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PennDOT ends 2011 with $1.8 billion in lettings

January 3, 2012 by · Comments Off on PennDOT ends 2011 with $1.8 billion in lettings
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PennDOT lets $263 million in projects in December

The state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) bid just over $263.7 million in projects in December bringing the final year-to-date total to $1.812 billion.  In 2010, PennDOT ended the year with $2.119 billion in lettings.

PennDOT initially forecast the 2011 year to see $1.7 billion in lettings, which was the level of the program back in 2006-07.  While PennDOT slightly exceeded its forecast, the total still represents a flat construction program.  PennDOT made a 2012 construction year forecast at $1.5 billion due to a decrease in state funding and stagnant federal funding.  For more information regarding the department’s forecast you can view Dep. Secretary Scott Christie’s presentation at the annual APC Fall Seminar by going here.

It is important to note that just a few years ago, PennDOT’s 2009 lettings were $2.8 billion due to the billion dollars in economic stimulus funds, which have been completely spent.

To view the full 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 updates.

News

2011 in review: Still no transportation funding

December 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on 2011 in review: Still no transportation funding
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If your holiday wish is to see some action on the transportation funding issue, I’m afraid you should expect coal under your tree this year. Below is commentary provided by PHIA on the transportation funding effort as 2011 closes with an industry facing an uncertain future.

Veterans of the transportation construction industry are not exaggerating when they tell you that efforts to establish steady, sustainable, comprehensive funding sources for highways and public transit have been underway for decades.

A year ago, there were reasons for great optimism that 2011 was shaping up to be the year that a comprehensive funding solution, finally, could occur: Read more

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Emergency flood projects drive active November

November 30, 2011 by · Comments Off on Emergency flood projects drive active November
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PennDOT lets $98 million in projects

The state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) bid just over $98 million in projects in November bringing the year-to-date total to $1.549 billion. At this same time last year, PennDOT had let $1.78 billion.

PennDOT finished the 2010 calendar year with approximately $2.2 billion in lettings. PennDOT initially forecasted the 2011 year to see $1.7 billion in lettings, which was the level of the program back in 2006-07. PennDOT made a 2012 construction year forecast at $1.5 billion due to the expiration of the federal Economic Stimulus payments as well as a decrease in state funding and stagnant federal funding. For more information regarding the department’s forecast you can view Dep. Secretary Scott Christie’s presentation at the annual APC Fall Seminar by going here. To put into perspective, PennDOT’s lettings were $2.8 billion in 2009 due to the billion dollars in economic stimulus funds.

To view the full 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 updates.

News

PennDOT forecasts diminished 2012 highway construction program

November 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on PennDOT forecasts diminished 2012 highway construction program
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PennDOT Deputy Secretary Scott Christie last week outlined the department’s projected 2012 construction program during an annual gathering of the highway construction industry. And, the news wasn’t good.

While lettings this year will exceed the original projections of approximately $1.9 billion, Christie put the 2012 forecast at a maximum $1.5 billion in lettings, a decrease of more than 20 percent.

Given its diminishing resources, PennDOT will focus on “preservation of the network” in 2012 and plans to bid only six projects exceeding $20 million, with a potential of adding eight more if circumstances warrant.

Christie was quick to add that the $1.5 billion figure would increase to about $2 billion if the state enacts a comprehensive funding package soon, due to the department’s ability to bond against future anticipated revenues.

Also addressing the gathering of approximately 1,500 people at the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors Fall Conference was PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch, who outlined elements of a funding proposal that would generate additional short and long-term funding. Schoch indicated that a key component of the plan would be to systematically increase the cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax in out years when the economy improves, but that short-term bonding could be used to generate immediate funds.

While the specifics of such funding proposal are still being vetted with the state legislature, Schoch indicated that the passage of a funding proposal is still within reach. He said Gov. Tom Corbett is working on the specifics of making a funding-package announcement, which could come as early as this week.

News

Joint transportation committee hears TFAC update

September 27, 2011 by · Comments Off on Joint transportation committee hears TFAC update
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Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate transportation committees opened a joint hearing Tuesday to be briefed on the recommendations of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission (TFAC).

PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch opened with an update on the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, then followed with a summary of the TFAC report. Much of his focus was on various “modernization” initiatives that PennDOT already has begun to undertake.

He also laid out the reasoning behind the recommended lifting of the cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax, explaining that unlike some previous funding proposals all transportation system users, including those who are not Pennsylvania residents, would share the burden equitably. Read more

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Say it ain’t so Irene!

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

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PennDOT’s August lettings total $42 million

August 22, 2011 by · Comments Off on PennDOT’s August lettings total $42 million
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The state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) bid just $42.2 million in projects in August bringing the year-to-date total to $1.062 billion.  At this same time last year, PennDOT had let just over $1.3 billion. Read more

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PennDOT seeks public input on transportation projects

August 8, 2011 by · Comments Off on PennDOT seeks public input on transportation projects
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Source:  PennDOT News Release

Pennsylvanians are invited to share their ideas for highway planning during a series of public hearings to update the state’s 12-Year Transportation Program.

Updated every two years, the Transportation Program serves as a “blueprint” of prioritized transportation projects. The update is overseen by the 15-member State Transportation Commission, or STC, which includes the Transportation Secretary, 10 private citizens appointed by the governor, and the majority and minority chairs of the state Senate and House Transportation Committees.

PennDOT is required by law to prepare and submit to the STC a program of transportation improvements which it recommends be undertaken during the next 12 years, listing only those programs and projects that are reasonably expected to be funded. Read more

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Funding recommendations presented to governor

August 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments
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Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Committee this week presented the governor with recommendations that eventually would raise an additional $2.5 billion annually for the transportation needs of PennDOT, local governments and public transit agencies.  It also contains a number of modernization recommendations aimed at ensuring that PennDOT funds are spent as efficiently as possible.

The cost to a typical motorist – someone who drives 12,000 miles per year in a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon – would be only 70 cents per week in the first year, growing to about $2.50 per week by the fifth year.

A copy of the entire report is available by clicking here.