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House approves another short-term funding fix

May 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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congress progressThis week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a short-term highway funding extension. The extension will be the 33rd short-term fix since 2008 and will authorize funding through July 31.

While short-term extensions have been accurately portrayed as Band-aids on bullet holes, the extra time gives Congress a chance to put together a more comprehensive solution for long-term funding. Many view this as a more pragmatic move than attempting to force an imperfect bill through Congress on a tight deadline. It also is viewed as better than a six-month extension, which would let the issue fester and possibly spill into an election year.

The Obama administration introduced a six-year funding proposal with a $478 billion price tag, but with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, most observers believe that is unlikely to be the vehicle for long-term highway funding. Read more

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PennDOT lets $242 million in April

May 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by letting over $242 million in projects during April, bringing the year-to-date total to just over $800 million. Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package. PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

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.

 

 

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PennDOT lets $138 million in projects in February

March 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by letting over $138 million in projects let during February.  Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package.  PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come. Read more

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PennDOT starts 2015 with $288 million in lettings

February 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by starting 2015 with over $288 million in projects let during January.  Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package.  PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come. Read more

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PennDOT ends 2014 just shy of $2.6 billion in construction lettings

December 31, 2014 by · Comments Off on PennDOT ends 2014 just shy of $2.6 billion in construction lettings
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT ended 2014 with significantly higher lettings as a direct result of Act 89—Pennsylvania’s new transportation funding law. PennDOT let over $117 million in projects during December bring the year-end total to just shy of $2.6 billion. At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013.

PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

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

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

December 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.

 

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Falling Gas Prices Will Have No Effect on New PA Funding Law

December 10, 2014 by · Comments Off on Falling Gas Prices Will Have No Effect on New PA Funding Law
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Price changing on gas signRetail gasoline prices have fallen to the lowest levels in more than five years, and many are wondering whether this drop will negatively affect the revenue available from the recent enactment of Act 89, PA’s most significant comprehensive transportation funding law since 1997.

The answer is no…but here’s why.

Act 89 did not change the fact that Pennsylvania’s highways are still funded by a user-pay system. Fuel taxes on gasoline and diesel remain the cornerstone of this user pay system. However, only about 11 percent of the actual price of a gallon of gasoline is determined by federal and state taxes. The vast majority is dependent upon the market price of crude oil.

The authors of Act 89 were wise in that they protected the state revenues derived by Act 89 and by effectively freezing the calculation rate used to determine that state tax level. Prior to Act 89, a large portion of the state tax rate was dependent upon a calculation of the average wholesale price of gasoline and then was run through a formula. An artificial cap was placed on this calculation formula in the mid 1980’s. This is the main reason Pennsylvania’s highway funds became stagnate because the cap was reached in the early 2000’s. Read more

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November lettings push yearly total to $2.4 billion

December 2, 2014 by · Comments Off on November lettings push yearly total to $2.4 billion
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NEW_PENNDOTAct 89 continues to push construction lettings to significantly higher levels compared to last year. In November, PennDOT put out over $60 million in projects.  This now brings the year-to-date total to $2.46 billion. At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.571 billion in lettings. PennDOT has already exceeding its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion.   It was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue in 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding $2 billion in construction lettings in 2015. PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings.

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

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

November 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.

 

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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.

 

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Lettings Expected to Remain Strong in 2015

November 24, 2014 by · Comments Off on Lettings Expected to Remain Strong in 2015
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NEW_PENNDOTAt the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), PennDOT presented a recap of the 2014 highway construction program and made a projections for 2015. With a little over a month to go, PennDOT is expected to let approximately $2.6 billion in highway projects. The department has already eclipsed $2.4 billion as of Nov. 24. PennDOT anticipates maintaining its strong project output as a result of Act 89. They foreceasted 2015’s lettings to total at least $2.4 billion. The number could be pushed higher with project put out for bid via the Commonwealth’s Public-Private Partnership Law. While these numbers are projections, PennDOT has routinely met or exceeding these number in past year. To view the full 2015 construction forecast click HERE.

 

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PennDOT’s Strong October Puts Yearly Lettings Over $2.4 billion

November 3, 2014 by · Comments Off on PennDOT’s Strong October Puts Yearly Lettings Over $2.4 billion
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NEW_PENNDOTAct 89 continues to push construction lettings to significantly higher levels compared to last year. PennDOT had another strong month with nearly $300 million in projects being put out on the street during the month of October. This now brings the year-to-date total to just over $2.4 billion. At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.465 billion in lettings. At this pace, PennDOT will far exceed its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue in 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding $2 billion in construction lettings in 2015. PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings. Read more

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