PHIA News Digest – No. 2, Vol. 22

May 31, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Gov. Wolf, PennDOT announce 2017 highway improvements in SE Pa.

Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT today announced that more than $550 million in highway and bridge improvements will begin or be bid across the Philadelphia region during the 2017 construction season, bringing the region’s total contract work this year to roughly 125 projects worth $2.2 billion.

PA lawmakers advance multiple proposals for State Police funding, coverage

State lawmakers have been considering changes to how Pennsylvania State Police provide coverage in communities without local law enforcement, and how to pay for it. There are no fewer than five related proposals that have been introduced this session.

Residents voice their concerns about thruway project

Curiosity and concerns about noise and traffic brought out more than 300 area residents eager to know more about the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway, southern section — and three alternative routes that were developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to avoid construction on the two nearby fly ash waste basins.

The three routes, dubbed the western, central and eastern alternatives, came about after feedback received at a February meeting. Thursday night’s meeting filled the Selinsgrove Area Middle School auditorium, where PennDOT officials updated the crowd on progress made on both the northern and southern CSVT.

PennDOT abolishes the bikeway occupancy permit

After an 11-year advocacy effort, PennDOT has eliminated the bikeway occupancy permit and replaced it with bike lane request/approval letters. The occupancy permit, which had been law up until now, required a municipality that wanted a new bike lane to maintain any bikeway in PENNDOT’s right of way.

Gov. Wolf, PennDOT preview northwest region construction

Gov. Tom Wolf today joined regional PennDOT officials to announce that more than 90 projects worth approximately $210 million will be under construction in PennDOT’s six-county northwestern region this year.

Proposal to expand passenger rail west of Harrisburg gains momentum

The eastern half of the state has 13 daily trains running between Harrisburg and Philadelphia and back. But once you get west of Harrisburg, things get a little trickier. There’s only one round-trip train a day between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Advocates and lawmakers from Pennsylvania have been working for years to add two trips a day to the schedule. And finally, the issue is seeing some acceleration in the legislature.

PennDOT audit will look at use of new transportation funding, personal data

The commonwealth’s fiscal watchdog is launching an audit of a state agency he says touches the life of nearly every Pennsylvanian: PennDOT.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale just won reelection in November. Now with this audit, he can fulfill his campaign promise of investigating whether transportation funding made possible by Act 89 of 2013 is being use appropriately.

The Philadelphia port gets a new name: PhilaPort

What’s in a name? The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority is betting a lot, and has chosen a shorter, catchier name: PhilaPort.

The port board and staff want to aggressively market Philadelphia to shippers around the world so that when they think about where to send cargo they think Philadelphia.

To be more recognizable in international trade, the PRPA announced it has changed its name, effective immediately. The agency hired a Maryland company to review the port’s marketing and branding with an eye toward a fresh image and attracting new business.


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