News

PennDOT lets $294 million in February

March 7, 2017

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let just over $294 million projects during the month of February according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has begun the new year (2017) with just over $376 in project lettings.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $467.3 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 February letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

 

*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

Northampton County bridge replacement program moves forward

February 17, 2017

P3altSeveral months ago, Northampton County officials said they intended to pursue a bundling approach to address the county’s significant bridge problem. This week, new details are emerging.

Kriger Construction will rebuild 33 bridges over the next three years for $37.5 million through a public-private partnership arrangement. The county will pay for the work over 10 years, during which Kriger will be responsible for maintenance of the bridges.

The county will not need to raise taxes (at least not because of the bridge project), and officials believe that by bundling the projects, the county will save between 20 and 30 percent per bridge compared with what it would have paid to rebuild them individually.

News accounts say that this is the first county-level P-3 in the country. The county needed to perform some legal gymnastics to make it work, since counties are not permitted to contract directly with the builder under Pennsylvania’s P-3 law.

If the project is successful, the county will proceed with the same approach for the remaining 66 bridges that need to be replaced.

“If it works like they believe it will, communities across the country will probably copy Northampton’s blueprint,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “It could serve as an example of how P-3s can help address infrastructure needs.”

 

News

Automated speed enforcement bill advances again in Senate

February 1, 2017

safezone_signBecause of PHIA’s focus on highway safety, it probably comes as no surprise that the organization supports automated speed enforcement in work zones using cameras. The Senate Transportation Committee considered such a measure last year but was not able to advance it to a floor vote in the waning days of the legislative session.

The committee once again advanced a very similar measure in its first week of the new session, and it is positioned again to move toward a vote of the full Senate and advance to the House.

The experience that Maryland has had after enacting a similar measure makes it very clear that automated enforcement works. Once Maryland drivers became aware that exceeding the work zone speed limit by at least 11 miles per hour could result in a ticket for the vehicle owner, violations dropped from seven cars per 100 to fewer than one per 100.

“There’s some disagreement among lawmakers as to whether the revenue from automated speeding fines should go toward highway use or be used to support the State Police,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “Neither PHIA nor the construction industry has a position on where the money should go. For us, the safety of people in work zones is the most important consideration.”

An article about the Senate bill can be found at this link. E-motion will provide updates on this measure as it advances.

 

News

The times they are a-changin’

January 18, 2017

Although we are and always have been the Pa. Highway Information Association, we tend to take a broad view of transportation, thinking of it as a single, integrated, multi-modal system of mobility.

MOVINGFORWARDThis month, Governing Magazine published an insightful article titled, “Urban Transportation’s Multimodal Future,” in which author Bob Graves asserts the following:

“The future, more and more urban transportation experts are coming to believe, lies in mobility-friendly networks in which cars are just one element – and an ever-shrinking one as we move from a system in which the personally owned vehicle is king and toward a multimodal future of on-demand driverless vehicles, ride-sharing, expanded public transit, greater reliance on human-powered transportation and other alternatives.”

Like us, he’s watching intently as our friends at PennDOT and Carnegie Mellon University, along with others across the country, push forward with autonomous vehicle technology. And he’s right – it will transform mobility and our cities as significantly as the personal automobile and the Interstate Highway System did in the last century.

As with any transformative change, there will be some resistance to it and challenges to overcome, but it’s becoming clearer by the day that a change is surely coming.

To read the entire Governing article, click here.

 

News

PennDOT bids to be a proving ground for autonomous vehicle technology

January 11, 2017

Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadLate last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched an effort to identify facilities that could serve as proving grounds for autonomous vehicle technology. PennDOT has responded to the solicitation, essentially saying, “Deal us in.”

Pennsylvania’s response includes the city of Pittsburgh, where a significant volume of autonomous vehicle testing already is underway in an urban setting, thanks mainly to the research and development efforts of Carnegie Mellon University. It also includes a closed track at Penn State University for low-speed testing and Pocono Raceway for higher-speed testing and multiple connected vehicles, also known as “platooning.”

“As we have said before in this forum, autonomous vehicles are much closer to a reality than many people are aware,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “The vast majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error, and while driverless vehicles may sound like a scary proposition at first, reducing or eliminating human errors will go a long way toward making highway travel safer. It’s exciting to have Pennsylvania in the middle of this technological advancement.”

 

Page 5 of 70« First...34567...101520...Last »