Highway Community Mourns Former PA Highway Secretary and PHIA President Bartlett

February 11, 2016

BartlettFormer Pennsylvania Highway Secretary Robert G. Bartlett, who led the Pennsylvania Highway Department under Governors Scranton and Shafer and was PHIA president from 1980 to 1986, passed away last week.

Bob was born in 1931 and graduated in 1953 from West Point with a BS in engineering. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea and had various postings in the U.S. until retiring from active duty as a captain in 1957.

He then worked as an engineer and labor relations specialist with Bethlehem Steel, and became Secretary of Highways while Pennsylvania was building the Interstate System. He served as PHIA president while he was executive vice president of L.B. Smith Inc. in Camp Hill.  He also received PHIA’s highest honor–The Transportation Advocate of the Year Award–in 1986.

“Secretary Bartlett was a terrific advocate for the highway industry in Pennsylvania, and our highway department was recognized as a national model under his leadership,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.”



PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

February 9, 2016

HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2016) – The president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association today urged a legislative committee to request a study to determine the appropriate level of support for State Police operations with revenue from the state’s Motor License Fund.

VanBurenHearingPSPJames Van Buren, who also is president of PennStress, a precast concrete supplier, told the House Transportation Committee that an increasing amount of revenue intended for transportation system improvements has been diverted from the Motor License Fund to support the State Police and now totals $755 million, nearly two-thirds of the entire State Police budget.

Van Buren noted that under the Pennsylvania Constitution, revenue from the Motor License Fund may be used only for highway purposes. While that includes patrolling the highways, he said the amounts being diverted are far greater than the level of resources the agency devotes to highway patrols.

Click HERE to read more of the press release on the hearing.



Turnpike, PennDOT Challenged By Storm

January 27, 2016

snow-jonasRecord-setting Blizzard Jonas proved to be a tough test for Pennsylvania’s snow removal efforts. Hundreds of motorists were trapped on the PA Turnpike as up to three feet of snow accumulated in the mid-state. According to some news accounts, the Turnpike blockage occurred when two westbound tractor trailers collided near the Allegheny tunnels.

Throughout the snow removal process, which will continue through this week in many municipalities, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards and Gov. Tom Wolf visited with PennDOT crews and monitored progress. The governor has described PennDOT’s performance as “nearly perfect.”

“PHIA supports any effort to make Pennsylvania’s highways safer, but would also like to applaud the efforts of PennDOT, the National Guard and the Turnpike Commission who worked tirelessly to make sure motorists were kept safe and evacuated as quickly as possible,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We caution motorists to stay safe for the rest of the week as their local roads are cleared.”



2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs

January 21, 2016

PSAB_borough_seal_outlinesEach year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 34th straight year, the program is now open for members of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).  The same award program for PA’s townships opened last month and will open later in the year for PA’s counties.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2015.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information and to download the entry brochures.



PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards Outlines 2015 Achievements

January 12, 2016

Secretary-Richards2In an op-ed article that ran in papers around the state, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards detailed the many accomplishments of PennDOT during 2015.

These projects included: 608 highway and bridge contracts worth more than $2.5 billion, improvements to more than 6,000 miles of road, a reduction in structurally deficient bridges by 2,000, and $434 million to communities to fix local roads.

PennDOT also focused on improved technology in 2015 by launching FindMyRidePA, introducing wait time monitoring at driver services centers around the state and tracking PennDOT snow plows.

“We are working hard at PennDOT every day to keep you moving,” Secretary Richards wrote. “We prepare to enter 2016 with a renewed commitment to put your dollars invested with us to effective and efficient use.”

“Thanks to funding from Act 89 (the comprehensive, multi-modal funding package of 2013), the past year was filled with necessary highway and bridge improvements,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We hope that 2016 is just as productive and there are many more projects on the horizon.

“However, ,he numbers alone don’t tell the entire story,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “PennDOT’s efforts have resulted in three very important things – improved safety, congestion relief and the creation of hundreds of jobs. Those benefits will continue thanks to the funding measures passed by the General Assembly and Congress.”

You can read Secretary Richards’ op-ed in full here.