PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 34

August 28, 2023

Better road to pay for state police

Debates over unresolved elements of the state government’s new $44.45 billion budget – including more than $600 million for four state-affiliated universities’ in-state tuition discounts; $100 million in “Level Up” funding for poor school districts; and more – have obscured significant progress ensured by the completed parts of the budget.

Turnpike commission announces location of Route 130 interchange

A turnpike interchange will be installed near the intersection of Nike Site Road, Sandy Hill Road, Pleasant Valley Road and Route 130 in Penn Township, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced.

PA invests nearly $50 million for 58 transportation projects

Gov. Josh Shapiro announced that his administration will fund 58 highway, bridge, aviation, ports and bike and pedestrian projects in 37 counties using $49.6 million in funding from the Multimodal Transportation Fund, which provides grant funding to ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to all Pennsylvanians.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 33

August 21, 2023

How the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will impact Pa.

In today’s polarized political climate, few issues in Washington receive bipartisan support. Investment in the nation’s infrastructure, however, is a notable exception – and with good reason.

Plan to stop diverting road dollars state police could be final piece of Pa. budget

For at least 50 years, Pennsylvania has used taxes drivers pay at the pump to fund its State Police force. But lawmakers are hopeful that the main budget bill passed by the divided Pennsylvania General Assembly and recently signed by Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro is the first step to ending those transfers, which have diverted $8 billion from road and bridge construction in the past decade alone.

Steam locomotive from Franklin Institute to be displayed at Pa. Railroad Museum

A steam locomotive that has been on display at the Franklin Institute for the last 90 years was recently removed and will be relocated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.

City, SEPTA and PennDOT cut ribbon on red bus-only lane

City officials joined SEPTA and PennDOT for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the newly painted red bus-only lane on Market Street between 20th and 15th streets.

PennDOT accepting grant applications for freight-rail infrastructure projects

PennDOT has opened the application period for grants under the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP).

How a central Pa. company became a major force in the traffic-control industry

When Mike Doner first heard the word “flagger” in the 1980s he didn’t know what it meant.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 32

August 15, 2023

PennDOT announces federal funding for EV projects

According to officials, 54 projects in 35 Pennsylvania counties have been selected to either expand or help the reliability of electric vehicle (EV) charging within the state. This $33.8 million federal investment is part of the $171.5 million PennDOT will receive and distribute over five years.

Government can’t be agile? Don’t tell Pa’s. bridge-fixers.

When a tanker truck carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline exploded underneath an Interstate 95 overpass in Philadelphia in June, the blaze literally melted some of the bridge’s steel, collapsing the structure and shutting down traffic on one of the nation’s busiest highways. State officials initially predicted that the roadway would be closed for five months, raising the prospect of epic backups on local streets and long detours for commercial traffic.

SEPTA to invest in clean buses

SEPTA will use approximately $23 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve bus stops and purchase 10 fuel cell electric buses. The result will be less air and noise pollution from public transportation, two issues that disproportionately affect communities of color.



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.