. The project will create a 45-foot shipping channel capable of accommodating vessels as large as 14,500 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

Municipalities would pay up to $7M for state police under Wolf’s proposed budget

Municipalities now getting free state police coverage would be asked to pay as much as $7 million for it under one component in the governor’s proposed budget.

Some love for the infrastructure we already have

While federal policymakers prepare to debate how they might provide more funding for new or improved infrastructure, state and local governments are beginning to tackle the long-neglected issue of deferred maintenance with money, muscle and spreadsheets.

Transportation Safety Board releases “Most Wanted” list for reducing traffic deaths

The National Transportation Board is working to decrease the number of traffic fatalities across the nation by targeting three key factors — speeding, alcohol and drug-related incidents, and distracted driving.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 6

February 4, 2019

Archer & Greiner appoints former PA legislator John Taylor as director of public affairs practice

Archer & Greiner is pleased to announce John J. Taylor has been appointed as director of the Pennsylvania practice of Archer Public Affairs, a governmental and external relations affiliate of Archer.

Gov. Wolf names projects to receive Multimodal Transportation Fund grants

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 50 highway, bridge, transit, aviation, and bike and pedestrian projects in 23 counties were selected for $44.5 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

Trump executive order promotes domestic construction materials

President Donald Trump Jan. 31 signed an executive order promoting – and potentially requiring – expanded use of American-made materials (including steel, iron and cement) on federally-financed infrastructure projects.

Road crews will go from plowing snow to patching potholes

“We’re going to see more potholes popping up during this freeze-thaw cycle,” says PennDOT’s Assistant District 11 Executive Angelo Pampena.

Capital investments, infrastructure high on priority list for Pennsylvania municipalities

Capital infrastructure maintenance and improvement is the No. 1 priority for more than 21 percent of Pennsylvania municipal governments, according to the Municipal Management Priorities Survey prepared for the Chrostwaite Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on research and government efficiency.

Wolf wants PA severance tax to pay for massive infrastructure rebuild

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday outlined a $4.5 billion plan to restore the state’s infrastructure, with revenue to come from a proposed natural gas severance tax.

How will driverless cars really change cities? Who knows

It’s normal to have long and passionate debates about the future that technological breakthroughs will bring us. Sometimes the boldest predictions turn out to be right. Other times they miss the mark by quite a bit.

Final contract awarded for $306 million section of Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway

New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co. has gotten the $52.3 million contract to do drainage, paving, sign, lighting and traffic signal work, PennDOT reports. Work will begin when the weather breaks.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 4

January 23, 2019

Pa. Turnpike considers public-private partnership to upgrade five tunnels

Over the next six weeks, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will try to decide whether to rehabilitate its five sets of tunnels one at a time over 10 to 15 years or enter into a public-private partnership with one firm that would do all of the work in five to six years and be responsible for maintenance for about 30 years.

Will there ever be high-speed rail service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia?

If you’ve ever taken a train from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, or vice versa, there are plenty of adjectives you might use to describe the experience. High-speed probably isn’t one of them.

Coming soon to Pa. roads: Autonomous trains of semi trucks

State lawmakers have yet to agree on legislation governing the testing of self-driving vehicles but passed a bill in October that will allow for platooning of up to three automated buses, military vehicles or tractor-trailers on some highways and interstates starting this spring.

PennDOT secretary named to Transportation Research Board committee

Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards was recently named vice chairwoman of the 2019 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee, the senior policy body of TRB.

Why this is the year to begin addressing the infrastructure deficit

With signs pointing to a weakening economy, we need to get ready now, and we need to do it right.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 3

January 14, 2019

Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project clears major hurdle

A decision by the Federal Highway Administration announced Friday allows the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to begin final design on a two-mile stretch of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway in Snyder County.

Traffic deaths on Roosevelt Blvd spiked in 2018. A safety fix may not be in place until the fall.

Roosevelt Boulevard had one of its deadliest years in recent history in 2018.

Bradford County landslide clearing underway

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is working with a contractor to jump-start work to clear a landslide that has closed a portion of Route 414 in Bradford County since early December.

The Keystone State may have found the key to the next wave of transportation electrification

Pennsylvania’s combination of guiding principles, legislation and collaboration among a broad array of stakeholders may show how to move the EV market into its next phase of development.

Widening I-81 in Pennsylvania: Plan shows worth, but dollars needed

Even if the $2.9 billion the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation now estimates it will take to expand about 82 miles of the highway appeared tomorrow, it would be at least 2030 until work begins, said Mike Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp.

Is chaos ahead for transportation funding in Pa.?

A nasty storm could be brewing for Pennsylvania’s transportation funding regimen, says a scholar at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy. Read more