PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 41

October 18, 2021 by · Leave a Comment
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Carmakers shift up a gear in race to go electric

With electric car sales soaring and regulations increasingly favoring zero-emission vehicles, a flurry of announcements on Monday showed how the global auto industry has kicked into a higher gear as it races to speed past the fossil-fuel car era.

New 13 mile section of Pennsylvania Turnpike opens, tolls in place

The Southern Beltway (also known as PA Turnpike 576) opened on Friday.

Two senior House Democrats to retire

Two long-serving House Democrats, Reps. David Price (N.C.) and Mike Doyle (Pa.), announced Monday that they won’t seek reelection next year.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 40

October 12, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 40
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Pa.’s highways, by the numbers

Which of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties boasts the most and the least linear highway miles?

PennDOT window open for unsolicited private-sector proposals

PennDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships announced Thursday it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through October 31.

Dozens attend Southern Beltway Community Day event

A larger than expected crowd showed up on bicycles, rollerblades, on foot, and even unicycles to explore the newly constructed highway at the Southern Beltway Community event Saturday. The 13-mile highway connects Route 22 with Interstate 79 along the Allegheny-Washington County line near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

PennDOT announces official completion of Potters Mills Gap project

PennDOT has announced the official completion of the Route 322/Potters Mills Gap project near the village of Potters Mills. The completed project alleviates congestion and allows traffic to move more safely and efficiently from the Centre/Mifflin County line to Potters Mills.

New bill aims to curb unpaid tolls on Turnpike

New legislation aims to collect more unpaid tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The new bill would lower the threshold needed to trigger a vehicle registration suspension from six violations to four and also the amount of fees owed by drivers.


Transportation issues update

October 7, 2021 by · Comments Off on Transportation issues update
Filed under: Featured, News 

As October arrives, there has been a flurry of activity in Washington pertaining to transportation.

First, the good news. Congressional leaders have agreed to a short-term measure to raise the debt ceiling into early December, dissolving an impasse that some believe could have plunged the U.S. economy into recession. The issue will need to be addressed again before the end of the year, however.

Additionally, Congress approved and President Biden signed a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown that could have occurred as the fiscal year ended on Sept. 30.

Still unsettled is the trillion-dollar-plus bipartisan infrastructure bill, which seems to have become less bipartisan as House Republicans are using it to express their displeasure with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has gotten friendlier with Democrats and supports the infrastructure measure.

Then there’s President Biden’s decidedly partisan $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” initiative, which includes an array of social programs and climate initiatives, along with additional infrastructure projects. The initiative has drawn criticism from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

For his part, President Biden has conceded that the $3.5 trillion price tag on his plan is likely to be reduced, but its connection with the smaller infrastructure package is drawing resistance from progressives who support the $3.5 trillion spending plan, which is drawing resistance from moderates who say it’s simply too expensive.

Democratic leaders insist that both bills will pass, but at this point, neither has the votes due to the convoluted situation described above, and negotiations continue. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association, a national transportation trade association tracking this situation, remains optimistic that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will prevail.

Back in Harrisburg, the transportation topic quieted down this week following a House Transportation Committee hearing last week on PennDOT’s Public-Private Partnership proposal. Most of those who testified spoke in opposition to the plan, which would impose tolls on as many as nine major bridges set for refurbishment or replacement.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 39

October 5, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 39
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Transportation, Ag secretaries discuss critical link between industries

The secretaries from the state Departments of Agriculture and PennDOT highlighted their industries’ link to each other and the state economy.

Revenue Department releases September collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $236.8 million for the month, $20.0 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 $729.8 million, which is $22.5 million, or 3.2 percent, above estimate.

Wolf administration responds to nationwide bus driver shortage

With a little more than 42,000 school bus drivers in Pennsylvania — the lowest in five years — the Wolf administration will expand licensing opportunities to help schools struggling amid a nationwide shortage.

Pa. sends 375K letters to recruit bus drivers to address shortage

Pennsylvania officials mailed 375,000 letters to recruit commercial driver’s license holders to become bus drivers in an effort to address the current shortage.

$104 million PennDOT project on I-83 nearly finished after 3 years

A $104 million project on Interstate 83 is coming to a close before Thanksgiving, according to PennDOT.

Highway funding jolt could be coming

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act pending in Washington, D.C., calls for allocating $3.9 billion to Pennsylvania for transportation — with Blair County slated to get between $3.5 million and $5.5 million annually over five years.

Tolls on I-83 South Bridge? West Shore leaders want to hit the brakes as study continues

A plan to toll the I-83 South Bridge in Harrisburg to pay for its replacement is drawing strong opposition from leaders of two West Shore communities that would be heavily impacted by it.


PennDOT’s P-3 major bridge initiative advances

September 23, 2021 by · Comments Off on PennDOT’s P-3 major bridge initiative advances
Filed under: Featured, News 

It appears that PennDOT is moving forward with its public-private partnership major bridge initiative, having selected three teams to advance to the proposal submission stage.

The teams invited to submit proposals are:

Bridging Pennsylvania Partners, consisting of: Macquarie Infrastructure Developments LLC; Shikun & Binui Concessions USA Inc; STV Incorporated; FCC Construccion, S.A.; Shikun & Binui – America, Inc; and SAI Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Keystone Pathway Developers, consisting of: Kiewit (Development Company, Engineering Group Inc., and Infrastructure Co., dba Keystone Pathway Constructors); Star America PA Bridges, LLC; and Urban Engineers Inc.

Keystone Pathways Mobility Partners, consisting of: Cintra Infrastructures SE, Itinera Infrastructure and Concessions Inc.; Halmar International LLC and North Tarrant Infrastructure, LLC (unincorporated joint venture); Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.; and KS Engineers, P.C. Read more

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 38

September 21, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 38
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Final paving to begin on I-83 project near Harrisburg

PennDOT announced today that final paving is expected to begin next week on the Interstate 83 widening and reconstruction project near Harrisburg. Weather permitting, the contractor will begin final paving on southbound I-83 within the project limits. Lane restrictions will be implemented on southbound I-83 beginning Sunday, Sept. 19. The restrictions will be in place weeknights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Pa. Turnpike losing out on $104M in uncollected tolls

More than $104 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went uncollected last year as the agency fully converted to all-electronic tolling.

Mark Compton: Turnpike users must pay fair share

Our goal at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is to collect all revenue that we generate. While leakage is an established part of the tolling business, as it is in any retail business model, it is something we take seriously. It has always been a part of tolling, even in a cash system, and we do everything we can to minimize it.

Briefing on autonomous vehicles held in Harrisburg

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & Capital Region Economic Development Corporation on Wednesday hosted a transportation briefing on autonomous vehicles. The director of PennDOT’s Office of Transformational Technology said Pennsylvania is leading the way for automated vehicles.

PennDOT, Turnpike, highway industry call for focus on work zone safety

Pennsylvania’s highway construction industry is partnering with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to call for a safety stand-down on Wednesday, Sept. 15, to prevent jobsite accidents.

Completion of the thruway will bring growth, planners predict

Growth and traffic changes will follow the completion of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.

PennDOT announces public updates on the Bayfront Parkway project

PennDOT will provide updates on the Bayfront Parkway Central Corridor (Route 4034) during two public meetings on September 14, 2021.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 37

September 13, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 37
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Amtrak lines could be on the way to the Twin Tiers

PA transportation officials joined Amtrak executives Friday to announce three new passenger lines in the commonwealth that all head to New York City.

Port city review 2021 – Global Trade Magazine

The Port of Philadelphia, also known as PhilaPort, holds several impressive accolades. Not only is it the fastest growing port in the U.S., having achieved a 7% increase in container volumes in 2020.

Amtrak chief promotes 2nd Pittsburgh-Harrisburg service

Amtrak remains committed to adding a second daily train between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, with stops in Greensburg, Latrobe and Johnstown, the president of the passenger rail service said.

Multimodal Transportation Fund applications to be accepted

PennDOT announced that applications will be accepted to fund new transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund through November 5.

Pa. school districts juggling bus driver shortage as classes start

While school districts across Pennsylvania are adjusting to a mask mandate and trying to maintain some normalcy during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, they are also struggling to simply transport students amid an ongoing bus driver shortage.

Lycoming County plans public meeting on impact of CSVT project

Now as the project develops, Lycoming County is inviting public feedback on the potential transportation and land use impacts of the new CSVT project along the Interstate 180 (I-180), US 15, and PA 147 corridors.


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 36

September 7, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 36
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Vine Street Expressway reopens after historic flooding

Interstate I-676 reopened in both directions Saturday night after remnants from Tropical Storm Ida brought historic flooding to the region and forced the roadway to close Thursday. PennDOT says there are several ramp and lane closures that will continue to impact drivers for weeks.

Turnpike tunnel work scheduled to begin

Traffic shifts are planned on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the area of the Kittatinny and Blue Mountain tunnels beginning the week of Sept. 7 and continuing through Sept. 23.

Dems race to resolve House-Senate disputes on $3.5T megabill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered committee leaders to battle it out with their Senate counterparts to resolve all major disputes this week on what will be included in the up-to-$3.5 trillion bill.

PhilaPort celebrates topping off ceremony at distribution center

On Friday, August 27, a Beam Signing and Topping Off Ceremony celebrated the placement of the top piece of steel in the new structure underway at the corner of 3rd and Galloway.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 35

August 30, 2021 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 35
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The U.S. needs to fix existing roads, not build new ones

A new report finds that the wear and tear on our highway system has greater costs than were previously understood, implying a need for more transportation infrastructure investment, especially for road maintenance.

Northern section of CSVT expected to open next fall

With the new bridge over the Susquehanna River ready for paving, PennDOT says the northern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project may be open for traffic by next fall.

Pa. Dems call on Congress to pass infrastructure bill

Back when he was mayor of Steelton, a blue-collar mill town on the outskirts of Harrisburg, George Hartwick oversaw a pipe replacement project for the borough’s water system. The pipes were so old that they were made out of wood.

Penn State history lesson: The drama behind ‘new’ highway font

Although you’ve driven past thousands of highway signs in your life, you probably never stopped to think about the big, white typeface on them. It turns out some folks at Penn State actually were thinking about highway sign typefaces. In fact, they were thinking really long and really hard about these fonts.

Business leaders, lawmaker urge House to pass infrastructure plan

Leaders from the business community and a state senator are urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure plan when it returns to session next week.


Infrastructure bill survives Democrats’ differences

August 27, 2021 by · Comments Off on Infrastructure bill survives Democrats’ differences
Filed under: Featured, News 

The proposed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill survived a tenuous couple of weeks before U.S. House members agreed on a path toward considering that measure and a partisan $3.5 trillion budget bill that is not likely to draw any Republican support.

Both measures advanced on a 220-212 party line vote as House leadership promised a vote on the infrastructure measure by Sept. 27, appeasing nine centrist Democrats who wanted the infrastructure bill to be considered before the budget resolution.

The budget measure is being set up to require only Democratic votes in both the House and Senate. The budget legislation includes nearly all of the party’s agenda and is viewed as too expensive by GOP members.

To read the CNBC news account, follow this link.


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