PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5

January 5, 2015

PHIA_LOGOPa. Turnpike considers plans to replace Allegheny Tunnels in Somerset County
The turnpike commission is considering six options for abandoning the 6,070-foot-long tunnels, longest on the turnpike mainline. Three would involve building new tunnels and three would carve an open highway through the mountain either to the north or south of the existing tunnels.

2015 Transportation Funding Predictions (Part 1)
In the transportation arena, the buzz is about whether Congress will pass a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund deficit or “punt on first down,” opting to put up smoke-and-mirrors funding to get past the next deadline.  Pundits are also speculating that states are poised to step up in a big way to fund transportation, leaving Congress behind.

Shuster: no hike for gas tax
The western Pennsylvania congressman who chairs the House Transportation Committee is drawing a line in the sand for the next round of negotiations on a highway funding bill: no hike for the gasoline tax.

Pennsylvania gas tax, turnpike tolls head upward
The state’s tax on gasoline wholesalers will go up by 9.8 cents per gallon on Thursday, as mandated by Act 89, the transportation funding law the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett enacted last year. Three days after that, a 5 percent toll increase will take effect on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Pennsylvania DEP Extends Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Program
According to the DEP, the program will continue to provide $2,000 rebates for large-battery system plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric vehicles until June 30, or until the 500-vehicle benchmark is reached. To date, the DEP has more than 150 rebates remaining at this amount.

Pennsylvania congressional delegation deadlocks on transportation bill
Members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation agree that passing a bill to pay for the country’s aging roads and bridges should be a top priority this year, but members disagree on its funding.

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