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. 



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 11

March 16, 2020

PennDOT asks Homeland Security to extend Real ID deadline amid coronavirus pandemic   

PennDOT is asking federal officials to extend the Oct. 1 Real ID enforcement deadline in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Funding plan for Pennsylvania State Police falls far short   

We favor a proposal along the lines of the first two that Wolf put forth on this issue. Assessing a per capita fee on communities that rely on troopers for coverage serves the dual purpose of bringing in revenue for the state police and encouraging municipalities to make local arrangements for law enforcement. 



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 10

March 9, 2020

Legislation would create additional funding options for infrastructure projects

House Bill 2064 would allow county infrastructure banks to apply for loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank. The state bank would provide lower interest rates and special terms that are otherwise unavailable to a county infrastructure bank.

I-80 exits to Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Poconos closed until May

An Interstate 80 exit to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Poconos is closed in both directions until late May. Paving work begun Monday closed the on-and off-ramps at exit 277 on I-80 in Kidder Township, Carbon County, which leads to Route 940 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension/Lake Harmony, PennDOT said.

Work zone speed cameras about to be enforced. Here’s what it means.

Registered car owners will receive a warning letter for an initial offense, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said. A second violation will result in a $75 fine and the fine goes up to $150 for a third offense.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 9

March 2, 2020

Gas, diesel pumps closed for 10 weeks at Turnpike’s Allentown service center

The service plaza, accessible to both northbound and southbound turnpike traffic, will close the pumps starting 7 a.m. Monday, through May 21, according to a news release. Business 7-Eleven will be replacing the underground fuel tanks, fuel lines and installing new fuel dispensers at the plaza’s fuel pumps.

New PA Turnpike proposal for Allegheny Tunnel in Somerset County

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said the project is still in its very early stages, and that it will be years before any dirt is even moved.

Etown’s alum in politics series: Rep. Martina White

Having graduated from Etown with a B.S. in Business Administration and dual focuses in finance and marketing, White said she feels that the College’s business professors had a significant influence on her professional development and later entry into politics.

KYW In Depth: A look at e-scooters in Pennsylvania

Advocates of personal electric vehicles, or PEVs, say having a shared e-scooter program similar to Philadelphia’s current bike-share program would benefit commuters and tourists that need to go that extra mile public transportation just can’t provide.

Only a fraction of Pa. residents have a Real ID, but PennDOT says that’s OK

PennDOT said so far, only about 821,000 of the roughly 9.8 million people with state IDs and driver’s licenses have made the switch. But spokesman Diego Sandino said even though it’s a relatively small number, the department believes it’s on track.

Could charging Pa. motorists for rush-hour driving pay for infrastructure? PennDOT wants to find out

Officials at PennDOT told a House panel this week that they’re studying a congestion fee as a solution to the state’s constant search for cash to fund highway and public transit investment.

PennDOT faces big costs and dwindling resources

During a budget appropriation hearing on Tuesday, state lawmakers pressed PennDOT’s acting secretary to explain how the agency sets its priorities and asked about funding concerns. One thing was clear: the commonwealth is going to have to find a lot more money.

Consensus still lacking on solution to Pennsylvania transportation woes

A House Appropriations Committee budget hearing descended into partisan bickering after lawmakers blamed each other for rejecting ideas that could generate revenue for the state’s aging transportation infrastructure.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 8

February 24, 2020

Fewer than 10 percent of Pennsylvania drivers have Real ID

With only 223 days until the Real ID deadline, the demand for Real IDs is increasing.

Planning for I-81 upgrades moves into next stage of multi-year effort

Transportation planners are looking at ways to improve the superhighway as it traverses roughly 100 miles from the Maryland border in Franklin County, through Cumberland and Dauphin counties and about 20 miles of Lebanon County to Interstate 78.

Design work progressing on schedule for thruway’s southern section in Snyder County

Final design of the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is progressing on schedule and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation anticipates no issues obtaining the remaining permits.

Pa. makes national list for top truck bottlenecks

The American Transportation Research Institute today released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America, and six Pennsylvania locations made the top 100.