PHIA News Digest – Vol. 12

February 23, 2015

PHIA_LOGOPennDOT waives limits on haulers of heating oil, propane
PennDOT said Tuesday it temporarily waived federal restrictions on how much time commercial drivers hauling heating oil and propane gas can be on the road without a break.

Pa. Senate committee OKs Transit Revitalization Act amendments
The proposed legislation intends to streamline the TRID process, simplify complicated areas of the current legislation and create an incentive for increased privatized development. It also establishes a funding mechanism to reinvest tax money to improve a transportation district.

5 things to know about a new report on Pennsylvania’s roads, bridges and transportation system
The 2015 Transportation Performance Report was released Thursday and demonstrates using a color-coded rating system what areas of transportation are improving, holding steady and declining. The report, developed by a 15-person commission, reviewed issues with safety, mobility, preservation, accountability and funding.

Funding was much-needed
Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation bill that was signed into law in 2013 by Gov. Tom Corbett, may have addressed what is a nationwide problem.

Pennsylvania Flush With Cash For Transportation Projects
While other states struggle to pay the upkeep on their highway systems, Pennsylvania is implementing a multifaceted, multibillion-dollar blueprint designed to accelerate road and bridge projects, improve mass transit systems and increase subsidies to local governments.

Amtrak could shorten its 5-hour Harrisburg-Pittsburgh route, but is it worth $38.3 billion?
It is feasible for Amtrak to reduce travel time and increase the frequency of trips on Keystone West, their route from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, according to a recent study.

But shortening the trek between the Capital City and the City of Bridges would be costly, with the low-end estimate at $1.5 billion and the high-end at $38.3 billion. And that would only shave five minutes at least and half an hour at the most off the entire train ride.




PHIA News Digest – Vol. 11

February 17, 2015

PHIA_LOGODriver’s Seat: A drive in the faster lanes on the Pa. Turnpike
The higher speed limit came in conjunction with the rebuilding of the turnpike, DeFebo said. It has been widened from four to six lanes and reconstructed in many areas of the higher speed limits. More than 100 miles have been rebuilt.


Pennsylvania DOT to begin accepting applications for new intermodal incentive program
Established through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, the program commits up to $1 million annually for five years to provide ocean carriers $25 per container lift above their previously reported lift totals. The transportation fund includes dedicated budget categories for freight-rail, port, aviation and bicycle-pedestrian projects.

Mass transit riders breaking laws of motion
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority last year instituted a “Dude, It’s Rude” campaign on the theory that direct messages with some humor are most likely to get people’s attention. Its slogans include “Two seats? Really?” and “Watch Your Language.”

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Seek Ignition Interlocks For First Time DUI Offenders
State lawmakers believe they are close to enacting legislation that would require ignition interlock systems for some first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 10

February 9, 2015

PHIA_LOGODecaying roads, bridges attract investor interest
The companies are working with states and localities fed up with federal inaction to jump-start transit projects and revamp public works suffering from decades of neglect. Such an alliance in Pennsylvania, home to the nation’s highest number of deficient bridges, is letting the state replace 558 crossings more cheaply and more quickly.

“We’re pretty happy with where we are,” said Bryan Kendro, director of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Public Private Partnerships office. “It gives us confidence to continue to look at other opportunities.”

Roundabouts gaining traction in Pennsylvania
Found to be safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists than traditional intersections, and more efficient in moving traffic, roundabouts have been pitched for Hamilton Street in Allentown, two spots in Upper Macungie Township and a few spots along Route 222 in Berks County, including one in Maidencreek Township that about 1,500 petition-signers oppose.

Pa. to pay shippers that boost deliveries to Port of Philadelphia
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced an “incentive program” Tuesday to increase cargoes at the Port of Philadelphia.

Gov. Tom Wolf said that $1 million annually will be committed for five years to encourage ocean carriers to deliver more 20-foot and 40-foot containers filled with cargoes to Philadelphia piers and terminals.

President Obama’s transportation proposal may face a rough road
President Barack Obama’s budget proposal seeks $478 billion over six years to improve what it called “crumbling” roads and bridges, transit systems and freight networks.

It’s a familiar refrain for the president, who has repeatedly called on Congress in previous years to increase infrastructure spending to preserve the nation’s global competitiveness and stimulate job growth.

Mapping America’s most dangerous bridges
Twenty two percent of Pennsylvania’s 23,000 highway bridges are deficient, which, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of driving up I-81 in that state, you know in your heart to be true.


News, Video

Automated speed enforcement in work zones will save lives

February 4, 2015

Having taken a major step toward addressing Pennsylvania’s bridge and highway funding needs with the passage of Act 89, PHIA and the construction industry are turning their attention toward work zone safety.

The industry is lining up behind legislation that will provide for camera enforcement of speed limits in work zones. Five years of experience with such a system in Maryland proves that this approach is exceptionally effective.

It’s not just about construction workers. In four out of five work zone crashes, it’s motorists and passengers who are injured or killed, not construction workers.

In Maryland, the number of work zone speeding violations has dropped dramatically since the program began. Click below to view a short video, and check back at for periodic updates.




PennDOT starts 2015 with $288 million in lettings

February 3, 2015

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by starting 2015 with over $288 million in projects let during January.  Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package.  PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come. Read more