PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 17

April 30, 2018

Today is the last day SEPTA will sell tokens to most riders

Philadelphia is the last big American city that still uses tokens on transit, but Monday marks the last day SEPTA will sell the coins to most riders (with a few exceptions).

Large road, bridge construction season looms

State transportation officials unveiled a $464 million summer road and bridge construction program Monday for six Northeast Pennsylvania counties that will affect 626 miles of roads and 83 bridges.

PennDOT using recycled materials to improve rural roads

PennDOT is renewing its commitment to fixing rural roads across northeastern Pennsylvania. Just one day after Earth Day, PennDOT announced it is trying to be more environmentally conscious by expanding its “Recycled Asphalt Paving” program, or RAP, for short. Crews will be using ground up pavement from other road projects, making them useful again for rural roads across the region.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 16

April 24, 2018

The four-letter word changing daily commutes

Paying an extra toll for rush hour driving isn’t a popular idea with many motorists. But its time seems to have come. Is it here to stay?

Be aggressive on toll evaders

The turnpike’s prosecution decision is a sound one. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported in 2016 that the turnpike commission had written off about $20 million a year in unpaid tolls. Tracking down that money is important not just for the sake of revenue but as a matter of fairness for the vast majority of drivers who dutifully pay the tolls.

Associated PA Constructors holds first-ever TQI and Partnering event

Sixteen highway construction projects shared the limelight last week with the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors’ James J. Skelly Award winner at the first of what will be the Annual TQI and Partnering Awards Banquet, intended to recognize and honor projects exemplifying the goals of Pennsylvania’s Act 89 of 2013.

Pennsylvania sets stage for increased AV oversight

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has drafted guidelines for autonomous vehicle testing, but it’s unclear whether car manufacturers will comply. Without legislative action, there’s still no requirement beyond having a licensed driver behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

View from Route 30 — what’s left of it — shows enormity of collapse, landslide

The quiet media scrum on the remaining road surface Wednesday and the distant sound of two excavators and a bulldozer grading the hillside below were a stark contrast to the normally bustling highway that carries 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles a day. But the highway has been closed since three lanes collapsed April 7, causing a landslide behind Electric Avenue below that displaced 31 people and destroyed two apartment buildings and two houses. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 15

April 16, 2018

Warehouse development around Lehigh Valley International Airport spurs study

The surge of proposed and approved warehouses around the Lehigh Valley International Airport has drawn outrage and opposition from nearby residents, but a call for a new study suggests PennDOT and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission are concerned as well.

DOT announces $264M in grants to modernize bus infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration recently announced that $264 million would be spent to improve the safety and reliability of the nation’s bus systems. The projects selected to receive grants include the Port Authority of Allegheny County to purchase low-floor clean diesel buses.

Westmoreland Transit looks for ways around Route 30 delays into Pittsburgh

Westmoreland County Transit Authority officials hope to have a revised plan in place by Monday’s morning rush hour to deal with service delays caused by the landslide.

4 ways Uber wants to expand its services

For years, Uber has fought with cities and resisted regulations by insisting that it was a technology company, not a transportation company. But the company’s top officials on Wednesday signaled a major shift in approach: Uber wants better relationships with cities, and it is most definitely focusing on transportation.

$670M transportation project continues in Valley

Construction of the $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project continues as a fourth contract is set to be bid on this fall. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation outlined the progress being made in the construction of the new 13-mile, four-lane highway connecting Route 147 in Northumberland County near Montandon to Route 15 in Union County near Winfield and Routes 11-15 in Snyder County near Selinsgrove. Read more


PennDOT lets $312 million in projects during March

April 6, 2018

PennDOT continued its 2018 construction letting season by issuing just over $311.8 million in projects in March, bringing the year-to-date total to almost $474 million according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  PennDOT finished 2017 with just over $2.578 billion in project lettings.  PennDOT forecasted the 2017 letting program to be $2.4 billion and they anticipate the same for 2018.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full March letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

March Letting Report* (PDF)

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 14

April 3, 2018

Groups ask U.S. judge to block Pa. Turnpike Commission from transferring money to PennDOT

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the National Motorists Association filed a request for a preliminary injunction with U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane on Monday afternoon.

Bridge and driverless car tragedies shine light on pedestrian safety needs

Two transportation-related tragedies in recent weeks — the collapse of a bridge in Miami and the death of a woman in Arizona who was struck by an autonomous Uber car — have shined a light on the challenges of deploying new infrastructure technologies.

Pennsylvania looks to push statewide EV adoption

Pennsylvania is looking to become the next state with an initiative to promote the adoption and daily use of electrified automobiles, and several government entities have spawned a coalition to do just that.

Pedri: Vehicle registration fee will help fix roads, bridges

Luzerne County Manager David Pedri on Tuesday made the case for enacting a $5 vehicle registration fee to raise revenue to repair county-owned roads and bridges.

State money to help improve track between Reading, Ephrata

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday the approval of $32 million being spent on 27 rail freight improvement projects, including one that will help the East Penn Railroad rehabilitate some of its track in eastern Pennsylvania.

Causeway extension to allow another pier to be built for massive thruway bridge

More of the nearly mile-long Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway bridge will be under construction this year than had been anticipated.