News

Work zone crashes increase in PA

August 23, 2017

Act 89 has boosted transportation spending in Pennsylvania. With that comes an increase in work zones, and with that comes an increase in work zone accidents.

Triblive.com reported this week that 2,076 work zone crashes occurred in Pennsylvania last year, an increase of about 7 percent since 2015, according to PennDOT. More than 900 people were injured in those crashes, and 15 people were killed.

According to PennDOT, 644 of the crashes involved speeding, 275 were because of distracted driving and 13 were caused by people on cellphones.

This fall, Pennsylvania House members will consider an automated speed enforcement bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate. Owners of vehicles that drive at excessive speeds through work zones would receive a speeding ticket through the mail.

“The Maryland experience shows that automated speed enforcement works,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “Once motorists become accustomed to the speed cameras, excessive speeding in work zones drops significantly, making work zones safer for motorists, passengers and highway workers.”

The entire Triblive.com article can be found here.

 

News

Recalibrating the notion of ‘easy’ P-3 solutions

August 4, 2017

A Governing Magazine columnist has some interesting thoughts this month on lessons we can learn from one of the nation’s very first public-private partnerships. The P-3 to which he refers? Our very own Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Columnist Donald F. Kettl, former dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, concludes that there are no easy solutions. His column can be found here.

 

News

PennDOT official provides view of the future with autonomous vehicles

May 24, 2017

Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadMany of us who have watched the development of autonomous vehicles see a variety of ways in which they will transform society. One of the most significant transformations will occur in the auto industry itself.

PennDOT Deputy Secretary Kurt Myers presented a glimpse into the future at PHIA’s latest policy breakfast this week. Myers projects that autonomous vehicles will change the way we utilize vehicles, from trucks to buses, as well as our own personal vehicles.

Once the technology spreads, cars will be seen less as status symbols, and more as commodities. Families are likely to own fewer vehicles as consumers will be able to arrange for their transportation needs on demand. In fact, Myers expects that autonomous vehicles will have multiple owners as ride-sharing becomes more of the norm.

He said the auto industry will be challenged to keep up with the new technology. Tech firms tend to produce products and services as rapidly as they are demanded. The auto industry will need to match that pace if it is to survive this tech revolution.

Myers assured the audience that autonomous vehicles will create business opportunities across the Commonwealth. Still, it may take at least a decade for the autonomous vehicle infrastructure to be fully in place.

 

News

PennDOT Lets $172 Million in April

May 4, 2017

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let just over $172.6 million projects during the month of April according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has let just over $862 million in project lettings to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $833 million in projects.  The official 2016 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT anticipates a $2.4 billion letting program by year’s end.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full April letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

April Letting Report* (PDF)

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

Thruway project moving toward new milestone

May 2, 2017

Of all the transportation improvements planned or already underway since the passage of Act 89 of 2013, few fall into the category of “marquee projects.” One that does is the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project, a new, four-lane, 13-mile limited access highway in Monroe Township and Shamokin Dam Borough, Snyder County.

Looking southwest from Ridge Road across PA 147, river, and US 15The project will connect Routes 11/15 north of Selinsgrove to U.S. 15 south of Winfield and include a connector from the new highway to the Veterans Memorial Bridge on Route 61. Projected for completion in 2024, it will separate trucks and through traffic from local traffic, reducing congestion, improving safety and spurring economic growth.

Work on the northern section has commenced. The project will reach another milestone May 25 when PennDOT unveils a first draft of the southern section during a public meeting at Selinsgrove Middle School. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m.

In February, PennDOT announced that several environmental and engineering challenges had surfaced, requiring some route modifications. The proposed alternatives will be unveiled at the meeting, and PennDOT hopes to identify the preferred alternative later this year.

“Nearly every project funded by Act 89 will improve safety, reduce congestion and accommodate economic growth in some manner, but the thruway project is really a shining example,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “We hope to have more of these kinds of projects that will add capacity once we bring the existing highway infrastructure up to a better state of repair in the years ahead.”

 

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