News

First Act 89 regional event a rousing success

July 26, 2016 by · Comments Off on First Act 89 regional event a rousing success
Filed under: News 

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About 70 transportation supporters attended the first in a series of regional events promoting Act 89 this week in Lancaster.

The attendees heard a panel discussion featuring PennDOT Deputy Secretary Jim Ritzman, Lancaster Chamber CEO Tom Baldrige, High Steel’s Steve Bussanmas, Good Transport Services President Danny Good, Jeff Glisson of South Central Transit Authority and Bob Bini of the Lancaster County Planning Commission.

The event was a collaboration between PHIA and the Chamber and was sponsored by Sable Commercial Realty. PHIA is in the process of organizing additional events later this summer and into the fall, in keeping with its mission to educate the public about transportation issues.

“We were thrilled with the turnout,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner, who was moderator for the discussion. “The panelists did a terrific job in articulating the benefits of the transportation funding measure, while also expressing concern about the continuing revenue diversions from the Motor License Fund to support State Police operations.”

Look for information about future regional events as details become available.

Read the news coverage of the event by clicking, HERE.

 

 

News

PennDOT Lets $240 Million in Projects in June

July 6, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT Lets $240 Million in Projects in June
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let over $240 million projects during the month of June. With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $1.335 billion in 2016 to date. At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $1.421 billion. The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings. 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 June letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

June 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.

 

 

News

PA Turnpike COO speaks at PHIA Policy Breakfast

May 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on PA Turnpike COO speaks at PHIA Policy Breakfast
Filed under: News 

IMG_0283Pennsylvania Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey joined policy leaders at the PHIA Policy Breakfast series this week to discuss recent events and the future of the PA Turnpike.

Shuey reviewed recent Turnpike events, including the move to a 70-mile-per-hour speed limit, and the challenges of the January snow storm. He was very positive about the increase in the speed limit, explaining that consistent speeds across the entire turnpike increase safety as drivers know what to expect.

“All we are about [the Pennsylvania Turnpike] is moving people safely,” Shuey said. The concern about the safety of motorists and construction workers alike has prompted the Turnpike Commission to support a proposed automated speed limit  enforcement in work zones.

Nearly 300 miles of the Turnpike have been improved, are in the process of improvements, or are slated for improvement projects. The Turnpike’s $450 million annual contribution to public transportation funding has pushed its debt toward $10 billion, but Act 89 provides for that payment to end in 2022.

“It was very valuable for our guests to hear of the projects on the Turnpike,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We will need as many allies as possible to protect transportation dollars for transportation projects.”

 

Featured

‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag

May 5, 2016 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Featured 

In the last few weeks, editorials and op-ed articles have appeared in newspapers around the state in reaction to the Associated Press story about “free” state police coverage.

pspThe AP noted that nearly half of Pennsylvania’s municipalities rely on the State Police for all of their police protection, and others for at least some coverage. Municipalities are able take advantage of this coverage at no additional cost.

This has increased the cost of operation for the State Police, without any additional revenue to pay for it. Residents of communities that have local police forces or participate in regional police coverage pay twice – for their local coverage, and for State Police coverage in municipalities that rely on State Police.

Gerald Cross, executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League Central Division, commented about this problem with an op-ed article published in several newspapers. You can read the entire article here.

“Mandating that all 2,561 municipalities have their own police departments is unrealistic. One alternative is to require payment for state police services,” Cross wrote. “A more comprehensive and long-term, albeit more complicated, option is to create a mechanism for local government tax-base sharing to deliver all types of critical services more effectively on a regional level. One thing is clear: A wide-ranging discussion of how local governments in Pennsylvania provide services is long overdue.”

The growing cost leads the General Assembly and administration to divert increasing resources from the Motor License Fund.  More than $800 million is proposed to be shifted from the Motor License Fund to pay for the State Police in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget. This means that fewer transportation improvement projects will be funded.

“The growing cost to the State Police for providing local police coverage should not come at the expense of transportation improvement projects,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “Act 89 was a huge step forward in improving our roads and bridges, but it cannot work as well as it should if increasing transportation dollars continue to be used for ‘free’ State Police coverage.”

 

News

PennDOT lets over $175 million in projects during March

April 6, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets over $175 million in projects during March
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let slightly over $175 million projects during the month of March. With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $643.6 million in 2016 to date. At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $558.8 million. The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings. 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 March letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

March 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.

 

News

PennDOT lets $277 million in projects during February

March 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets $277 million in projects during February
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let over $277 million projects during the month of February.  With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $467.2 million in 2016 to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $396.3 million.  The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast.  PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings.  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 February letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

February 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.

 

News

Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance

March 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance
Filed under: News 

LOCALFUNDINGUnder Act 89, the comprehensive multi-modal transportation funding bill, Pennsylvania municipalities receive a sum of money annually to maintain local roads and bridges.

This year, PennDOT will release more than $445 million to local governments for this purpose. Local road maintenance is one of the major accomplishments of Act 89. Before the bill passed in 2013, municipalities received just $320 million for the same purpose.

The 2016 disbursement is an increase from last year as well, up from $381 million. Funds come from liquid fuels payments to the state, and can be used to repair public streets where vehicles travel faster than 15 mph.

Of the 120,039 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania, 72,759 are eligible for liquid fuels money.

“The increase in liquid fuels payments to municipalities is just one of the many accomplishments of Act 89,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We have seen considerable improvements to local roads, state roads and bridges, and we will continue to see improvements that would not have been possible without the bipartisan effort behind Act 89.”

 

News

PennDOT starts 2016 with $217 million in projects bid

February 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT starts 2016 with $217 million in projects bid
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT began the new calendar year with just over $217 million in January lettings.  The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast.  PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings.  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 January letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

January 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.

 

News

PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

February 9, 2016 by · Comments Off on PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study
Filed under: News 

HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2016) – The president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association today urged a legislative committee to request a study to determine the appropriate level of support for State Police operations with revenue from the state’s Motor License Fund.

VanBurenHearingPSPJames Van Buren, who also is president of PennStress, a precast concrete supplier, told the House Transportation Committee that an increasing amount of revenue intended for transportation system improvements has been diverted from the Motor License Fund to support the State Police and now totals $755 million, nearly two-thirds of the entire State Police budget.

Van Buren noted that under the Pennsylvania Constitution, revenue from the Motor License Fund may be used only for highway purposes. While that includes patrolling the highways, he said the amounts being diverted are far greater than the level of resources the agency devotes to highway patrols.

Click HERE to read more of the press release on the hearing.

 

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