News

Rafferty Unveils Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan

April 16, 2013 by · Comments Off on Rafferty Unveils Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan
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Below is a copy of the press release issued by Senator Rafferty’s Office:

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R-44) today was joined by Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch and the three other chairmen of the Senate and House Transportation Committees to unveil his comprehensive proposal to fund Pennsylvania’s transportation needs.

senatorraffertyRafferty said the funding proposal, “The Bridge to Pennsylvania’s Future,” will increase Pennsylvania’s annual transportation investment by $2.5 billion.  It follows the major recommendations made by the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

“Pennsylvania is at a crossroads and we must take action now,” Rafferty said.  “Our roads and bridges continue to crumble, our mass transit systems lack the funds needed to meet continued demand, and our railways, airports and ports struggle to be economic generators for the 21st Century.  We simply cannot continue to ignore these pressing needs, which are directly related to public safety and economic development.” Read more

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PennDOT finishes 2012 with $1.9 billion in total lettings

January 2, 2013 by · Comments Off on PennDOT finishes 2012 with $1.9 billion in total lettings
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The state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) bid slightly over $112 million in projects in December finishing the 2012 year with $1.973 billion in total contract lettings.   PennDOT finished the 2011 calendar year with $1.812 billion in lettings.   Read more

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Dick Hess named as GOP chair for House Transportation

December 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on Dick Hess named as GOP chair for House Transportation
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Rep. Dick Hess

State Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford) was named today to succeed Rick Geist as Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee, while Rep. Michael McGeehan of Philadelphia was reappointed Democratic chair.

Hess, a longtime Transportation Committee member, will take the assignment as legislative leaders and Governor Corbett prepare to address Pennsylvania’s transportation funding problem at the beginning of the new legislative session next year.

“Representative Hess’ experience with and understanding of transportation issues will be a great help in navigating funding legislation through the House,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.  “And with Representative McGeehan as the other chair, PHIA members and transportation advocates in general should be very pleased with the prospects of achieving the important public policy goals that pertain to transportation.”

Hess is in his 13th term, serving residents of the 78th Legislative District, which includes all of Fulton County as well as parts of Huntingdon and Bedford counties.  He moves from chairing the House Commerce Committee in the recently completed 2011-12 legislative session.  Additional biographical information is available at www.dickhess.com.

As Democratic chair, McGeehan www.pahouse.com/mcgeehan has been vocal in his support for a solution to the state’s transportation funding gap, calculated at $3.5 billion per year by the Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee in 2010.  The funding initiative is expected to begin in the Senate shortly after Governor Corbett presents his plan.

 

 

Video

Rep. Markosek talks transportation in list of 2013 budget priorities

December 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on Rep. Markosek talks transportation in list of 2013 budget priorities
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[youtube]http://youtu.be/rKcL_AKlzuE[/youtube]

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PHIA commissions study on most congested corridors in PA

October 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on PHIA commissions study on most congested corridors in PA
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The Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) is partnering with The Road Information Program (TRIP) in researching Pennsylvania’s most congested corridors.  The report is expected to be released by the end of the year and is being conducted in cooperation with the PA Department of Transportation (PENNDOT).

The report will provide information on the most congested corridors in several urban areas throughout the Commonwealth.  The focus regions are: Allentown-Reading; Harrisburg-Lancaster-York; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; and Scranton-Wilkes/Barre.  The report will provide a description of each corridor, an estimate of the amount and value of fuel and time wasted by commuters traveling on these corridors and a description of the improvements needed to relieve congestion on these routes. Read more

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Know of any ‘choke points’ in your neck of the woods? PHIA needs to know

July 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Know of any ‘choke points’ in your neck of the woods? PHIA needs to know
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Although it is unlikely that the General Assembly will act on the funding issue until next year, it is extremely important to keep transportation issues in the public’s eye through the fall.  PHIA and the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition plan to coordinate outreach and publicity efforts centered on a theme of “the cost of doing nothing.”

To support this effort, we are looking for examples throughout Pennsylvania of traffic “choke points” – places where congestion occurs on a daily basis, causing delays and wasting fuel and money.  As an example, if my 15-mile daily commute should ordinarily take 20 minutes, but congestion and the resulting stop-and-go traffic flow causes it to take an additional 10 minutes, I have driven the equivalent of 7 ½ additional miles.  If I do that twice daily, five days per week, I have driven the equivalent of 75 additional miles, which in my 25-mpg vehicle wastes three gallons of gas costing about $10. Read more

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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.

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Industry remains optimistic about funding solutions

March 16, 2011 by · Comments Off on Industry remains optimistic about funding solutions
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Although Governor Corbett did not mention transportation funding in his budget address last week, the construction industry continues to be optimistic about the opportunity to begin addressing that issue this year.

Barry Schoch was unanimously recommended by the Senate Transportation Committee to serve as PennDOT secretary. He will continue as acting secretary until confirmation by the full Senate, which is expected next month. Read more

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I-81 series a must-read for transportation issue aficionados

January 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on I-81 series a must-read for transportation issue aficionados
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This week, the Chambersburg Public Opinion, Carlisle Sentinel and Lebanon Daily News published an ambitious four-part series titled “Interstate 81: Troubled Highway.”   The fall semester journalism class at Shippensburg University also contributed to the project.

The series, published simultaneously by the three newspapers in print and online, examined the ways I-81 has re-shaped the smaller communities along its path, both as an economic lifeline and a challenge to public safety. The series also noted that the highway’s continued viability is increasingly at risk due to little funding or public commitment to its future. Read more

Video

New Minority Chairman McGeehan Discusses Transportation Needs

January 20, 2011 by · Comments Off on New Minority Chairman McGeehan Discusses Transportation Needs
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Newly appointed minority House Transportation Chairman Mike McGeehan (D-Philadelphia) discusses the state of transportation in Pennsylvania.