PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 16

April 20, 2020

Leadfoot or lightfoot, driving the open roads in a pandemic

The best way to drive safely during the pandemic is not to drive at all. But if you have to travel, several experts offered tips on how to make sure you and your loved ones get there and back safely.

Pa. Turnpike considers cutting capital budget projects, transit payments

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has experienced such sharp declines in traffic and revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that the agency is reviewing all of its expenses, including its 10-year, $5.9 billion capital improvement plans and its $450 million annual payments to the state to help pay for public transit.

Road construction in Johnstown considered ‘critical work,’ crews take extra precautions

PennDOT officials say certain construction projects are still being worked because of safety issues that need to be addressed. They are calling these projects, critical work. The Franklin Street Project is in this category.

Many road construction projects curbed due to coronavirus

The opening of the Tilghman Street Bridge was supposed to happen in June of next year. But now the nearly $22 million project, as well as many other projects, will most likely be delayed as the coronavirus has thrown a construction curveball.

Breaking down the state DOT $50B backstop

Moves by state governments to slash their budgets in the face of COVID-19 pandemic-induced revenue declines re-emphasized the need for a nearly $50 billion federally-funded fiscal “backstop,” according to analysis by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Feds award $239 million to 63 Pa. airports to help in financial recovery from coronavirus pandemic

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration is awarding $239.2 million in airport aid to commonwealth airports.

Construction curveball: Pandemic causes PennDOT, contractors to change road work protocols

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and some contractors have been collaborating for decades, using their knowledge and experience to develop working relationships and common practices at construction sites.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 15

April 14, 2020

Traffic drop from stay-at-home orders could imperil road projects

While that makes it easier to patch potholes, it also could spell trouble for road and bridge projects. The longer motorists remain off the roads, the harder it will be for states to afford repairs in the months and years ahead.

Transportation Secretary Chao announces $25 billion to help public transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to the coronavirus.

AASHTO asks congress for $50B fiscal backstop for state DOTs

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sent a letter to congressional leadership on April 6 requesting the immediate emergency injection of $49.95 billion to offset an estimated 30% loss in state transportation revenues over the next 18 months.

Construction companies in Pennsylvania cautiously return to work

As critical highway and bridge projects across the state resume, Navarro & Wright Consulting Engineering Inc. is one of the companies that received a green light to start.

State Police: 76 percent decline in traffic volume on turnpike

It’s no secret there are fewer cars on the road with many of you staying home– and State Police say they have the data to support the decline.

PennDOT reopens additional roadside rest areas

PennDOT is reopening indoor facilities at five additional rest areas statewide. Rest areas were temporarily closed statewide on March 17 in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19 to ensure that proper safety and sanitation protocols were in place. Twenty-eight select rest areas across Pennsylvania have since reopened.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 14

April 6, 2020

ARTBA survey: Transportation projects are active in most states

Construction crews in most states continued to work on critical transportation infrastructure projects as of late March while taking necessary precautions to protect their workforces from COVID-19, according to a March 31 survey of American Road & Transportation Builders Association members.

Pennsylvania halting pay for 9,000 state workers

Pennsylvania will stop paying about 9,000 state workers whose offices have been closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Friday.

PennDOT eases back to work on critical road projects after coronavirus hiatus

PennDOT returned to work on 61 projects across the state, including reconstructing Route 100 in Lehigh County. Construction crews completed work on a waterline on the highway Thursday, PennDOT spokesman Ron Young said.

‘Critical’ Franklin Street roadwork to go ahead during pandemic

Road improvement project in the Johnstown area and two bridge upgrades in Bedford County are on PennDOT’s list of 61 “emergency and critical” projects that will go ahead during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus won’t stop $270 million Interstate 78 upgrade in Berks County, PennDOT announces

PennDOT on Thursday activated 61 emergency road and bridge projects, including a $270 million upgrade on Interstate 78 in Berks County.

Coronavirus in Pa.: I-83 Mount Rose, other PennDOT projects resume

It’s back to work on some construction sites in central Pennsylvania amid the coronavirus pandemic. PennDOT had suspended all construction in mid-March because of the virus. On Thursday, the agency released a list of 61 critical highway and bridge projects across the Commonwealth that will resume work.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 13

March 30, 2020

PennDOT reopens five additional rest areas 

PennDOT is reopening indoor facilities at five additional rest areas statewide. 

PennDOT extends expiration on driver licenses, ID cards, vehicle registrations   

PennDOT announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, learner’s permits, persons with disability placards, vehicle registrations and safety and emission inspections will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. 

Wolf administration lays off about 2,500 state employees as virus fallout deepens   

The Wolf administration has laid off about 2,500 part-time and seasonal employees and interns as the financial fallout from the coronavirus deepens, straining Pennsylvania’s cash flow, Spotlight PA has learned. 

Pennsylvania Real ID deadline delayed until 2021   

The Department of Homeland Security has postponed Pennsylvania’s enforcement date for Real ID from October 2020 to October 2021, PennDOT announced. 

What pandemic stimulus package means to Pa., NJ   

$25 billion will go into transportation, a concern for people in Pennsylvania, Casey said, as they are concerned about transit dollars and the money “would help them survive.” 

No cash amid coronavirus outbreak: bridges connecting Pa., N.J. go all electronic   

The no-cash movement in response to the coronavirus pandemic now includes your trip over the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Starting Thursday morning, the Delaware River Port Authority is instituting all-electronic tolling on the Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, Commodore Barry and Walt Whitman bridges, connecting South Jersey with Philadelphia and Delaware County. 

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 12

March 23, 2020

With construction season on hold, PennDOT working its way through unique challenges   

Under an order from Gov. Tom Wolf designed to slow the spread of the virus, the department has shut down all construction across the state and ordered as many workers as possible to work from home. 

After public criticism, Pa. turnpike to reopen restrooms at service plazas Friday   

In a news release, the agency said restrooms inside all service plazas will be open 24 hours. The outdoor portable toilets installed earlier this week will remain in place at the service plazas for approximately one week, the commission said. 

Truck drivers impacted by service plaza limits on PA Turnpike   

PennDOT is opening up 13 of its rest areas along the state’s highways, after truckers and legislators voiced their concerns. 10 portable toilets and two hand washing stations: that’s what all drivers dealt with at the PA Turnpike Cumberland Valley rest stop. 

With highway rest stops closed, PennDOT tells truckers to use privately owned ones   

In response to concerns about shuttered highway rest stops, PennDOT is advising truckers to patronize privately owned truck stops. KYW Newsradio’s Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo reports. 

PennDOT closes driver, photo license centers, extends expiration dates   

For driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from Monday through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30. For vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30. For persons with disabilities, parking placards scheduled to expire by March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30. 

No road construction: PennDOT shuts down offices, operations over coronavirus emergency   

PennDOT is suspending all operations, including construction, except critical and emergency work as coronavirus concerns continue to spread throughout Pennsylvania. 

Pennsylvania Turnpike won’t accept cash to help stop spread of coronavirus   

If you plan to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike over the next two weeks, you won’t be handing cash or a credit card to a toll worker.