PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 5

January 31, 2022

Will state-by-state regulation of self-driving vehicles work?

A future where motorists share streets and highways with driverless cars may still be years away, but transportation experts are saying now’s the time for elected leaders to plan for that scenario.

Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge is one of the 44,000 poorly maintained bridges in the U.S.

According to the city’s fire chief, an inspection of the collapsed bridge took place in September of last year. Billions have already been set aside for bridge, road, and mass transportation improvements as part of President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending program.

Gov. Wolf reaffirms infrastructure investment following visit to bridge collapse

Gov. Tom Wolf today re-emphasized the critical need to invest in our infrastructure as the investigation into the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh continues.

How PennDOT deals with bridges in poor condition

A two-lane bridge in Pittsburgh that collapsed Friday morning is one of thousands in Pennsylvania considered in poor condition. What does the state do if a bridge is deemed poor?

What Pittsburgh collapse can tell us about Pa. bridges

The collapse of the city-owned Fern Hollow Bridge on Friday has raised concerns about the state of Pennsylvania’s thousands of bridges, nearly 20% percent of which were in poor condition as of a 2018 review by the Pittsburgh section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Gov. Wolf announces $17 million to support Appalachian Development Highway System

Governor Tom Wolf today announced that Pennsylvania has been awarded $17,084,430 in federal Appalachian Development Highway System funding as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge is one of 44,000 in poor condition in U.S.

The half-century-old bridge that collapsed in Pittsburgh on Friday ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit highlighted the perilous state of much of the United States’ transportation infrastructure, which is due to get a trillion-dollar infusion over the coming years.

Buttigieg points to Pgh. bridge collapse as ‘urgent’ reminder of infrastructure needs

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday the collapse of a bridge in Pittsburgh illustrated the necessity of federal investment in the nation’s infrastructure, including more than 1,000 bridges in poor condition in Kansas and twice that total in Missouri.

10 hurt after bridge over Pittsburgh’s Frick Park collapses

Ten people were injured Friday morning when the bridge that carries Forbes Avenue over Frick Park collapsed in Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze neighborhood.

Langerholc autonomous vehicle bill clears Transportation Committee

The Pennsylvania Senate’s transportation committee is advancing a bill by state Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Richland, that would give a green light to enable research institutions and many companies to test and deploy Highly Automated Vehicles.

PennDOT focusing infrastructure funds on Route 219, Susquehanna Valley Thruway

With $87 million in new Appalachian Development Highway System dollars flowing into Pennsylvania over the next five years, state transportation officials plan to focus it on finishing three corridors – U.S. Route 219 in Somerset County, an Interstate 99 connection and the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 4

January 24, 2022

Berks commissioners push back against PennDOT’s proposed bridge toll

PennDOT says the Lenhartsville Bridge in Greenwich Township needs to be fixed, and is proposing a toll to pay for it. The Berks County commissioners are pushing back.

Sen. Marty Flynn appointed Democratic chair of PA Senate Transportation Committee

State Sen. Marty Flynn was appointed as Democratic chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee.

Pittsburgh snagged nearly 1/3 of infrastructure bill’s funding for inland waterways

The $857 million allocation for the Montgomery Locks and Dam, located near Monaca, Pa., represents nearly a third of all the money Congress set aside for inland waterways in its 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Impact of salting roads on waterways in Pa.

Last winter, PennDOT applied 12.3 million gallons of salt-based salt water to state roads and sprayed an average of 807,766 tonnes of rock salt annually in the last five winters.

Wolf administration gives $2.7 million for fuel transportation projects to improve air quality

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that more than $2.7 million in Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants will go to 18 cleaner fuel transportation projects.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 3

January 18, 2022

New bridge over the Susquehanna to be in use by late summer

Traffic will begin using a new, nearly mile-long bridge over the Susquehanna River in late summer and bids are expected to be opened in April for the first construction on the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.

Pa. lawmaker wants Venmo, PayPal to become turnpike toll payment methods

State Sen. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, wrote a memorandum last week seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would direct the PA Turnpike Commission to accept PayPal, Venmo, Cash App and Zelle as valid forms of payment.

Tolling I-83/South Bridge would cram local roads with drivers avoiding fee: officials

Residents and officials representing the Camp Hill area met Wednesday night to share their concerns and opposition to a proposal to charge drivers a toll every time they drive over the Interstate-83 bridge.

Tolling the I-83/South Bridge draws opposition from Cumberland County commissioners

Cumberland County commissioners on Monday adopted a resolution stating their opposition to the PennDOT’s proposed tolling of the I-83/South Bridge to pay for the cost of replacing this span over the Susquehanna River.

If the I-83/South Bridge is tolled, ‘growth would be stalled’: Dauphin County officials

Charging a $1 or $2 toll to cross the I-83/South Bridge in each direction is as unpopular with county officials on the East Shore as it is with their counterparts on the West Shore.

Governor, DOT announce Pa. to receive $1.6 billion to fix state bridges

Gov. Tom Wolf stood alongside U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to launch the largest bridge formula program in American history, made possible by the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds will fix more than 3,000 bridges across the state.



Senate bill would address autonomous vehicle issues

January 14, 2022

Nearly as soon as we ushered in a new year, Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-Johnstown) hit the ground running.

Last week, Langerholc, Republican chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, unveiled legislation that would facilitate the testing and commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles. The bipartisan measure would bolster western Pennsylvania’s established leadership in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Senate Bill 965 would modify Pennsylvania laws to allow for vehicles to operate without a seated driver and permit testing and commercial deployment through Level 5, or full automation. It also would address insurance liability and local governance, as well as PennDOT’s role.

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian joined Langerholc at the unveiling event, which was held at Carnegie Mellon University. CMU is a nationally recognized leader in advancing autonomous vehicle technology.

The bill was referred to Langerholc’s committee. For more information, follow this link.

And in a related matter, Senator Langerholc will appear at PHIA’s Policy Leader Breakfast on Feb. 8 at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Harrisburg. To register, click here.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 2

January 10, 2022

Bipartisan effort addresses Pa.’s autonomous vehicle industry

State Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., R-Johnstown, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, discussed how the Pittsburgh region’s continued leadership in autonomous vehicle technology – with cutting edge programs at Carnegie Mellon University and top companies Argo AI, Aurora and others – depends on regulatory changes to thrive, and how leaders from government, industry and education came together to help him craft Senate Bill 965.

Largest electric vehicle charging station in western Pa. installed

The largest electric vehicle charging station in western Pennsylvania was recently installed in Pittsburgh.

Freight movement through 10-county region will be studied in 2022

The Eastern Pennsylvania Freight Alliance proposes to develop a multi-regional freight plan for the 10-county area composed of Berks, Carbon, Lebanon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike and Schuylkill counties, covering nearly 400 municipalities within the region.

Revenue Department releases December revenue results

The Motor License Fund received $208.5 million for the month, $14.2 million above estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $1.4 billion, which is $61.3 million, or 4.5 percent, above estimate.