PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 31

July 31, 2023

PennDOT reopens key state roads in Bucks, Northampton counties

Less than two weeks after roads were closed due to devastating flooding, PennDOT has reopened all state roads in Northampton County and Route 532, a key state road in Bucks County, weeks ahead of schedule.

‘Operation Orange Squeeze’ to crackdown on unsafe Pa. drivers

Pennsylvania State Police troopers traded in their police cruisers Tuesday for construction vehicles as a way to crack down on unsafe behaviors like speeding and distracted driving across the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The work zone safety initiative is called “Operation Orange Squeeze” and it is an effort started by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania State Police nearly a decade ago.

PennDOT earmarks $50K for work zone safety course for teens

A new program in Pennsylvania will better educate young drivers about work zone safety, PennDOT said this week.

A Q&A with Mark Compton, Pa. Turnpike Commission CEO

Mark Compton, who has led the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for the last decade, recently sat down with City & State to discuss the evolution of the highway, the commission’s funding challenges and how the agency is working to track down unpaid tolls.

How transportation and transit projects are picking up speed

Whether you’ve been bounced along cratered roads and highways, waited too long for a bus to get you to your destination or nervously navigated a dilapidated bridge, the same question has run through your mind: When is this ride going to get better?

Langerholc talks all things transportation

As chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee, state Sen. Wayne Langerholc is at the forefront of many of the conversations happening in the transportation space. He recently spoke with City & State about bridge repairs across the state, transportation funding, new ways to use drones and how to reduce crime on public transit.

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Pa. governor celebrate LVIA’s $35 million expansion

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and other political VIPs descended on Lehigh Valley International Airport Friday to celebrate a new $35 million connector bridge that will streamline how passengers board and depart flights from the region’s largest airport.

Study: EVs in fleets could save governments millions

A new report from PennEnvironment shows local and state governments in Pennsylvania could save up to $360 million over the next 10 years by switching retiring fleet vehicles to electric models.

Are we really on our way to smooth roads?

Our former state Rep. Mike Carroll, now PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll, tells us that in just six months, 74 bridge projects have been completed — including the quick repair to I-95 in Philadelphia — and 1,200 miles of roadway were improved.

Toll cheats cost New Jersey $117M last year

Toll cheats cost New Jersey more than $117 million last year, a chronic problem that officials say has become even worse since the pandemic.




PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 30

July 25, 2023

New Kensington Bridge long-term closure begins

PennDOT District 11 is reminding motorists the long-term closure of the New Kensington Bridge, which carries Route 1038 over the Allegheny River in East Deer Township in Allegheny County and the City of New Kensington in Westmoreland County, will begin Monday, July 24, weather permitting.

PennDOT secretary, Pgh. officials call for transit funding during budget impasse

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration met with local officials in Downtown Pittsburgh to stress the importance of transit and infrastructure funding as the state and region looks to repair hundreds of roads and bridges.

Is a bridge weight restriction a sign of bigger infrastructure issues?

A midstate bridge has been placed under a weight restriction. The Columbia-Wrightsville bridge, a major bridge that connects Lancaster and York counties, was built in 1930.

PA Turnpike Commission approves 5% toll increase for 2024

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 5% toll increase for 2024 for the entire toll-highway system. It will take effect on Jan. 7, 2024.

PennDOT receives AASHTO awards for Fern Hollow replacement

PennDOT announced that it was the recipient of a regional America’s Transportation Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Stakeholders discuss transportation investments

PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll was joined by regional and transportation-industry leaders to discuss the importance of transportation investments and provide an update on progress the department and its industry partners have made on roads and bridges across the state.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 29

July 17, 2023

Josh Shapiro: I-95 repair in Philadelphia offers infrastructure lessons – The Washington Post

Infrastructure is the backbone of America, and our nation’s progress has often been tied to our ability to complete major projects that spur economic growth and create real opportunity.

PennDOT announces it will not toll South Bridge

PennDOT announced that the I-83 South Bridge will not be tolled as a part of the project to replace the I-83 John Harris Memorial (South) Bridge over the Susquehanna River in Dauphin and Cumberland counties.

Transit for All rallies for funding options

SEPTA faces a state-of-good-repair backlog of over $5 billion, and numerous new infrastructure projects in need of funding. But despite this abundance of worthy investments, SEPTA and its peers across Pennsylvania lack the local matching funds required by the federal government to even be eligible for many of its most competitive capital grants. House bills 1307 and 902 each seek to remedy this, allowing local governments to assess new fees or taxes to fund transportation.

Harrisburg’s Market St. Bridge to undergo $113M rehab project

A major rehab project for the Market Street Bridge that connects Harrisburg to the West Shore will see a potential companion bridge alongside it, providing a new means to run utility lines across the Susquehanna River and giving bicyclists and pedestrians a safer way to cross over.

Transportation grant deadline approaching for Pa. municipalities

The deadline for Pennsylvania municipalities to apply for Multimodal Transportation Fund grants is approaching at the end of July.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 28

July 10, 2023

Penn State mapping of internet availability boosts state’s federal funding

Work done by Penn State University helped boost the amount of federal funding the state received for broadband service by more than $100 million, officials said Thursday.

Pa.’s Casey, Fetterman, back rule boosting transparency on trains carrying toxic material

Pennsylvania’s two United States senators, joined by a colleague from Ohio, have thrown their support behind a proposed federal rule aimed at providing more information to emergency service personnel who respond to the kind of toxic train spills that upended the lives of thousands of people on either side of the Pennsylvania/Ohio border earlier this year.

Pa. collected $44.9B in taxes in 2022-23 budget year; edging projections

The state’s Motor License Fund received $252.1 million for the month, $3.4 million above estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which includes gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – totaled $3 billion, which was $42.2 million, or 1.4%, above estimate.

Schuylkill River Passenger Train Authority takes step on service project 

The Schuylkill River Passenger Train Authority voted earlier this week to solicit consultant proposals to prepare plans for the restoration of Reading to Philadelphia passenger rail service, writes Holly Herman for the Phoenixville Patch. According to Thomas E. Frawley, the executive director, the authority received a $750,000 federal grant it can use for the development of the passenger train project.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 27

July 5, 2023

New Pa. Turnpike commissioner to focus on fare collection

Keith Leaphart was given a unanimous and favorable recommendation on Tuesday from the Senate Transportation Committee for the position of the new Pennsylvania Turnpike commissioner, writes Anthony Hennen for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Roads, bridges, trails, ports: White House awards $2.2B in transportation grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation will send more than $2.2 billion in grants to state, tribal and local governments under a grant program that was expanded under the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.

USDOT awards $25M federal grants to SEPTA, North Philadelphia school zones

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) two $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) grants.

These states are doing the most to electrify transportation

A new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks states on how effectively they’ve used policies and investments to promote adoption of electric vehicles and achieve broader electrification in the transportation sector. PA ranks 16th.

NTSB issues preliminary report on I-95 crash, collapse

According to the NTSB, the June 11 crash was due to the driver being “unable to maintain control of the combination vehicle” on the Cottman Avenue off-ramp.