PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 16

April 24, 2018

The four-letter word changing daily commutes

Paying an extra toll for rush hour driving isn’t a popular idea with many motorists. But its time seems to have come. Is it here to stay?

Be aggressive on toll evaders

The turnpike’s prosecution decision is a sound one. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported in 2016 that the turnpike commission had written off about $20 million a year in unpaid tolls. Tracking down that money is important not just for the sake of revenue but as a matter of fairness for the vast majority of drivers who dutifully pay the tolls.

Associated PA Constructors holds first-ever TQI and Partnering event

Sixteen highway construction projects shared the limelight last week with the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors’ James J. Skelly Award winner at the first of what will be the Annual TQI and Partnering Awards Banquet, intended to recognize and honor projects exemplifying the goals of Pennsylvania’s Act 89 of 2013.

Pennsylvania sets stage for increased AV oversight

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has drafted guidelines for autonomous vehicle testing, but it’s unclear whether car manufacturers will comply. Without legislative action, there’s still no requirement beyond having a licensed driver behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

View from Route 30 — what’s left of it — shows enormity of collapse, landslide

The quiet media scrum on the remaining road surface Wednesday and the distant sound of two excavators and a bulldozer grading the hillside below were a stark contrast to the normally bustling highway that carries 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles a day. But the highway has been closed since three lanes collapsed April 7, causing a landslide behind Electric Avenue below that displaced 31 people and destroyed two apartment buildings and two houses. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 15

April 16, 2018

Warehouse development around Lehigh Valley International Airport spurs study

The surge of proposed and approved warehouses around the Lehigh Valley International Airport has drawn outrage and opposition from nearby residents, but a call for a new study suggests PennDOT and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission are concerned as well.

DOT announces $264M in grants to modernize bus infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration recently announced that $264 million would be spent to improve the safety and reliability of the nation’s bus systems. The projects selected to receive grants include the Port Authority of Allegheny County to purchase low-floor clean diesel buses.

Westmoreland Transit looks for ways around Route 30 delays into Pittsburgh

Westmoreland County Transit Authority officials hope to have a revised plan in place by Monday’s morning rush hour to deal with service delays caused by the landslide.

4 ways Uber wants to expand its services

For years, Uber has fought with cities and resisted regulations by insisting that it was a technology company, not a transportation company. But the company’s top officials on Wednesday signaled a major shift in approach: Uber wants better relationships with cities, and it is most definitely focusing on transportation.

$670M transportation project continues in Valley

Construction of the $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project continues as a fourth contract is set to be bid on this fall. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation outlined the progress being made in the construction of the new 13-mile, four-lane highway connecting Route 147 in Northumberland County near Montandon to Route 15 in Union County near Winfield and Routes 11-15 in Snyder County near Selinsgrove. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 14

April 3, 2018

Groups ask U.S. judge to block Pa. Turnpike Commission from transferring money to PennDOT

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the National Motorists Association filed a request for a preliminary injunction with U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane on Monday afternoon.

Bridge and driverless car tragedies shine light on pedestrian safety needs

Two transportation-related tragedies in recent weeks — the collapse of a bridge in Miami and the death of a woman in Arizona who was struck by an autonomous Uber car — have shined a light on the challenges of deploying new infrastructure technologies.

Pennsylvania looks to push statewide EV adoption

Pennsylvania is looking to become the next state with an initiative to promote the adoption and daily use of electrified automobiles, and several government entities have spawned a coalition to do just that.

Pedri: Vehicle registration fee will help fix roads, bridges

Luzerne County Manager David Pedri on Tuesday made the case for enacting a $5 vehicle registration fee to raise revenue to repair county-owned roads and bridges.

State money to help improve track between Reading, Ephrata

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday the approval of $32 million being spent on 27 rail freight improvement projects, including one that will help the East Penn Railroad rehabilitate some of its track in eastern Pennsylvania.

Causeway extension to allow another pier to be built for massive thruway bridge

More of the nearly mile-long Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway bridge will be under construction this year than had been anticipated.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 13

March 27, 2018

County council to debate vehicle registration fee

Luzerne County Council on Tuesday will discuss a proposal to enact a county-wide $5 vehicle registration fee to pay for repairs to county-owned roads and bridges.

State seeks input on improving conditions for biking, walking

If you are a pedestrian or a bicyclist — and most of us are one or both — the state Department of Transportation wants to hear from you.

Trib editorial: The toll from Act 44 widens

For some of Pennsylvania government’s more egregious mistakes, the public never stops paying. Act 44 is one of those mistakes.

Pa. Turnpike’s move toward cashless tolling expanding to additional segments of toll road

As part of Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s conversion to cashless tolling, some additional segments of the toll road in Washington, Allegheny, and Lackawanna County are on track to go cashless next month.

House Transportation chairman calls for raising pump fees, altering trust fund

In an Op-Ed published Wednesday in the Washington Times, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sounded off a call for cooperation on the nation’s infrastructure, including changes to the Highway Trust Fund and raising a user fee at the pump. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 12

March 19, 2018

Truckers’ lawsuit calls for refund of ‘excessive’ Pa. turnpike toll hikes

Two nationwide truck driving groups want nearly $6 billion in refunds from Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls they say were improperly used by PennDOT for public transit and other uses, says a federal lawsuit filed this week.

Pennsylvania toll lawsuit similar to pending New York case

A trucking industry lawsuit filed Thursday against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission makes comparable arguments to a New York lawsuit that’s currently at the appellate stage.

How often do drivers crash on Pennsylvania’s roads?

Pennsylvania has over 120,000 miles of roads and highways, about a third of which are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. This report outlines how often motorists crashed on state roads, how often those crashes resulted in injuries or fatalities, and whether that figure has increased or decreased in recent years.

Firm that designed bridge that collapsed in Fla. engineered some of Pa.’s most spectacular bridges

The Florida-based company’s work includes the Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge spanning the Susquehanna River just south of Harrisburg. Another major project is the turnpike bridge spanning the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh. Read more

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