Featured

CSVT reaches another milestone

September 18, 2018 by · Comments Off on CSVT reaches another milestone
Filed under: Featured 

The fourth and final bidding on the northern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway took place last week, and we thought this would be a good time for an update on the project.

The CSVT is a rare new capacity project funded by Act 89 of 2013. The vast majority of construction projects made possible by the funding act are focused on restoring existing bridges and highways.

The paving for the project will begin next year, with completion set for 2022. Completion for the southern section is up in the air due to the need to re-route a section of the thruway to avoid building it over fly ash basins.

Despite the record-setting rainfall this construction season, PennDOT reports that construction of the bridge spanning the Susquehanna has fallen behind only by two to three weeks. The Union County side of the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of October, except for the paving.

A four-lane, 13-mile limited access highway will separate trucks and through traffic from local traffic, reducing congestion, improving safety and accommodating economic growth.

 

News

Northampton County bridge replacement program moves forward

February 17, 2017 by · Comments Off on Northampton County bridge replacement program moves forward
Filed under: News 

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

This just in

November 24, 2014 by · Comments Off on This just in
Filed under: News 

60minutesIt won’t come as news to those who follow PHIA, but it’s worth noting that the deterioration of America’s transportation infrastructure has come to the attention of CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Correspondent Steve Croft selected Pittsburgh and its bridges as a backdrop in a segment that aired on Sunday. He also traveled to Philadelphia to interview former Gov. Ed Rendell on what could have been a disaster with an Interstate 95 bridge, were it not for the quest for a sausage sandwich.

“Although Pennsylvania has earned a reputation for having considerable transportation system problems, we’re now better off than nearly any other state following the passage of Act 89 a year ago,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “That doesn’t mean our problem is solved, and the 60 Minutes segment pointed out that the lack of consensus at the federal level continues.”

The segment, along with two additional segments on the issue that were not aired, may be viewed here.

 

News

2014 Road and Bridge Safety Award Program Open to PA Counties

May 28, 2014 by · Comments Off on 2014 Road and Bridge Safety Award Program Open to PA Counties
Filed under: News 

CCAP2Each 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.   Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2013.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.   All entries are graded in four categories:  Safety, Resource Innovation, Benefits of Improvements, and Cooperation.

Applications are now open to all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  For more information on the program or to download an applications, click here.

Entries are being taken until July 3, 2014.

 

News

PennDOT posts weight restrictions on 1,000 bridges

August 22, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch announced today that the department has posted weight restrictions on approximately 1,000 state and local bridges in order to minimize wear and tear on them in the absence of a bridge and highway funding plan. A listing of the bridges can be viewed by clicking on “Bridge Information” in the right-hand column at www.dot.state.pa.us.

In a statement released this morning, Secretary Schoch said, “Posting bridges with weight restrictions minimizes the wear and tear which will help keep the structures open and safer for a longer period of time. This will also allow us to continue to invest our limited resources into higher-priority bridges.

“Pennsylvania has the third-largest number of bridges in the nation, but the average bridge age is 51. We also lead the nation in the number of bridges classified as structurally deficient. To this point, Pennsylvania has been one of the most liberal with posting criteria compared to other states, all within national standards. For comparison, if we utilized Connecticut’s more-stringent criteria, more than 11,000 weight restrictions would exist in Pennsylvania. Also, Pennsylvania currently ranks 35th in the nation for the number of SD bridges that are posted or closed. As we move to this more conservative posting method we will rank 27th.  Read more

News

PA motorists now pay three times the cost of fixing road woes, report says

May 29, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

TRIPFEATUREDRoads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Pennsylvania motorists a total of $9.4 billion per year statewide, due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a report by TRIP, a national transportation research group. 

The report, Future Mobility in Pennsylvania: The Cost of Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that 37 percent of the state’s major roads and highways provide motorists with a rough ride, while 42 percent of Pennsylvania bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards.  The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting increasing amounts of time and fuel. And Pennsylvania’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

“As the General Assembly looks at a transportation funding measure, there’s a lot of discussion about the cost,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.  “The TRIP report quantifies the cost of not addressing this problem, and that cost is almost three times greater than the $3.5 billion annual transportation funding gap. Of even greater concern is the safety threat that a deficient transportation system represents, especially in Pennsylvania’s rural areas.” Read more

News

Auditor General Jack Wagner continues push for comprehensive infrastructure solution

September 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Auditor General Jack Wagner continues push for comprehensive infrastructure solution
Filed under: News 

State Auditor General Jack Wagner has compiled a DVD video outlining the state’s crumbling infrastructure in an effort to push for the state to address the ongoing transportation  funding crisis.  Wagner said that the General Assembly and the Corbett Administration need to make passage of a comprehensive transportation and infrastructure bill their number one priority this fall.

Wagner said that the passage of such legislation would make the Commonwealth’s roads and bridges safer as well as put thousands of people back to work.

To read the text of the press release and view the DVD video, click here.

 

 

News

National research group says PA rural roads unsafe and among worst in nation

September 1, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: News 

A national transportation research group, The Road Information Program (TRIP), released a report showing that Pennsylvania’s rural roadways are becoming increasingly unsafe.  The report, “Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland,”states that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the percentage of rural bridges that are structurally deficient and sixth in the nation in the number of rural roadway fatalities. Read more

News

Say it ain’t so Irene!

August 31, 2011 by · Comments Off on Say it ain’t so Irene!
Filed under: News 

Commentary by PHIA

What have we learned from the aftermath of Hurricane Irene?  Answer: the safety and quality of life of Pennsylvanians center on transportation infrastructure.

In the days following Irene, we’ve read numerous news accounts of people without power, public transit systems offline due to flooded rail lines and stations, and inaccessible communities caused by road and bridge closures.  The common thread connecting all these problems is the impact highways, bridges and public transit systems have on our daily lives.  And we take it for granted until something like a natural disaster strikes.

PennDOT recently announced the closing of 38 bridges in the southeast due to hurricane impacts.  Additionally, an entire community was cut off when a bridge on State Route 487 in Sullivan County was destroyed.  Clearly those affected residents know how important infrastructure is to their lives.  The safety and convenience infrastructure provides are now confronting them firsthand. Read more

Video

TRIP and PHIA Announce PA Roads Report

November 24, 2010 by · Comments Off on TRIP and PHIA Announce PA Roads Report
Filed under: Video 

A national research group, TRIP, released a new report on the state of our highways, bridges and mass transit systems in PA.  Watch the report of the statewide press conferences.

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