PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 11

March 14, 2022

Update: State police say more than 70 vehicles involved in Cumberland County crash

Police are trying to learn more about what caused a 70-vehicle pileup on Route 581 in Cumberland County over the weekend. The huge crash happened in Lower Allen Township on Saturday afternoon. It shut down Route 581 in both directions for about three hours.

State Rep. Hennessey announces run for 16th term in 26th House Dist.

State Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-26th Dist., House Transportation Committee chair, has announced his intention to seek reelection to a 16th term in Harrisburg.

More Pittsburgh officials urge PennDOT to slow down on Fern Hollow Bridge replacement

Some officials continue to voice concerns with the proposed design for Pittsburgh’s new Fern Hollow Bridge.

Gov. Wolf supportive of proposed federal gas tax suspension, hesitant on state tax holiday

To blunt the pain at the pump, state lawmakers are proposing temporary state and federal gas tax holidays. Officials disagree, however, on where taxes should be cut and how to make up for lost revenue.

Pa. lawmakers float state gas tax holiday as prices jump

Pennsylvania legislators declared interest in lifting the state’s gas tax, the third-highest in the country, as Congress considers the same move at a national level.

PennDOT selects team for major bridge P3 initiative

PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian announced today that Bridging Pennsylvania Partners was selected to administer the major bridge public-private partnership initiative to repair or replace up to nine bridges across the state. The department and BPP will now enter into a pre-development agreement to finalize the design and packaging of the bridges to be built, financed, and maintained.

Want to save at the pump? Public transportation may be the best option

Currently, the average price for gas across the state is $4.39/gallon, and for an average 12-gallon car, that’s an estimated $52 charge every time you stop at the pump. For some, that number is proving too costly.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 10

March 7, 2022

Online petition opposing toll on I-79 bridge draws thousands of signatures

The battle is continuing over PennDOT plans to toll a bridge portion of I-79 passing over Route 50 in Bridgeville. The organizer of an online petition opposing the plan says the petition is approaching a milestone.

Seaport investment is about much more than the current supply chain crisis

Seaports have aways been conduits for trade and gateways to the world. Yet most people look at modern seaports and see only a collage of multi-colored boxes. In fact, those boxes represent a massive percentage of U.S. economic activity and support millions of jobs.

PennDOT, Pa. township supervisors discuss funding for local road, bridge needs

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors on Tuesday discussed the bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as local-governments’ road and bridge needs and investment options.

PennDOT expects 9 bridges to be prepared for tolling by August

It appears PennDOT’s plan to toll several bridges in Pennsylvania, including one along I-79 near Bridgeville, will come to fruition despite lawmakers’ attempts to block it.

In his final budget, Wolf drops his State Police fee

In a move that went under the radar for most Pennsylvanians, Gov. Tom Wolf has given up his call for local municipalities to pay a fee for primarily relying on State Police for protection.

Revenue Department releases February collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $197.0 million for the month, $24.8 million below 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 $1.8 billion, which is $36.2 million, or 2%, above estimate.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 9

February 28, 2022

Bridge tolls, package fees considered to replace lost Pa. gas tax revenue

A bridge tolling project that would add user fees to nine bridges across Pennsylvania raised some eyebrows at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, but the state Department of Transportation argued it’s a crucial way to fund bridge and road upgrades.

Key points from Senate budget hearings

Senate Transportation Committee Chair Wayne Langerholc (R-35) explored PennDOT’s plan to add tolls to nine interstate bridges through the Public-Private Partnership program. He urged further discussions on alternative means to fund bridge work.

SEPTA board approves program to promote safety on its system

SEPTA has approved a new program that will add guides to serve as ambassadors on the system.

Pa.’s first automated shuttle coming to the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Pennsylvania’s first automated vehicle shuttle is coming to Philadelphia this summer. The shuttle will provide visitors and employees with transportation services within the Philadelphia Navy Yard and to SEPTA’s NRG Station located at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue.

Pennsylvania hates potholes. See how much they complain about them

A study by Stacker utilizing data from Clunker Junker found that Pennsylvania is in the top 10 of states with the most pothole complaints.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 8

February 21, 2022

Pa., Norfolk Southern negotiating 2nd daily Amtrak train between Pittsburgh, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania officials and Norfolk Southern are inching closer toward a deal to bring more passenger rail service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. The agreement would put a second daily Amtrak train along the railroad between the cities.

Langerholc issues statement on increased passenger rail service in western Pa.

Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, issued a statement regarding the announcement on the Commonwealth’s plans to invest in freight and passenger rail in western Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is the #8 state with the most pothole complaints

When you’ve got the second-worst bridge condition situation in the country, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, along with more than 50% of statewide roads not even maintained enough to call “fair,” naturally, a pothole problem is going to follow.

Buttigieg says Pittsburgh will play role in switch to electric vehicles

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says Pittsburgh can play a key role as America switches from gas-powered cars to cleaner electric vehicles in the next few years.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 7

February 15, 2022

PennDOT vows to make driving EVs more accessible

With Pennsylvania set to invest millions of federal and state dollars in electric vehicles over the next few years, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has vowed to make sure no one is left out.

Couple injured in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse to sue

A Penn Hills couple injured when Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed last month will sue Port Authority of Allegheny County, PennDOT and the City of Pittsburgh.

Infrastructure law gives state $171.5M for EV chargers

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Energy announced Thursday Pennsylvania is eligible for up to $171.5 million for projects related to electric vehicle (EV) charging under a new program started by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Centre officials approve fee for local use

As expected, the additional annual $5 fee for non-exempt vehicles registered in Centre County will remain in place for another five years.

First steps for demolition of Fern Hollow Bridge underway

Major work continues at the site of the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, more than a week after it crumbled under a Port Authority bus and several other vehicles.

Committee approves Laughlin scooter legislation

Legislation seeking to ensure low-speed scooters are properly regulated within Pennsylvania’s vehicle code was reported to the full Senate out of the Senate Transportation Committee, according to the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 892, Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-49.

Sen. Flynn’s Turnpike reform bill passes Transportation Committee 

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee passed legislation introduced by Senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) to update and improve the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s method of collecting and reporting on tolls.

NTSB report: Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge collapse started on Squirrel Hill side

The collapse of Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge likely started on the west, or Squirrel Hill, side of the span, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Monday.

Rep. Carroll not seeking re-election in 118th Legislative District

State Rep. Mike Carroll Friday announced he will not seek the Democratic nomination to serve the 118th Legislative District in the upcoming primary election.

Options to end Pennsylvania gas tax could cost you more

There are new proposals to reduce or eliminate Pennsylvania’s gas tax, which is one of the highest in the nation. But these alternatives could cost you more.

Pa. budget plan drops state police fee for towns, lowers reliance on infrastructure funds

Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2022 budget makes good on plans to reduce State Police reliance on funds generally earmarked for highway construction, repair and safety by shifting the cost burden to the general fund.