Ethanol driving recent gas price increases

April 10, 2014

While lifting the cap on Pennsylvania’s Oil Company Franchise Tax may have caused a modest increase in gas prices, recent news reports say that the larger culprit is the increasing price of ethanol.

Most gasoline sold in the U.S. is made up of approximately 10 percent ethanol, according to MarketWatch.  A volatile ethanol market is to blame for driving up gasoline prices since early February of this year.

Ethanol prices rose by 22 percent in March alone, and the price of ethanol to date has risen 30 percent, to $2.30 per gallon. The corn-based fuel has been a popular blending option in recent years, as it is cheaper than gasoline. The shortage of ethanol is due mostly to this winter’s harsh weather, which caused transportation disruptions. Read more


PennDOT Posts List of Decade of Investment Projects

April 4, 2014

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.



Corbett unveils “Decade of Investment” for transportation

April 3, 2014

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. Read more


PennDOT lets $68 million in March

April 1, 2014

NEW_PENNDOTThe effects of Act 89 continue to spike PennDOT lettings in 2014.   PennDOT bid a little over $68 million in projects in March, bringing the year-to-date total to over $448.6 million.  At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $287.4 million 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