PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 16

April 18, 2022

State legislation would provide $200M for road, bridge infrastructure

Legislation recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would provide an additional $200 million during the 2022-23 fiscal year for road and bridge projects.

No P3 Bridge Tolling Coalition hosts event to discuss progress against PennDOT’s plan

The Clarion Chamber of Commerce hosted a press conference for the local organizations participating in the No P3 Bridge Tolling Coalition, an organization taking a closer look at PennDOT’s major bridge public-private partnership initiative and the legality of its implementation.

Protected bike lanes deliver numerous benefits, study says

Advocates in Philadelphia are pushing state lawmakers to finally pass a law to make it easier to install protected bike lanes on state routes.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 15

April 12, 2022

Reps. Meijer, Davis introduce responsible infrastructure spending legislation

U.S. Reps. Peter Meijer (R-MI) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced legislation last week to ensure accountability and oversight of infrastructure spending authorized through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

CEO: Turnpike editorial wrong on transparency

The Sentinel’s April 2 editorial regarding Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission efforts to operate transparently was just plain wrong (Pennsylvania Turnpike needs more transparency from its officials). To insinuate that PA Turnpike leaders chose to be less than transparent is inaccurate as well as unfair.

PA’s governor candidates feud over how to reduce pain at pump

The details differ, but both Democrat Josh Shapiro, the only candidate on the ballot for his party, and a number of the leading GOP candidates all have offered plans to temporarily or permanently reduce the hit of elevated prices on motorists’ wallets.

American Airlines buses? Airline to offer ground connections

Transportation service Landline will provide 50-to-70-mile rides to and from airports in Allentown/Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Pa. public transportation projects receive more than $617M in federal funding

The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded public transportation projects in Pennsylvania more than $617.5 million allocated through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

PennDOT, Amtrak restoring Keystone Service

With help from PennDOT, Amtrak on April 25 will be adding two additional trains to the Keystone Service Line, which operates between Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York in response to increase demand.

National Work Zone Awareness Week begins Monday

PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Associated Pennsylvania Constructors hosted a recent event urging motorists to slow down and pay attention in work zones ahead of National Work Zone Awareness Week. The week runs April 11-15, and is designated to highlight the critical importance of safe driving through work zones.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 14

April 4, 2022

Revenue Department releases March 2022 collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $239.7 million for the month, $19.4 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 $2.1 billion, which is $55.6 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimate.

There’s growing urgency for passenger rail projects to move at high speed

With billions in new federal funding available, advocates see a narrow window to deliver new lines, faster trains and other ambitious upgrades. But there are plenty of difficulties that could throw their plans off the tracks.

Bids opened for first contract of CSVT southern section

Work on southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is a big step closer to getting underway. PennDOT announced Friday bids were opened for the first contracts involving the southern section of the new highway.

PennDOT accepting unsolicited P-3 proposals until April 30

PennDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships announced that it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through April 30.

Pa.’s most traveled bridge that doesn’t meet safety standards

Of the bridges in poor or worse condition in the state, the bridge on Interstate 95 over Fraley Street in Philadelphia County — built in 1967 — carries the largest number of commuters and travelers, with an estimated 202,857 daily crossings on average.

State House committee passes bill pushing for EZ-Pass transparency

The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee voted unanimously Tuesday on a bill that would push for more transparency for E-ZPass holders.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 13

March 28, 2022

Harrisburg’s South Bridge was built to solve traffic problems. Tolls might undo that.

The South Bridge opened in 1960 to ease traffic on Harrisburg streets so they wouldn’t become parking lots. The proposed tolling of this Interstate 83 bridge, some say, could bring back that gridlock.

National study calls for more funding beyond the federal infrastructure bill

A national study has confirmed what Pennsylvania officials have been saying for months: The Biden administration’s trillion-dollar infrastructure plan is a nice boost but isn’t nearly enough to address all of the nation’s transportation needs.

Pa. gas tax cut could issue $650M bond to cover shortfall

States are temporarily cutting gas taxes in response to inflation and rising oil prices, and Pennsylvania might follow suit.

PennDOT and Gov. Wolf urging solutions other than cutting state gas tax

Two new bills are promising to lower the cost a bit following suit with other nearby states, but what about the state agencies that rely on this tax?

Some experts want Pa. lawmakers to rethink temporary gas tax cuts

There’s one clear downside with cutting gas taxes in particular and not replacing the money, even if it’s just for a little while: Pennsylvania ends up with less cash to use for road and bridge repairs, and even the state police.

“Fueling Debate” Part I: Breaking down PA’s gas tax

Pennsylvania is expected to generate over $3.5 billion dollars in gas tax revenue by the end of the current fiscal year. But is the revenue going where it should?

“Fueling Debate” Part II: Alternative transportation revenue

Last year, Gov. Tom Wolf established the Transportation Revenue Options Commission to explore alternative transportation revenue options. The commission came up with several options to either supplement or entirely replace the gas tax, but some of those options might hurt your wallet and the state’s economy.

PennDOT moving ahead with various infrastructure projects

PennDOT has a list with dozens of potential projects across the state that can happen because of the $4 billion dollars for highways and $1.6 billion for bridge repair.

Cumberland County, West Shore towns file suit to block PennDOT’s South Bridge tolling plan

Elected officials from six West Shore communities and Cumberland County are trying to erect legal roadblocks to a tolling plan envisioned for the South Bridge carrying Interstate 83 over the Susquehanna River. The municipal coalition has filed suit in Commonwealth Court, seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the plan in its tracks.

The tax holiday is a bait-and-switch as a fiscal crisis looms

Just as inflation reached a 40-year high, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deepens the high food and gas price shock to U.S. consumers—to Pennsylvanians. As mid-term elections near, big-spending politicians now scramble to provide the illusion of relief and ward off political disaster.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 12

March 21, 2022

Lawmakers to push for $500M trust fund to help fix Pennsylvania’s decaying bridges

Two veteran Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties say they will push for legislation to create a $500 million local bridge trust fund that could offer significant relief to the state’s aging infrastructure and help reduce a backlog of badly deteriorating spans statewide.

Pa. bridge tolling: ‘Haphazard’ plan, foreign contractor draw ire

Funding roads and bridges is getting tricky for Pennsylvania with the decline of gas tax revenue, and a plan to toll bridges across the Commonwealth is drawing heavy criticism from state legislators and the public alike.

PennDOT bridge tolling proposal to undergo federal review process

PennDOT will have to undergo a federal review process before it moves forward with its plan to toll nine bridges, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson announced in a press release.

New local taxes for public transit may be on the way for some Pa. counties

Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-Chester/Montgomery, introduced HB2366 to grant Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties the ability to levy taxes “​​for transit and transportation systems and transportation infrastructure.”

As PennDOT hurries to rebuild Fern Hollow Bridge, environmentalists worry about waterways below

Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh officials are acting quickly to replace the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge. While that has some concerned about a rushed idea for the bridge’s aesthetic, others are sounding the alarm about what an accelerated project could mean for Fern Hollow and Frick Park below.