PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 7

February 15, 2022

PennDOT vows to make driving EVs more accessible

With Pennsylvania set to invest millions of federal and state dollars in electric vehicles over the next few years, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has vowed to make sure no one is left out.

Couple injured in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse to sue

A Penn Hills couple injured when Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed last month will sue Port Authority of Allegheny County, PennDOT and the City of Pittsburgh.

Infrastructure law gives state $171.5M for EV chargers

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Energy announced Thursday Pennsylvania is eligible for up to $171.5 million for projects related to electric vehicle (EV) charging under a new program started by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Centre officials approve fee for local use

As expected, the additional annual $5 fee for non-exempt vehicles registered in Centre County will remain in place for another five years.

First steps for demolition of Fern Hollow Bridge underway

Major work continues at the site of the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, more than a week after it crumbled under a Port Authority bus and several other vehicles.

Committee approves Laughlin scooter legislation

Legislation seeking to ensure low-speed scooters are properly regulated within Pennsylvania’s vehicle code was reported to the full Senate out of the Senate Transportation Committee, according to the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 892, Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-49.

Sen. Flynn’s Turnpike reform bill passes Transportation Committee 

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee passed legislation introduced by Senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) to update and improve the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s method of collecting and reporting on tolls.

NTSB report: Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge collapse started on Squirrel Hill side

The collapse of Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge likely started on the west, or Squirrel Hill, side of the span, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Monday.

Rep. Carroll not seeking re-election in 118th Legislative District

State Rep. Mike Carroll Friday announced he will not seek the Democratic nomination to serve the 118th Legislative District in the upcoming primary election.

Options to end Pennsylvania gas tax could cost you more

There are new proposals to reduce or eliminate Pennsylvania’s gas tax, which is one of the highest in the nation. But these alternatives could cost you more.

Pa. budget plan drops state police fee for towns, lowers reliance on infrastructure funds

Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2022 budget makes good on plans to reduce State Police reliance on funds generally earmarked for highway construction, repair and safety by shifting the cost burden to the general fund.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 6

February 8, 2022

PA crash deaths spiked in 2021 amid pandemic

Dangerous driving habits developed during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to make the nation’s highways more deadly in the first nine months of 2021, the government projected this week.

Industry associations call for end to shifting of road funds

ACPA/PA Chapter, ACEC/PA, APC, CAEP, CAWP, PACA, PAPA, and PennGCC once again are calling on Governor Wolf to permanently move the entire Motor License Fund portion of the State Police budget back to the General Fund. (FY 2023 – $641.39 million) and to use Motor Vehicle License Fund revenues to fund PennDOT’s pay-as-you-go capital program and/or as debt service retirement.

PennDOT discusses bridge safety, inspections after Pittsburgh collapse

Pennsylvania has the second-most bridges rated “poor” out of any state in the country. There are nearly 500 bridges in the Midstate are in that category and PennDOT says not to worry.

Wolf administration announces $246 million investment at Port of Philadelphia

Governor Tom Wolf today announced a $246 million state investment into the Port of Philadelphia to continue modernization efforts and improve regional economic stability. This funding builds upon the Governor’s comprehensive $300 million Capital Investment Program at the Port of Philadelphia announced in 2016.

Over $230 million coming to Pa. for public transportation projects

U.S Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced Friday morning over $230 million in funding for public transportation projects.

Safe, reliable, and affordable transit is the fastest route to an equitable society

Here in Pennsylvania, and across the country, transit riders, community organizations, environmental justice groups, and unions are spreading the message that public transit is not only foundational to our economies and communities, but is also a civil right.

Pennsylvania gas tax: Is the money going where it should?

Pennsylvania has one of the highest gas taxes in the country. It brings in billions of dollars a year, but there’s concern from the state that it’s not enough.

New Downingtown train station project gets 2025 start date

PennDOT will construct a new station about a quarter-mile south of Lancaster Avenue on Brandywine Avenue/Route 322. It will replace the existing West Lancaster Avenue station located about a half-mile to the west.

Container volumes surge at PhilaPort in 2021

In 2021, the port processed a total of 739,323 TEU, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 640,799 TEU in 2020. Both imports and exports grew significantly in the year, rising 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

PennDOT to reinspect bridges with similar design as Fern Hollow Bridge

PennDOT officials said Tuesday they plan to reinspect five bridges in Pennsylvania that have similar designs as the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh.

PennDOT will foot the bill to replace the Fern Hollow Bridge

Pennsylvania will pay $23.5 million to replace the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, officials at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission announced Monday afternoon. Even as they welcomed the news, many noted that the process to fund needed infrastructure repairs has historically taken much longer, and shouldn’t.

Diversions and limits show Pa. needs more to fix bridges and roads than pricey gas tax

As the investigation continues into the collapse of the fern hollow bridge in Pittsburgh, it’s raising questions about how money has been raised and spent to support bridges and roads in Pennsylvania.

Bridge collapse highlights Pa.’s infrastructure problems

The state has more than 3,000 bridges in poor repair. Federal funds will provide significant support for tackling the problem, but Pennsylvania’s transportation and transit woes run deep.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 5

January 31, 2022

Will state-by-state regulation of self-driving vehicles work?

A future where motorists share streets and highways with driverless cars may still be years away, but transportation experts are saying now’s the time for elected leaders to plan for that scenario.

Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge is one of the 44,000 poorly maintained bridges in the U.S.

According to the city’s fire chief, an inspection of the collapsed bridge took place in September of last year. Billions have already been set aside for bridge, road, and mass transportation improvements as part of President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending program.

Gov. Wolf reaffirms infrastructure investment following visit to bridge collapse

Gov. Tom Wolf today re-emphasized the critical need to invest in our infrastructure as the investigation into the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh continues.

How PennDOT deals with bridges in poor condition

A two-lane bridge in Pittsburgh that collapsed Friday morning is one of thousands in Pennsylvania considered in poor condition. What does the state do if a bridge is deemed poor?

What Pittsburgh collapse can tell us about Pa. bridges

The collapse of the city-owned Fern Hollow Bridge on Friday has raised concerns about the state of Pennsylvania’s thousands of bridges, nearly 20% percent of which were in poor condition as of a 2018 review by the Pittsburgh section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Gov. Wolf announces $17 million to support Appalachian Development Highway System

Governor Tom Wolf today announced that Pennsylvania has been awarded $17,084,430 in federal Appalachian Development Highway System funding as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge is one of 44,000 in poor condition in U.S.

The half-century-old bridge that collapsed in Pittsburgh on Friday ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit highlighted the perilous state of much of the United States’ transportation infrastructure, which is due to get a trillion-dollar infusion over the coming years.

Buttigieg points to Pgh. bridge collapse as ‘urgent’ reminder of infrastructure needs

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday the collapse of a bridge in Pittsburgh illustrated the necessity of federal investment in the nation’s infrastructure, including more than 1,000 bridges in poor condition in Kansas and twice that total in Missouri.

10 hurt after bridge over Pittsburgh’s Frick Park collapses

Ten people were injured Friday morning when the bridge that carries Forbes Avenue over Frick Park collapsed in Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze neighborhood.

Langerholc autonomous vehicle bill clears Transportation Committee

The Pennsylvania Senate’s transportation committee is advancing a bill by state Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Richland, that would give a green light to enable research institutions and many companies to test and deploy Highly Automated Vehicles.

PennDOT focusing infrastructure funds on Route 219, Susquehanna Valley Thruway

With $87 million in new Appalachian Development Highway System dollars flowing into Pennsylvania over the next five years, state transportation officials plan to focus it on finishing three corridors – U.S. Route 219 in Somerset County, an Interstate 99 connection and the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 4

January 24, 2022

Berks commissioners push back against PennDOT’s proposed bridge toll

PennDOT says the Lenhartsville Bridge in Greenwich Township needs to be fixed, and is proposing a toll to pay for it. The Berks County commissioners are pushing back.

Sen. Marty Flynn appointed Democratic chair of PA Senate Transportation Committee

State Sen. Marty Flynn was appointed as Democratic chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee.

Pittsburgh snagged nearly 1/3 of infrastructure bill’s funding for inland waterways

The $857 million allocation for the Montgomery Locks and Dam, located near Monaca, Pa., represents nearly a third of all the money Congress set aside for inland waterways in its 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Impact of salting roads on waterways in Pa.

Last winter, PennDOT applied 12.3 million gallons of salt-based salt water to state roads and sprayed an average of 807,766 tonnes of rock salt annually in the last five winters.

Wolf administration gives $2.7 million for fuel transportation projects to improve air quality

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that more than $2.7 million in Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants will go to 18 cleaner fuel transportation projects.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 3

January 18, 2022

New bridge over the Susquehanna to be in use by late summer

Traffic will begin using a new, nearly mile-long bridge over the Susquehanna River in late summer and bids are expected to be opened in April for the first construction on the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.

Pa. lawmaker wants Venmo, PayPal to become turnpike toll payment methods

State Sen. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, wrote a memorandum last week seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would direct the PA Turnpike Commission to accept PayPal, Venmo, Cash App and Zelle as valid forms of payment.

Tolling I-83/South Bridge would cram local roads with drivers avoiding fee: officials

Residents and officials representing the Camp Hill area met Wednesday night to share their concerns and opposition to a proposal to charge drivers a toll every time they drive over the Interstate-83 bridge.

Tolling the I-83/South Bridge draws opposition from Cumberland County commissioners

Cumberland County commissioners on Monday adopted a resolution stating their opposition to the PennDOT’s proposed tolling of the I-83/South Bridge to pay for the cost of replacing this span over the Susquehanna River.

If the I-83/South Bridge is tolled, ‘growth would be stalled’: Dauphin County officials

Charging a $1 or $2 toll to cross the I-83/South Bridge in each direction is as unpopular with county officials on the East Shore as it is with their counterparts on the West Shore.

Governor, DOT announce Pa. to receive $1.6 billion to fix state bridges

Gov. Tom Wolf stood alongside U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to launch the largest bridge formula program in American history, made possible by the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds will fix more than 3,000 bridges across the state.