PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 26

June 28, 2021

Pa. must stop raiding fund to repair roads, bridges

We are seeing both in Harrisburg and Washington serious discussions on infrastructure which is an encouraging sign, including bipartisan discussions with President Biden on a long-term plan.

Pa. charges into future adding ‘at least 500 more’ EV plugs statewide

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is charging into the future with the addition of at least 500 new electric vehicle plugs statewide. The “shocking” news is a positive sign for car buyers who were already on the edge of making the leap to all-electric.

Officials say speed cameras are working, but stiffer fines needed

A year after PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission used cameras to spot more than a quarter-million drivers speeding through Pennsylvania construction zones, those organizations are praising the system in a report to legislators and promoting strengthening the program.

Study highlights Pa.’s aging infrastructure

A new study highlights Pennsylvania’s aging and crumbling infrastructure.
A nationwide study found the state has some of the worst highways and bridges in the country.

Guest column: We need to address infrastructure needs today

While the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave an overall grade of C-, a GPA outside of the D range for the first time in 20 years, we still have a funding gap of over $2.5 trillion.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 25

June 21, 2021

This Week in Pa.: APC transportation funding initiative

In part 2 of This Week in Pennsylvania, Dennis Owens interviews Robert Latham of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors. Follow the link to hear the 4½-minute segment.

Pa. Reps. Lamb, Fitzpatrick introduce bridge legislation

The Support for Community Bridges Act would set aside 2.5 percent of federal highway aid to fund repairs for off-system bridges that are structurally deficient. Any bridge or road not on the National Highway System is designated as off system.

Billions diverted away from transportation projects

Pennsylvania pays the second highest gas tax in the nation at more than 58 cents per gallon. The money generated by the tax is earmarked for the state’s highway fund to pay for transportation infrastructure construction and repair. But since the early 2000s, billions of dollars from the fund have been used to pay for State Police operations away from their intended purpose.

Pa. lawmaker proposes alternative to tolling bridges

Pennsylvania state Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., (R) 35th District, is the architect of a package of bills, supported by Republican colleagues, called the Drive Smart Act. Proposals in that package of bills include funding alternatives to tolling.

PennDOT warns motorists after work zone crashes

PennDOT is reminding motorists to drive safely in work zones following three separate work zone intrusions in the northwest region resulting in motorists hitting a PennDOT crash truck.

Philly schools invest in clean transportation

The district hopes to replace 4% of its bus fleet with electric buses every year. The district currently has 350 buses. Eventually they’d like to have a total of 410 vehicles, with 20% electric.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 24

June 14, 2021

Pa. Turnpike unveils possible remedy to issue of truck parking

Pennsylvania is in the middle of the nationwide truck parking problem, where an initial lack of parking spots has gotten worse amid the dramatic growth of e-commerce and its need for home deliveries.

All PennDOT driver’s license, photo centers will close in observance of Juneteenth

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that all driver license and photo centers will be closed on Friday, June 18, in observance of Juneteenth.

Senate committee unveils rail and transportation safety bill

The Senate Commerce Committee unveiled a bipartisan bill Thursday to provide $78 billion in funding for rail networks, major grant programs and road safety agencies, a second jigsaw piece in efforts to put together a transportation spending package.

House panel advances $547 billion surface transportation bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced, 38-26, a five-year, $547 billion surface transportation bill largely along party lines early Thursday morning. Two Republicans, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico, supported the bill.

All the Pa. projects in U.S. House Dems’ $547B transportation bill

U.S. House Democrats’ highway funding bill is poised to include roughly three out of five transportation projects submitted by members, as legislators vie for their share of federal dollars through the resurrected congressional earmarks process.

Pa. Senate bill aims for statewide EV infrastructure

The Pennsylvania Senate is considering legislation (SB 435) requiring the State’s electric distribution utilities to build out transportation electrification infrastructure statewide.

Pittman’s transportation funding bill passes committee

State Senator Joe Pittman has announced the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved legislation concerning diverting state funds from essential transportation improvement projects to support the Pennsylvania State Police.

Selling Americans on electric vehicles handicapped by charging time

If the auto industry is to succeed in its bet that electric vehicles will soon dominate the roads, it will need to overcome a big reason why many people are still avoiding them: fear of running out of juice between Point A and Point B.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 23

June 7, 2021

Langerholc proposes alternative to bridge tolls

User fees for electric vehicles, tighter review of PennDOT spending, and more existing funds directed to highways, bridges, passenger rail and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are among sweeping changes in legislation proposed by state Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Richland Township.

U.S. and Pa. traffic deaths up in 2020, highest since 2007

U.S. traffic deaths rose 7% last year, the biggest increase in 13 years even though people drove fewer miles due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government’s road safety agency reported Thursday.

PA Senate Dems hold hearing on Mon Fayette Expressway

The Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hybrid in-person and virtual public hearing to discuss the Mon Fayette Expressway and its impact on the state’s southwest region.

PA must make a long-term commitment to fund public transit

Lawmakers in Harrisburg are on the clock to pass legislation that will continue support for working class and communities of color, boost the state’s economy and improve air quality, as funding for public transit is scheduled to sunset at the end of 2022.

Tolls, taxes, mileage-based fees mulled

Pennsylvania faces an $8.1 billion annual shortfall for interstates and bridges, and overall, the state has $9.3 billion in unmet needs across its state-maintained system, which includes highways, bridges, aviation, railroads, transit and ports. Without a significant increase in federal investment, PennDOT says, it has been forced to take money away from regional projects to help the interstate network.

Turnpike Commission gives update on Mon-Fayette Expressway

Driving from the South Hills to Pittsburgh International Airport will become an easier task in October when the Southern Beltway of the Mon-Fayette Expressway opens. It will connect from the existing portion that is already open and connect with Interstate 79 and Route 22, before ending at the airport.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 22

June 2, 2021

Infrastructure overhaul should focus on safety, advocates say

In Montgomery County, Md., a woman was struck by a car and killed while crossing a busy, six-lane road in April—four years after her husband was killed trying to cross the same road.

Gateway Tunnel between New York and New Jersey gains federal support

After four years of stalling by the Trump administration, officials in Washington approved the $11.6 billion project for federal funding.

Central Pennsylvanians voice frustrations in PennDOT town hall

Most of the questions centered around PennDOT proposing tolling nine PA bridges. Residents voiced their concerns, but according to the state, they might not have many other options.

Senate panel green lights police radar bill

Long-debated legislation to allow local police to use radar for speed enforcement moved out of the Senate transportation committee Tuesday. A similar bill was approved by the House transportation committee earlier this year.

Work to start on two-year Interstate 79 improvements

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Monday the start of work on a two-year project to improve nearly 11 miles of Interstate 79 in Crawford and Erie counties.

PennDOT announces reopening of more driver license centers

PennDOT announced Monday that more driver license centers in the western half of the state will be reopening for driver licensing and photo services.