Featured

U.S. House passes short-term funding bill

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured 

The U.S. House this week approved by a wide margin a short-term measure that would prop up the Federal Highway Trust Fund through next spring. That it was generally welcomed by the construction industry and transportation advocates speaks to the new level of expectation that the Congress has set for itself.

construction_012910gettyAs reported in The Hill (click HERE to read), a widely-read inside-the-Beltway newspaper, “both chambers’ version of the transportation bill rely on so-called ‘pension smoothing’ — a proposal that budget experts across the ideological spectrum have dubbed a gimmick.”

Moreover, Congress has once again ignored the pleas of the business community, which is pushing for a long-term funding plan. The American Trucking Association and AAA have joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in this quest. Click HERE to read more.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where either the House version or a similar measure is expected to pass. If it’s the House version, it will move directly to President Obama’s desk; if it’s a measure that is different in any way it will be kicked back to the House for concurrence or reconciliation. The president has said he would sign the House version.

“Our state legislators mustered the courage and the will to provide a substantive, comprehensive, multimodal funding bill, with broad public acceptance and little if any dissent,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “To the extent that transportation is also a federal priority – and we certainly believe it needs to be – it’s time for Congress to step up and increase its contribution, which was last done in 1993. We’re doing our part, but we still need help.”

 

News

PennDOT lets over $1.4 billion in projects in first 6 months of 2014

June 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTAct 89 continues to push construction lettings to significantly higher levels thus far in 2014. PennDOT had another strong month in June with over $510 million in projects being put out on the street. This brings the year-to-date total to over $1.4 billion. At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $724.4 million in lettings. At this pace, PennDOT would end 2014 with over $2 billion in lettings.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT coming close to $2 billion in construction lettings in 2014. PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings. Read more

Video

Annual conference video wrap-up

June 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Video 

PHIA’s annual conference last month featured a wide variety of interesting presentations.  Here the presenters summarize their thoughts.

YouTube Preview Image

 

News

Strong lettings during month of May

June 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTThe effects of Act 89 continue to spike PennDOT lettings in 2014.   PennDOT had a strong bidding period in may with over $300 million in projects being put out on the street.  This brings the year-to-date total to over $959 million.  At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $575.7 million in lettings.  At this pace, PennDOT would end 2014 with over $2 billion in lettings.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue.  Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT coming close to $2 billion in construction lettings in 2014.  PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings. Read more

News

Funding act supporters win re-nomination

May 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

rsz_us-election1Transportation funding advocates are fond of noting that following the gas-tax increase of 1997, no incumbent who supported the increase lost his or her seat because of it.

This year – at least through the primary – the same holds true. Many incumbents who had previously supported Act 89, including Reps. Mark Keller, Stan Saylor, Mauree Gingrich, Patty Kim, Karen Boback, Margo Davidson and Seth Grove, won their party’s nomination fairly handily.

Rep. Ryan Aument, who also supported the funding act, was nominated for a vacant Senate seat. Kristen Phillips-Hill, running for a vacant House seat, defeated a tea party candidate to win the nomination.

Of the handful of incumbents who lost their bids for re-nomination and who supported Act 89, their vote clearly was not the main reason. Some are facing criminal charges, and one was thrown into a district with a fellow incumbent following legislative redistricting. Read more

Featured, News

2014 Transportation Conference a Success

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, News 

PHIA members know that we don’t hand out our Advocate of the Year awards to just anyone. In fact, it’s not unusual for us to skip the award some years.

Tom CorbettThis year, however, we honored not one, but two transportation advocates, and it won’t surprise anyone to learn that they are Gov. Tom Corbett and PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. Both were instrumental in the passage of Act 89, Pennsylvania’s first-ever comprehensive, multimodal transportation funding measure. It wouldn’t have happened without them.

In fact, there was no shortage of kudos at this year’s Transportation Conference and Annual Meeting, held Wednesday at the Harrisburg Hilton. While the governor and Secretary Schoch – Barry was serving as PHIA president when he was nominated as secretary – deservedly took PHIA’s top honors, the organization bestowed special recognition on Sens. John Rafferty and John Wozniak, majority and minority chairs, respectively, of the Senate Transportation Committee; Reps. Nick Micozzie and Michael McGeehan, majority and minority chairs, respectively, of the House Transportation Committee; Sen. Jake Corman, who introduced the initial transportation funding legislation; House Speaker Sam Smith, who shepherded the final bill through the House; and the late Dick Hess, who was chairman of the House Transportation Committee at the time of his death, and who had been instrumental in paving the way for the funding bill in the House.

Also honored were George Wolff, founder of the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition, and Coalition member Mike Ryan, who headed the organization’s legislative outreach efforts for the last two years.

The conference featured presentations from APC’s Bob Latham on how the industry and its allies worked together to support the funding act, Turnpike CEO Mark Compton on how Act 89 will benefit the Turnpike, former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. with the view from Washington and elsewhere, and Stan Caldwell of Carnegie Mellon University on autonomous vehicles and other technology under development by CMU’s University Transportation Center.

Another of the morning’s highlights featured a panel discussion by the heads of three local Chambers of Commerce, Tom Baldrige of Lancaster, David Black of Harrisburg and Amy Wise of Huntingdon County, moderated by Quantum Communications CEO Charlie Gerow.

PHIA extends thanks to all the presenters and to the more than 200 attendees who helped make this year’s conference one of the best-attended and interesting gatherings in our 54-year history.

We will post video of the event on this site in the coming days.  Meanwhile, visit the Pennsylvania Cable Network website at https://pcntv.com and check the programming schedule for reruns of the conference.

 

News

PennDOT puts out $217 million in projects during April

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTThe effects of Act 89 continue to spike PennDOT lettings in 2014.   PennDOT bid a little over $217 million in projects in April, bringing the year-to-date total to over $667 million.  At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $336.3 million in lettings.  At this pace, PennDOT would end 2014 with over $2 billion in lettings.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue.  Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT coming close to $2 billion in construction lettings in 2014.  PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings. Read more

News

PennDOT Posts List of Decade of Investment Projects

April 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

DECADEiconnewThe PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) posted a list of over 250 additional projects that are now able to be completed as a direct result of Act 89–Pennsylvania’s new transportation funding law.  The lists are separated by PennDOT district and represent those “Decade of Investment” projects that were discussed during the funding bill discussions by the General Assembly.

To view or download the list(s), you can click HERE.

 

Featured, News

Corbett unveils “Decade of Investment” for transportation

April 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, News 

Gov. Tom Corbett announced today that PennDOT will invest $2.1 billion in bridge and highway work this year, about $600 million more than would have been available without passage of the Transportation Funding Act last fall.

At a news conference in Harrisburg, Corbett said 250 projects will begin this year directly as a result of the funding act, for a total of more than 900 projects overall.

IMG_1447Echoing themes that the construction industry has been using over the last few years, the governor said the funding plan would create safer roads, bridges and public transportation systems, while saving 12,000 jobs immediately and creating 50,000 more during the next five years. He said 18,000 jobs would be created this year alone.

Some of the higher-profile projects include:

  • Rehabilitating the Birmingham Bridge in Pittsburgh.
  • Rehabilitating the Spring Garden Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
  • Resurfacing the Trexlertown bypass in Lehigh County.
  • Resurfacing more than 145 miles of roads in northeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Resurfacing and bridge preservation on the Lock Haven Bypass, in Clinton County.
  • Resurfacing more than 142 miles of roads in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Moreover, the plan will enable PennDOT to remove weight restrictions on more than 100 state and local bridges in 2014. The department had been forced to begin posting weight restrictions last year in the absence of a funding measure.

The governor noted that local governments and transit systems also will benefit from the funding measure. Nearly 50 public transportation projects will enter the design stage or begin construction that would have remained on hold without the new funding. Local governments will receive a $25 million increase in transportation funds this year, growing to a $220 million annual increase in five years.

And finally, Corbett directed PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch to again review PennDOT’s procedures to identify efficiencies to assure that the new revenue is spent wisely. To date, PennDOT has implemented efficiencies that will save about $100 million per year.

Despite raising an additional $600 million this year, primarily by uncapping the Oil Company Franchise tax, gasoline prices are almost exactly where they were one year ago, and nearly 40 cents per gallon less than two years ago.

“The funding act goes a long way toward stemming the tide of deterioration of Pennsylvania’s transportation system,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “To have done it without significantly impacting gas prices speaks to the success of the General Assembly and the governor in striking the right balance in improving safety, relieving congestion and creating jobs in Pennsylvania.”

To read the governor’s news release and press materials, click here.

For PHIA’s summary of the funding act, click here.

Each of the 11 PennDOT districts will hold separate news conferences outlining the specifics in each region.  A master list of projects will be posted on PennDOT’s website later today at www.dot.state.pa.us

 

 

Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »