News

Turnpike, PennDOT Challenged By Storm

January 27, 2016

snow-jonasRecord-setting Blizzard Jonas proved to be a tough test for Pennsylvania’s snow removal efforts. Hundreds of motorists were trapped on the PA Turnpike as up to three feet of snow accumulated in the mid-state. According to some news accounts, the Turnpike blockage occurred when two westbound tractor trailers collided near the Allegheny tunnels.

Throughout the snow removal process, which will continue through this week in many municipalities, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards and Gov. Tom Wolf visited with PennDOT crews and monitored progress. The governor has described PennDOT’s performance as “nearly perfect.”

“PHIA supports any effort to make Pennsylvania’s highways safer, but would also like to applaud the efforts of PennDOT, the National Guard and the Turnpike Commission who worked tirelessly to make sure motorists were kept safe and evacuated as quickly as possible,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We caution motorists to stay safe for the rest of the week as their local roads are cleared.”

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 60

January 25, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Governor Wolf Announces Plans to Improve Harrisburg Transportation Center
Governor Tom Wolf today announced plans for improvements to the Harrisburg Transportation Center and surrounding areas. The governor was joined by PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards and Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

“Enhancing Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure is essential to the region’s economy and the Harrisburg Transportation Center is a vital hub that serves our Keystone Corridor passenger rail service, as well as intercity bus and local transit,” Governor Wolf said. “The center serves more than 1.6 million riders per year, including many people working for the commonwealth. State government calls Harrisburg home and we want to partner with the city where possible to improve the quality of life for its residents and businesses.”

2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs
Each year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 34th straight year, the program is now open for members of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).

Snow tracks: Pa. plow info on tap online this weekend
If you’re the kind of driving enthusiast that sees a major snowstorm and thinks, “this would be a killer chance to do some joy riding on the Schuylkill Expressway,” the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has the perfect new web feature for you.

The huge snowstorm has prompted transportation shutdowns or restrictions around Pennsylvania, with officials urging people stay off the roads if at all possible
The huge snowstorm has prompted transportation shutdowns or restrictions around Pennsylvania, with officials urging people stay off the roads if at all possible.

The storm prompted cancellation of all flights Saturday into and out of Philadelphia International Airport.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued vehicle and speed restrictions on some roadways, barring empty trucks and trailers pulled by vehicles in many areas and reducing speed limits on some highways. The mayor of York issued a travel ban barring nonessential travel on city streets.

 

News

2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs

January 21, 2016

PSAB_borough_seal_outlinesEach year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 34th straight year, the program is now open for members of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).  The same award program for PA’s townships opened last month and will open later in the year for PA’s counties.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2015.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information and to download the entry brochures.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 59

January 19, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Reckoning could be coming for PA’s toll deadbeats
E-ZPass is gradually replacing traditional toll booths. There are E-ZPass lanes with equipment that can scan an E-ZPass placard without the driver slowing down. The Pennsylvania Turnpike recently opened a new tolling point at the New Jersey border that is entirely electronic. Anyone without E-ZPass who goes through gets billed after their license plate is photographed. The ability to move people through tolling points more quickly and easily, though, comes with a price. It’s easier to blast through tolls without paying, and if a person is determined to avoid a toll in Pennsylvania, they probably can get away with it.

FHWA Notices Clear FAST Act Highway Funds for States in Fiscal 2016
The Federal Highway Administration issued the formal apportionment notice and other documents that let states begin using funds allocated to their highway programs under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

Although the FHWA had already issued estimates that told state departments of transportation how much to expect from the FAST Act, the agency’s Jan. 8 issuance of the formal documents clears the way for states to now begin tapping that money for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

 

News

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards Outlines 2015 Achievements

January 12, 2016

Secretary-Richards2In an op-ed article that ran in papers around the state, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards detailed the many accomplishments of PennDOT during 2015.

These projects included: 608 highway and bridge contracts worth more than $2.5 billion, improvements to more than 6,000 miles of road, a reduction in structurally deficient bridges by 2,000, and $434 million to communities to fix local roads.

PennDOT also focused on improved technology in 2015 by launching FindMyRidePA, introducing wait time monitoring at driver services centers around the state and tracking PennDOT snow plows.

“We are working hard at PennDOT every day to keep you moving,” Secretary Richards wrote. “We prepare to enter 2016 with a renewed commitment to put your dollars invested with us to effective and efficient use.”

“Thanks to funding from Act 89 (the comprehensive, multi-modal funding package of 2013), the past year was filled with necessary highway and bridge improvements,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We hope that 2016 is just as productive and there are many more projects on the horizon.

“However, ,he numbers alone don’t tell the entire story,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “PennDOT’s efforts have resulted in three very important things – improved safety, congestion relief and the creation of hundreds of jobs. Those benefits will continue thanks to the funding measures passed by the General Assembly and Congress.”

You can read Secretary Richards’ op-ed in full here.