Say it ain’t so Irene!

August 31, 2011

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


U.S. transportation system on par with Malaysia, study says

August 23, 2011

A study by the World Economic Forum due out in September says the U.S. ranking for the condition of its surface transportation system has fallen 10 places to 16th globally since 2007-08, according to a Reuters report (view story by clicking here).  Hong Kong’s surface transportation system was ranked first, while the U.S. infrastructure is on par with Malaysia. 

“No one can be surprised with this, given the inability of policymakers at the federal level to address this problem, even though the decline of one of our most important national assets has been well documented,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.  “Clearly, the path to a sound transportation system, which is essential for economic growth and prosperity, will be at the state level.”

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.


PennDOT’s August lettings total $42 million

August 22, 2011

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


APC’s Bob Latham on the TFAC Report

August 10, 2011

Associated Pennsylvania Constructors and PHIA Treasurer Bob Latham discusses the recent TFAC Report on PA Newsmakers.


PennDOT seeks public input on transportation projects

August 8, 2011

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