News

‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag

May 5, 2016 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

In the last few weeks, editorials and op-ed articles have appeared in newspapers around the state in reaction to the Associated Press story about “free” state police coverage.

pspThe AP noted that nearly half of Pennsylvania’s municipalities rely on the State Police for all of their police protection, and others for at least some coverage. Municipalities are able take advantage of this coverage at no additional cost.

This has increased the cost of operation for the State Police, without any additional revenue to pay for it. Residents of communities that have local police forces or participate in regional police coverage pay twice – for their local coverage, and for State Police coverage in municipalities that rely on State Police.

Gerald Cross, executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League Central Division, commented about this problem with an op-ed article published in several newspapers. You can read the entire article here.

“Mandating that all 2,561 municipalities have their own police departments is unrealistic. One alternative is to require payment for state police services,” Cross wrote. “A more comprehensive and long-term, albeit more complicated, option is to create a mechanism for local government tax-base sharing to deliver all types of critical services more effectively on a regional level. One thing is clear: A wide-ranging discussion of how local governments in Pennsylvania provide services is long overdue.” Read more

News

PennDOT lets over $175 million in projects during March

April 6, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets over $175 million in projects during March
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let slightly over $175 million projects during the month of March. With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $643.6 million in 2016 to date. At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $558.8 million. The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings. 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 March letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

March 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 lets $277 million in projects during February

March 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets $277 million in projects during February
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let over $277 million projects during the month of February.  With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $467.2 million in 2016 to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $396.3 million.  The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast.  PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings.  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 February letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

February 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

Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance

March 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance
Filed under: News 

LOCALFUNDINGUnder Act 89, the comprehensive multi-modal transportation funding bill, Pennsylvania municipalities receive a sum of money annually to maintain local roads and bridges.

This year, PennDOT will release more than $445 million to local governments for this purpose. Local road maintenance is one of the major accomplishments of Act 89. Before the bill passed in 2013, municipalities received just $320 million for the same purpose.

The 2016 disbursement is an increase from last year as well, up from $381 million. Funds come from liquid fuels payments to the state, and can be used to repair public streets where vehicles travel faster than 15 mph.

Of the 120,039 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania, 72,759 are eligible for liquid fuels money.

“The increase in liquid fuels payments to municipalities is just one of the many accomplishments of Act 89,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We have seen considerable improvements to local roads, state roads and bridges, and we will continue to see improvements that would not have been possible without the bipartisan effort behind Act 89.”

 

News

PennDOT starts 2016 with $217 million in projects bid

February 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT starts 2016 with $217 million in projects bid
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT began the new calendar year with just over $217 million in January lettings.  The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast.  PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings.  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 January letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

January 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

PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

February 9, 2016 by · Comments Off on PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study
Filed under: News 

HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2016) – The president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association today urged a legislative committee to request a study to determine the appropriate level of support for State Police operations with revenue from the state’s Motor License Fund.

VanBurenHearingPSPJames Van Buren, who also is president of PennStress, a precast concrete supplier, told the House Transportation Committee that an increasing amount of revenue intended for transportation system improvements has been diverted from the Motor License Fund to support the State Police and now totals $755 million, nearly two-thirds of the entire State Police budget.

Van Buren noted that under the Pennsylvania Constitution, revenue from the Motor License Fund may be used only for highway purposes. While that includes patrolling the highways, he said the amounts being diverted are far greater than the level of resources the agency devotes to highway patrols.

Click HERE to read more of the press release on the hearing.

 

News

2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs

January 21, 2016 by · Comments Off on 2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs
Filed under: News 

PSAB_borough_seal_outlinesEach year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 34th straight year, the program is now open for members of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).  The same award program for PA’s townships opened last month and will open later in the year for PA’s counties.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2015.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information and to download the entry brochures.

 

News

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards Outlines 2015 Achievements

January 12, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards Outlines 2015 Achievements
Filed under: News 

Secretary-Richards2In an op-ed article that ran in papers around the state, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards detailed the many accomplishments of PennDOT during 2015.

These projects included: 608 highway and bridge contracts worth more than $2.5 billion, improvements to more than 6,000 miles of road, a reduction in structurally deficient bridges by 2,000, and $434 million to communities to fix local roads.

PennDOT also focused on improved technology in 2015 by launching FindMyRidePA, introducing wait time monitoring at driver services centers around the state and tracking PennDOT snow plows.

“We are working hard at PennDOT every day to keep you moving,” Secretary Richards wrote. “We prepare to enter 2016 with a renewed commitment to put your dollars invested with us to effective and efficient use.”

“Thanks to funding from Act 89 (the comprehensive, multi-modal funding package of 2013), the past year was filled with necessary highway and bridge improvements,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We hope that 2016 is just as productive and there are many more projects on the horizon.

“However, ,he numbers alone don’t tell the entire story,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “PennDOT’s efforts have resulted in three very important things – improved safety, congestion relief and the creation of hundreds of jobs. Those benefits will continue thanks to the funding measures passed by the General Assembly and Congress.”

You can read Secretary Richards’ op-ed in full here.

 

News

PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding

November 24, 2015 by · Comments Off on PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding
Filed under: News 

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 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets $207 million in October
Filed under: News 

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