PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 42

October 25, 2021

Wolf administration ramps up efforts to recruit school bus drivers

As school districts struggle to get kids to and from class, the Wolf administration is stepping up efforts to address a bus driver shortage.

Fatalities in car accidents rise due to not using seat belts

Fatal vehicle accidents are at an uptick in the area, with state police in Hollidaysburg reporting a 20% increase in fatalities over the past three years.

Biden pushes infrastructure in Pa. as Democrats try to seal deal

With his economic agenda hanging in the balance, President Joe Biden visited the Pennsylvania city of his birth to push infrastructure and spending plans he said are needed to transform places like the former coal-mining town.

State highlights collaborative plan to pave roads with recycled plastic

Officials from the state departments of Transportation, Conservation and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection and General Services highlighted a pilot project to pave part of a Ridley Creek State Park roadway with an asphalt and recycled plastic mixture.

Construction firms, states fret as highway patch nears lapse

With less than two weeks before a short-term extension of federal transportation programs expires, and perhaps only months before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money, state officials and industry representatives worry more costly and disruptive delays are on the way.

I-79 toll bridge: Petition created to urge PennDOT to reconsider

The debate continues over whether tolls will be implemented on a bridge carrying traffic on I-79 in Bridgeville. A petition has been launched and has been signed by more than 1,000 people as of Monday.

Surprises lurk beneath the surface for PA construction crews

The Commonwealth known for its foliage is also known for its challenging highway system, one that brings a unique set of challenges.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 41

October 18, 2021

Carmakers shift up a gear in race to go electric

With electric car sales soaring and regulations increasingly favoring zero-emission vehicles, a flurry of announcements on Monday showed how the global auto industry has kicked into a higher gear as it races to speed past the fossil-fuel car era.

New 13 mile section of Pennsylvania Turnpike opens, tolls in place

The Southern Beltway (also known as PA Turnpike 576) opened on Friday.

Two senior House Democrats to retire

Two long-serving House Democrats, Reps. David Price (N.C.) and Mike Doyle (Pa.), announced Monday that they won’t seek reelection next year.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 40

October 12, 2021

Pa.’s highways, by the numbers

Which of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties boasts the most and the least linear highway miles?

PennDOT window open for unsolicited private-sector proposals

PennDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships announced Thursday it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through October 31.

Dozens attend Southern Beltway Community Day event

A larger than expected crowd showed up on bicycles, rollerblades, on foot, and even unicycles to explore the newly constructed highway at the Southern Beltway Community event Saturday. The 13-mile highway connects Route 22 with Interstate 79 along the Allegheny-Washington County line near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

PennDOT announces official completion of Potters Mills Gap project

PennDOT has announced the official completion of the Route 322/Potters Mills Gap project near the village of Potters Mills. The completed project alleviates congestion and allows traffic to move more safely and efficiently from the Centre/Mifflin County line to Potters Mills.

New bill aims to curb unpaid tolls on Turnpike

New legislation aims to collect more unpaid tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The new bill would lower the threshold needed to trigger a vehicle registration suspension from six violations to four and also the amount of fees owed by drivers.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 39

October 5, 2021

Transportation, Ag secretaries discuss critical link between industries

The secretaries from the state Departments of Agriculture and PennDOT highlighted their industries’ link to each other and the state economy.

Revenue Department releases September collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $236.8 million for the month, $20.0 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 $729.8 million, which is $22.5 million, or 3.2 percent, above estimate.

Wolf administration responds to nationwide bus driver shortage

With a little more than 42,000 school bus drivers in Pennsylvania — the lowest in five years — the Wolf administration will expand licensing opportunities to help schools struggling amid a nationwide shortage.

Pa. sends 375K letters to recruit bus drivers to address shortage

Pennsylvania officials mailed 375,000 letters to recruit commercial driver’s license holders to become bus drivers in an effort to address the current shortage.

$104 million PennDOT project on I-83 nearly finished after 3 years

A $104 million project on Interstate 83 is coming to a close before Thanksgiving, according to PennDOT.

Highway funding jolt could be coming

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act pending in Washington, D.C., calls for allocating $3.9 billion to Pennsylvania for transportation — with Blair County slated to get between $3.5 million and $5.5 million annually over five years.

Tolls on I-83 South Bridge? West Shore leaders want to hit the brakes as study continues

A plan to toll the I-83 South Bridge in Harrisburg to pay for its replacement is drawing strong opposition from leaders of two West Shore communities that would be heavily impacted by it.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 38

September 21, 2021

Final paving to begin on I-83 project near Harrisburg

PennDOT announced today that final paving is expected to begin next week on the Interstate 83 widening and reconstruction project near Harrisburg. Weather permitting, the contractor will begin final paving on southbound I-83 within the project limits. Lane restrictions will be implemented on southbound I-83 beginning Sunday, Sept. 19. The restrictions will be in place weeknights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Pa. Turnpike losing out on $104M in uncollected tolls

More than $104 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went uncollected last year as the agency fully converted to all-electronic tolling.

Mark Compton: Turnpike users must pay fair share

Our goal at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is to collect all revenue that we generate. While leakage is an established part of the tolling business, as it is in any retail business model, it is something we take seriously. It has always been a part of tolling, even in a cash system, and we do everything we can to minimize it.

Briefing on autonomous vehicles held in Harrisburg

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & Capital Region Economic Development Corporation on Wednesday hosted a transportation briefing on autonomous vehicles. The director of PennDOT’s Office of Transformational Technology said Pennsylvania is leading the way for automated vehicles.

PennDOT, Turnpike, highway industry call for focus on work zone safety

Pennsylvania’s highway construction industry is partnering with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to call for a safety stand-down on Wednesday, Sept. 15, to prevent jobsite accidents.

Completion of the thruway will bring growth, planners predict

Growth and traffic changes will follow the completion of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.

PennDOT announces public updates on the Bayfront Parkway project

PennDOT will provide updates on the Bayfront Parkway Central Corridor (Route 4034) during two public meetings on September 14, 2021.