News, PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 54

December 14, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Federal highway bill includes dollars for Erie-area bridges
Congress has approved a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill to improve major highway systems and help municipalities and counties replace or repair local bridges.

The bill earned bipartisan support in both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Fixing bridges proves a ‘good deal’ for Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Wolf may be having trouble bridging the budget gap between Democrats and Republicans, but his administration has drawn praise for its efforts to mend the state’s aging bridges via innovative financing.

The Bond Buyer, a New York-based trade publication that covers the municipal bond market, named the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority’s $721.5 million Rapid Bridge Replacement Project its “Deal of the Year” for the Northeast region.

PennDOT website to track salt trucks and snowplows
After limited testing last winter, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will roll out a program that Pittsburgh says it used successfully last year: a website to allow motorists to see where salt trucks and snowplows have treated roads.

PennDOT has installed an Automated Vehicle Location system on 516 dump trucks and 212 contracted rental trucks that take care of interstate highways and expressways. That will include 58 state vehicles and six rentals in PennDOT’s District 11, which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties. Read more

News, PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 53

December 7, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania lawmakers advance bridge commission, authority reforms
Multiple efforts moving through the Pennsylvania statehouse would reform and provide more legislative oversight of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and Delaware River Port Authority.

The DRJTBC maintains and operates seven toll bridges and 13 free bridges connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The agency is made up of 10 commissioners with five from each state.

Pennsylvania’s P3 Board endorses bridge, transit improvements
Supported by Gov. Tom Wolf, the state’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board recently authorized a project aimed at improving county-owned bridges throughout the commonwealth and bolstering Middletown transit development in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Federal bill includes funds to fix Pennsylvania bridges
The new federal transportation bill, known as the FAST Act, includes nearly $370 million over five years to help counties and municipalities repair or replace bridges.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., pushed for the additional funds for bridges that are not part of the federal highway system. About $73 million a year was authorized for Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2014 and had to be approved annually. Read more

News

PennDOT lets $264 Million in November

November 30, 2015

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by letting just over $264 million in projects during November, bringing the year-to-date total to just over $2.5 billion. Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package. PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be close to $2.6 billion.

PennDOT recently reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full November letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

November Letting Report* (PDF)

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding

November 24, 2015

STATEPOLICE (002)PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards held media availability recently to discuss PennDOT’s ongoing projects and needs. One of the more pressing needs she addressed was reliable federal funding.

“It helps us if we have a long-term bill and in the world of the federal government, six years is a long-term bill,” Secretary Richards said. “Of course it helps us if that long-term bill has predictable funding for all six years. It is really hard for us to plan if we don’t know that funding is predictable. That challenge of how much money we have and what needs to be done is something we deal with every day here at PennDOT.”

She also highlighted another issue that PHIA has been concerned about for some time: diverting money from Motor License Fund to help support State Police. The Motor License Fund is constitutionally protected fund for highway use.

“We are pleased that the Motor License Fund issue is on the secretary’s radar, and we look forward to working with the General Assembly to find a solution,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “Highway patrol is a highway use, but two thirds of the State Police budget is coming from the Motor License Fund, and it certainly does not appear that the agency devotes two thirds of its resources for that purpose.”

 

News

PennDOT lets $207 million in October

November 4, 2015

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by letting just over $207 million in projects during October, bringing the year-to-date total to just over  $2.2 billion. Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package. PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.  However, we anticipate that PennDOT will fall short of this projection and finish the year in the $2.4 to $2.5 billion range.

At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013. Read more