News

Gas prices edging up, but are expected to remain lower than last year

February 25, 2014

 

Gasoline price watchers are expecting prices to rise in coming weeks, as they usually do in the spring, but not to the extent that they have in the past.

The Kiplinger Letter predicts that the national average price for unleaded regular, at $3.39 per gallon about a dime higher than a week ago, will peak at about $3.60 before leveling off by late spring.

The cause for spring price spikes is maintenance-related refinery closures and the switch to summer gasoline blends. Kiplinger projects that the prices will remain lower this year compared with last.

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Washington infrastructure event provides many questions, few answers

February 6, 2014

ShusterPortraitFinancial software, data and media company Bloomberg hosted an infrastructure event in Washington this week, and while the event provided a forum to frame the issue from multiple perspectives, it remains clear that Congress is far from a consensus on many aspects of a funding plan.

Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, said he favors moving toward a vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax to fund a highway program. He is not in favor of raising the 18.4-cent federal gasoline tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993.

Although a VMT approach would more accurately assess the costs for using transportation assets, others balk at the idea of tracking the number of miles that people travel in order to assess the levy.

Still others, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former PA Gov. Ed Rendell, believe the gas tax should be raised immediately. Rendell called for raising it by 10 cents and indexing it to inflation. Read more

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PennDOT Starts Off 2014 with $222 in Lettings

February 4, 2014

NEW_PENNDOTThe Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) bid $222.7 million in projects in January starting the new year off on a high note. During January of 2013, PennDOT only put out $62 million in contract 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