PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 50

December 16, 2019

Super load headed to destination in Clinton County

A slow-moving super load is expected to arrive at its destination in Clinton County on Monday. The industrial dryer headed for First Quality Tissue in Lock Haven began its journey from Erie more than a week ago.

Truckers turn to U.S. Supreme Court over Turnpike toll diversion

Truck drivers who claim the Pennsylvania Turnpike is illegally using tolls to pay for non-turnpike items such as public transit have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their lawsuit.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 49

December 9, 2019

Pa. leaders honor former Sen. Doyle Corman

Former Gov. Tom Ridge recalled Doyle Corman’s leadership after becoming governor in the 1990s. “Doyle was an important voice in the state Senate for many years and was a wonderful partner to our administration in the mid-90′s when we first came to Harrisburg,” Ridge said in a statement. “He showed particular leadership in helping to advance critical transportation legislation that is a hallmark of his distinguished legislative career.”

Editorial: Transportation woes and future of Pennsylvania

The litany of complaints as detailed in a legislative task force report, “Build to Lead” described the commonwealth’s transportation crisis of “crumbling roads, failing bridges, aging rail cars and buses along with hours of time wasted on congested highways and inner-city gridlock.”

Lehigh, Northampton counties receive $400M for road projects

PennDOT recently awarded Lehigh and Northampton counties nearly $400 million in Interstate transportation funding for Lehigh Valley projects in the 2021 Twelve Year Interstate Program.

Pa. Turnpike tolls increase in 2020 — here’s how much they’re going up

Starting on Jan. 5, Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls are going up for the 12th consecutive year, making it more costly than ever to cross the state. Under the new fares, it will cost $53.50 to travel from Neshaminy Falls — the easternmost start of the mainline — to Warrendale — the final toll plaza in the west.

Radar bill controversy turns on dispute over freezing out PT cops

The 50-year fight over whether to arm local police with radar for speed enforcement has taken another turn. The House is poised to pass legislation to allow radar use in many local police departments, but its proposal would bar part-time police departments and part-time officers from using the equipment.

PennDOT’s I-81 project will start in 3-5 years and could cost $150-250 million

PennDOT on Wednesday approved a plan for Interstate 81 in both directions. It’ll add a third lane on a 4.5 mile stretch in Wilkes-Barre, between exits 164 and 168, while replacing eight bridges and realigning 2.5 miles of I-81 southbound.

Public input wanted to help guide I-81 improvements, website launched

The site is, which is part of the I-81 Improvement Strategy. Information collected will be used toward setting priorities and funding future projects.

A looming cliff: It’s time to fund our roads right

With the state’s coffers flush enough to boost its savings account, it’s time to give turnpike drivers a break from the big toll increases of the past 12 years; another 6% boost is coming in January. State police shouldn’t be relying on a source of money meant for road repairs. And Pennsylvanians, who’ve been paying the nation’s highest gasoline tax since 2014, deserve to see those funds spent as promised.

Route 22 widening in Lehigh Valley cut

PennDOT plans to make $409 million of improvements to Interstate 78 in the years ahead, but at the cost of significantly delaying several major transportation projects in the Lehigh Valley.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 48

December 3, 2019

Twists, turns, bridges, tunnels could complicate Western Pa. hyperloop projects

Hyperloop technology promises to zip passengers from Pittsburgh to Chicago in less than an hour, but Western Pennsylvania’s mountains, valleys and rivers could slow it down.

Can you pay for infrastructure repairs without raising state taxes?

Without calling for any new taxes, Republicans in the state House have released a plan they say will address billions of dollars in unmet repairs to Pennsylvania’s crumbling highways, bridges, dams and railroads.

PHL to receive $1.4 million for Tinicum Island Road relocation project

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Multimodal Transportation Fund will provide $1.4 million to help Philadelphia Airport expand air cargo operations by relocating the one-mile stretch of road currently bisecting the airport. The total estimated cost for the project is $15.7 million.

Gov. Tom Wolf nominates Yassmin Gramian to serve as PennDOT secretary

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday he is nominating the chief operating officer of Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation to serve as the head of that department.

Transportation spending up across country, report says

The National Association of State Budget Officers released a report this week that shows transportation spending by states in fiscal year 2019 to be about $170 billion.

Pennsylvania ranked as second most dangerous state for winter driving, according to analysis

The Commonwealth has been ranked as the second most dangerous state for winter driving. This is according to new analysis by MoneyGeek.

Pa. businesses, higher ed institutions urge state leaders to accelerate a low-carbon future

Major businesses and higher education institutions across Pennsylvania called on state lawmakers today to prioritize policies that will accelerate the Commonwealth’s transition to a low-carbon economy.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 47

November 26, 2019

SEPTA Board names PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards as next general manager

The SEPTA board voted unanimously on Nov. 21 to appoint PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards as the authority’s new general manager. Richards will join SEPTA in January, following the retirement of General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel.

Pa. looking to address transportation funding for PennDOT, Turnpike in next year’s budget

In the first indication that the state Legislature might be willing to deal with the issues as soon as next year, a state House Republican task force Wednesday recommended sweeping changes in how Pennsylvania funds its roads, bridges, state police and public transit.

PA: Transportation among top concerns at independent living forum

People with disabilities and their advocates seem to agree on one thing: The County of Lackawanna Transit System and other transportation agencies provide great service — except when they don’t.

Pennsylvania testing new traffic restriction plan this winter

A new draft process in place in Pennsylvania for when and how the state will restrict vehicles — especially trucks — during snowstorms and other bad weather is aimed at reducing the burden on truckers when winter weather hits.

Hyperloop Great Lakes study preview: Feasible and highly profitable

Results from the Great Lakes Hyperloop Feasibility Study, undertaken by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, suggest that a system connecting Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh is not only feasible but profitable.

Senate Policy Committee to review PennDOT’s commitments to local funding

The Senate Majority Policy Committee will review regional highway funding during an upcoming public hearing at the Maidencreek Township Municipal Building in Blandon.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 46

November 18, 2019

Study: More than 500M pieces of litter strewn along Pennsylvania roads

An estimated 500 million pieces of litter were strewn along Pennsylvania roads in 2018-2019, with cigarette butts and plastic food packaging, bottles and bags ranking among the most commonly picked-up items, according to the Pennsylvania Litter Research Study.

Pa. infuses nearly $79.3 million into infrastructure improvements in 42 counties

Gov. Tom Wolf has announced the approval of 141 new projects through the Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF). The projects will improve Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure and ensure safer, more reliable transportation for residents and businesses. The projects total nearly $79.3 million in funding.

With FAST Act transportation bill set to expire, states face large potential losses in funding

A BUDGETARY QUIRK TO A 2015 transportation funding bill is set to slash $7.6 billion to certain types of national transportation funding in 2020, eating into transportation budget baselines in states such as Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Harrisburg leaders don’t want I-83 expansion project to ‘further separate’ city neighborhoods

Harrisburg officials are preparing to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to honor expert recommendations that differ from its current I-83 Capital Beltway project plans in South Harrisburg.

Lamb tapped to fill vacancy on prominent House Transportation Committee

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb has been picked to serve on the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, filling the vacancy created by the recent death of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.