PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 1

January 3, 2017

PDSITELOGO2PennDOT explains why gas tax hike is needed

The state’s gasoline tax increased on Jan. 1, the third and final increase that was part of Act 89 of 2013.

“In 2013, we were awarding about $1.6 billion a year in work. Now we’re up to about $2.4 billion,” according to PennDOT’s Rich Kirkpatrick. “That translates into many more miles of improvements, many more bridges that are repaired.” The increase should mean nearly a billion dollars more a year in road and bridge improvements.

PA transportation chiefs blaze a path for women in the field

In calling graduates to public service and exhorting them to challenge themselves, the speaker at Temple University’s College of Engineering commencement Dec. 22 — Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards — also shared a personal detail.

“I was a stay-at-home mom for eight years and then worked part-time for the majority of my professional career,” said Richards, the first woman to hold the post. “It is possible to go in and out of the workforce without compromising your professional growth.”

The anecdote is important for Richards: It illustrates that a woman need not devote herself exclusively to her career to excel, and also is about a woman reaching the top of her profession in a field traditionally dominated by men.

PennDOT Dep. Sec. Fauver named to U.S. DOT Air Service Work Group

PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Toby Fauver has been named to a new U.S. Department of Transportation Working Group on Improving Air Service to Small Communities.

U.S. DOT announced that 25 members from federal, state, regional agencies airports, universities and air service providers were named to the group, which will advise Congress on priorities and funding needs for air operations in small towns.

Stuck behind a car crash? Pa. motorists will now get traffic, cleanup updates

The next time a massive snowstorm or multi-vehicle collision shuts down a Pennsylvania roadway for more than two hours, you’ll get a message telling you about the issue and what is being done to fix it.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the launch of 511PAConnect, a new tool that will provide information updates to motorists in the event of a long-term road closure due to accidents on state roadways, on Thursday.


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