PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 30

July 27, 2021

Construction of Penn’s Landing Park postponed by two years

The much-anticipated Penn’s Landing Park that will cap Interstate 95 at the Delaware River Waterfront is going to arrive a bit later than originally expected.

Congressman Reschenthaler wants to cut PennDOT’s federal funding

A local congressman says if PennDOT goes ahead with tolling certain bridges on the interstate highways, the federal government should withhold federal funding for that interstate. Other officials think that goes too far.

Bill advances to ban cell phone use by drivers

A bill allowing local police to pull over any driver holding a cell phone to crack down on distracted driving has raised concerns about racial profiling. Although texting while driving is prohibited in Pennsylvania, drivers can still hold their cell phones and talk.

Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project on schedule

The northern section, which includes a 4,545-foot-long bridge across the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, is expected to be open in the fall of 2022, according to a report Monday by two PennDOT officials.

Port Authority of Allegheny County releases NEXTransit plan

The agency’s long-term plan includes 18 projects that have stated that it will improve transportation in the region.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 29

July 19, 2021

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.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 28

July 12, 2021

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.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 27

July 6, 2021

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

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.