PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 30

July 25, 2022

Engineering programs tackling crucial infrastructure issues

Two Swanson School of Engineering programs that aim to foster University research on such transportation projects as the soundness of bridges, road safety and landslide prevention are now under the direction of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation veteran Joseph J. Szczur.

PennDOT’s funding plans propose road user fees, package tax

The next plan for viable long-term funding to support Pennsylvania’s highways and bridges may be twofold: a tax on delivered goods and a road use fee on traditional and electric vehicles.

Forced out due to eminent domain, business owners want more money from PennDOT

The state is taking properties through eminent domain in order to make way for the ongoing I-83 expansion project in Dauphin County. But some business owners aren’t happy with the amount they’re being paid to move and also want the money up front.

Unpaid Pa. Turnpike tolls rise nearly 48% to $155 million

The amount of uncollected Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went up dramatically in the past year — nearly 48% — but the agency says that’s because tolls and driving have increased, not because a higher percentage of drivers have become scofflaws.

Average gas price in western Pa. falls to about $4.73 per gallon

Gas prices are falling across Pennsylvania, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 29

July 19, 2022

Motorists quickly embrace faster, safer CSVT

Leaders within local companies that deploy hundreds of tractor-trailer rigs a day are proactively directing their drivers to use the northern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation bypass, which fully opened to traffic on July 8. In doing so, they are saving travel time and fuel, as well as promoting safety by reducing traffic congestion on Duke Street in Northumberland.

PennDOT: Speed cameras improve work zone safety

More than two years into Pennsylvania’s use of unmanned cameras to enforce speeds in active work zones, state officials believe the pilot program is making a difference in keeping workers and travelers safe, reducing crashes, and changing dangerous driving habits.

Gas-tax holiday less effective than previously thought

A report from the University of Pennsylvania shows that savings from gas-tax holidays are only partially passed on to consumers.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 28

July 11, 2022

CSVT northern section fully open to traffic

PennDOT announced all lanes are now fully open to traffic. This includes new southbound lanes between the new Ridge Road interchange in Northumberland County and existing Route 15 in Union County, as well as the remaining portion of the new roadway for southbound traffic entering from existing Route 147 at the northern end of the project.

Pa.’s 2022-23 budget package spends, saves money in record ways

It reduces the amount of Motor License Fund dollars used to support the state police to $500 million, which frees up $175 million annually for road and bridge projects.

PA Senate passes bill on bridge tolling

The PA Senate passed Senate Bill 382 on July 7, led by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R), which will stop PennDOT from imposing new tolls on existing bridges throughout the Commonwealth.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 27

July 5, 2022

Buttigieg launches $1B pilot to build racial equity in roads

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday launched a $1 billion first-of-its-kind pilot program aimed at helping reconnect cities and neighborhoods racially segregated or divided by road projects, pledging wide-ranging help to dozens of communities despite the program’s limited dollars.

Self-driving vehicle legislation advances in Harrisburg

House Bill 2398 recently passed through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. It heads to the Senate for consideration next.

Philadelphia’s suburbs embrace the electric vehicle revolution

A growing number of municipalities across the suburbs of Philadelphia are transitioning their gas-powered municipal vehicle fleets and investing in the infrastructure to support EVs.

Revenue Department releases fiscal year 2021-22 collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $253.2 million for the month, $7.1 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 $2.9 billion, which is $37.4 million, or 1.3 percent, above estimate.

Pa. transportation officials rally around app to alert of vehicle’s temperature

This app, when connected to specific car seats, can alert parents of the temperature in the car, when its buckle has come undone, and the location of the seat itself.

Court blocks PennDOT’s plan to toll 9 state bridges to pay for repairs

A plan to add tolls to bridges on nine major Pennsylvania interstates hit the brakes Thursday when a state court said PennDOT and state officials did not properly follow the law to establish the controversial tolling plan.

Ordering from Amazon or taking a Lyft ride? You could be kicking in money for roads, transit and EVs.

A sea change in transportation funding is coming July 1, when several new fees approved by Colorado lawmakers more than a year ago will take effect. They will target more users of the state’s roads and highways, along with their customers, to chip in for major road and bridge projects — along with initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes across the fast-growing state.

P. Joseph Grata

Joseph Grata, of Belle Vernon, Washington Township, a nationally recognized Pittsburgh-based transportation reporter, Belle Vernon Area School Board member and community leader, died of cancer on Monday, June 27, 2022, at his home in Lynnwood, Washington Township. He was 78.