Events, PHIA Programs & Awards

PHIA Takes Nominations for Annual Road & Bridge Safety Awards

December 30, 2019

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.  Go HERE for complete information.

Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2019.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 52

December 30, 2019

Pennsylvania wants to fix its Medicaid transit program but there’s no easy way

Currently, the state allows counties to decide how to transport residents. A proposed alternative would pay independent brokers to coordinate transportation across regions. A state-commissioned report, delivered to state legislators Friday, said both options have disadvantages. It didn’t recommend one approach over the other for overhauling the Medical Assistance Transportation Program, the state’s answer to a federal mandate to offer free nonemergency medical transportation for Pennsylvania’s 2.8 million Medicaid patients.

Jeep Cherokee watching: Pa. to start automated speed enforcement in work zones

Beginning Jan. 4, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike will begin a 60-day pilot program to formally test what’s called the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program. The program is designed to cause drivers to slow down in construction areas by setting up speed monitoring equipment in work areas.

Ex-lawmaker: Now is time to fix Pa. transportation network

A task force report focusing on critical weaknesses in Pennsylvania’s transportation network was released in Harrisburg as the year drew to a close. A former state lawmaker who now runs the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is calling it a good starting point for action.

Brian Allen named district executive for PennDOT District 10

Brian N. Allen, P.E., has been appointed the district executive for the western region of PennDOT. He is responsible for overseeing all functions District 10, which serves Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Jefferson counties.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 51

December 24, 2019

Pa. Turnpike officials expecting record-setting holiday travel this year

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is anticipating a record-setting holiday travel period, with more than six million people hitting the turnpike through New Year’s Day.

1-99 designation draws closer

The designation of U.S. Route 15 as an interstate is getting closer. At the Dec. 13 Develop Tioga meeting, President Alan Quimby reported on a recent meeting with PennDOT officials. A draft version of the deficiencies postponing the designation was released and contains only two items that need to be corrected, said Quimby.

Multi-state pact could curb transportation carbon emissions, raise gas prices

The proposal — known as the Transportation and Climate Initiative — is aimed at reducing pollutants contributing to global warming. An alliance of Northeast and mid-Atlantic states has been working on the project that would create a cap on pollution from transportation.

Before scrapping Pa.’s annual auto emissions inspections, lawmakers call for a study first

State lawmakers remain interested in enabling most Pennsylvanians to avoid spending about $40 annually on auto emission inspections, but they are tapping the brakes a bit. The reason? Lawmakers want to be sure they don’t risk millions in federal aid.

 

News

Safety, funding measures top 2019 highway issues

December 19, 2019

In our final edition of E-motion for 2019, we reflect on the public policy highlights of this year.

At the top of the list was the enactment of the automated speed enforcement measure. The pilot program began in the fall with a “pre-enforcement testing period.” Beginning next month, motorists who drive through work zones at more than 10 mph over the speed limit will begin receiving citations after a first-offense warning. The initial fine will be $75, increasing to $150 for subsequent violations.

Automated speed enforcement tops the list because, as much as we talk about highway funding, work zone safety is and always has been the construction industry’s highest priority. Data show that Maryland’s program, which has been in place for several years, has reduced excessive speeding to less than 1 percent of drivers after beginning at 7 percent.

There also were positive developments on the funding front. As diversions from the Motor License Fund continue to be rolled back by 4 percent a year, legislation in the Senate would accelerate the rollback, making more money available for highway work. A House Republican task force also recommended accelerating the rollback, so it appears that the idea has a good chance of advancing in the second half of the current legislative session.

Additionally, the House task force recommended expanding public-private partnership opportunities, streamlining permitting processes, changing the way large highway projects are bid out, giving local governments the ability to impose additional fees and creating county infrastructure banks. We expect that those recommendations will be transformed into legislation early next year.

As we bid farewell to 2019, we leave you with best wishes for the holidays and hope you have a prosperous and healthy New Year. We’ll keep you posted as we turn the page to 2020.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 50

December 16, 2019

Super load headed to destination in Clinton County

A slow-moving super load is expected to arrive at its destination in Clinton County on Monday. The industrial dryer headed for First Quality Tissue in Lock Haven began its journey from Erie more than a week ago.

Truckers turn to U.S. Supreme Court over Turnpike toll diversion

Truck drivers who claim the Pennsylvania Turnpike is illegally using tolls to pay for non-turnpike items such as public transit have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their lawsuit.