PennDOT Plans 6-Mile I-81 Widening

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DUNMORE, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to rebuild and widen six miles of Interstate 81 from the Luzerne County line to the Central Scranton Expressway.

But that’s not expected to happen anytime soon.

According to information from PennDOT spokesman Mike Taluto, the project is at least five years away and would take three to four years to complete. The estimated cost is $174 million.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1316029/PennDOT-plans-6-mile-I-81-widening

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Columbia Bypass Work Beginning

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When explaining to various officials the problems truck traffic causes in Columbia, Mayor Leo Lutz liked to give tours.

In the basement of Hinkle’s Pharmacy, they could see old brick and mortar being turned to powder, and feel the heavy trucks travel on Locust Street.

On the sidewalks, they could see, hear and feel the trucks rumble by in the center of the historic town.

“Then they knew what we were talking about,” Lutz said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/columbia/news/columbia-bypass-work-beginning/article_d65b79c6-beb7-11e3-9333-001a4bcf6878.html

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Jewelcor Wants To Extend Wilkes-Barre’s Coal Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — What the city can’t do, the owners of the Jewelcor property want to with the extension of Coal Street for development.

Plans are to continue the street west at the intersection with Wilkes-Barre Boulevard by constructing a five-lane roadway, said Joe Lakowski, project manager with Jewelcor Inc.

“We have two potential companies that want to go on the corners,” Lakowski said Friday.

Jewelcor president and chief executive officer Seymour Holtzman and his wife, Evelyn, who own the property, are seeking a construction easement to build the roadway on city property. The easement is listed on the agenda for City Council’s work session Tuesday night.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1304638/Jewelcor-wants-to-extend-W-Bs-Coal-St.

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Gov. Corbett Announces Hundreds Of Additional Projects Due To Transportation Plan

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA – Gov. Tom Corbett today outlined more than 250 projects that will start work this year due to the state’s new transportation plan.

At least $2.1 billion will be invested into the state’s highway and bridge network — about $600 million more than what would have been available without the transportation bill Corbett signed last fall. Overall, more than 900 projects will get underway this year.

“This plan is creating safer roads, bridges and transit systems while at the same time saving 12,000 jobs and creating 50,000 new ones over the next five years – 18,000 jobs are expected to be created this year alone.” Corbett said. “We are putting these transportation investments to work quickly as we strive to build a stronger Pennsylvania both now and in the future.”

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1301350/Gov.-Corbett-announces-hundreds-of-additional-projects-due-to-transportation-plan

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Many Fees For Pennsylvania Vehicles Set To rise On April 1

Several state vehicle-related fees will increase April 1 for the first time in 17 years, with a second group of fees slated to rise July 1.

The increases are mandated by Act 89, the transportation funding legislation that was approved by the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett in the fall.

“It’s important to note that Act 89 represents an investment in Pennsylvania’s future: increasing public safety, driving commerce, creating jobs and providing reliable funding for our transportation needs without leaving the bill to our future generations,” Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1277003/Many-fees-for-Pa.-vehicles-set-to-rise-on-April-1

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Police Cracking Down On Aggressive Drivers Across Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONTGOMERY TWP, PA — Along Route 309 in Montgomery Township on Monday afternoon, lights from police cruisers flashed next to an orange “Aggressive Driving Enforcement” sign as every few minutes, a vehicle was directed to pull over by a contingent of township cops who were doling out citations for speeding, tailgating or other traffic infractions spotted moments earlier by officers stationed a half-mile up the road. It was part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s ramped-up efforts — which began on Monday and lasts until May 4 — to crack down on a spectrum of illegal and dangerous driving habits in a big way across the state.

Boyertown police announced their aggressive driving details will continue through Sept. 14.

“We’re here today to raise awareness about the dangers of aggressive driving, and to target those drivers who are causing far too many crashes on the roadways,” said PennDOT spokesman Lou Belmonte at a Monday morning press conference inside the Montgomery Township Building, where he was joined by law enforcement officers and members of the Montgomery County Health Department and Buckle Up PA to announce the first wave of the PennDOT-funded 2014 Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project).

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140325/police-cracking-down-on-aggressive-drivers-across-pa

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Special Pothole Killer Is Raking It In

Pothole

Pothole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where Joseph Borucki sees destruction and expense, Scott Kleiger sees liquid gold.

Borucki, a Mount Laurel lawyer, just spent $500 to fix a wheel bearing damaged by a pothole. For him, every drive has become a slalom run around road craters.

Kleiger, a Harleysville entrepreneur, operates a fleet of specially equipped trucks that fill potholes in seconds, and this is his high season.

“It’s like our birthday!” Kleiger exulted last week, watching one of his Pothole Killer trucks back up traffic for a half-mile on U.S. 1 in Bucks County as it squirted a warm mix of asphalt and cement into hole after hole. “It’s a very good time!”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140223_Special_Pothole_Killer_is_raking_it_in.html#idegZ5jgBOORAEZs.99

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Delivery Of Road Salt Falling Short Across Western Pennsylvania

Penn Township in Westmoreland County ordered 500 tons of rock salt Jan. 21, 500 more Jan. 23 and 500 more Jan. 30, for a total of 1,500 tons. As of Friday, only 350 tons — less than enough to deal with two typical accumulating snowstorms — had arrived.

The township is not alone. Communities throughout the state and across the Midwest and Northeast are struggling to keep up with a winter that has gnawed away at their salt supplies.

There is no shortage, according to one major supplier. The problem is twofold: recurring snowfalls, none of them blizzards but with enough accumulation to require road treatment, and bitter cold that has iced rivers and slowed the progress of barges carrying salt to depots.

“We have plenty of salt,” said Peggy Landon, director of corporate communications and investor relations for Compass Minerals, parent of Kansas-based North American Salt, which ships rock salt to 5,000 destinations in North America. “It’s being transported every single day.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/02/10/Shortage-of-road-salt-growing-in-Western-Pennsylvania/stories/201402100071#ixzz2sw8Bkboz

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Abandoned ‘Goat Path’ Could Become Trail Linking Leola To Lancaster City And Western Suburbs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Municipal leaders, county planners and health advocates gathered Thursday morning to share a vision for a non-motorized transportation corridor that would connect Lancaster city will its eastern and western suburbs.

About half of the proposed Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway would be on the “Goat Path,” an abandoned bypass built by PennDOT in the 1970s, that stretches from the city to Leola.

The remainder of the 11-mile corridor would link a series of planned trails to carry the corridor to Lancaster General Heath’s suburban campus in West Hempfield Township.

The meeting was called by Lancaster General Health and the Lancaster Intermunicipal Committee. It comes a few months after LIMC received a county grant to study non-motorized transportation.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/conestogavalley/news/abandoned-goat-path-could-become-trail-linking-leola-to-lancaster/article_88d9fb1a-8905-11e3-b9bc-001a4bcf6878.html

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$155M Approved To Link I-95 And Pennsylvania Turnpike

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The long-awaited, $420 million direct connection between I-95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike moved closer to reality Thursday, with the approval of a $155 million section of the work.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which oversees federal and state funding for transportation projects in the Philadelphia region, agreed to separate the $155 million project to allow work to start in June.

The $155 million will pay for widening and reconstructing about four miles of the turnpike in Bristol Township where the connection with I-95 will be built. It will also pay for building three new turnpike bridges and installing the piers for the “flyover” ramps for the connection.

When the first stage of the direct connection is completed in 2018, I-95 will be rerouted onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of the connection and then onto the New Jersey Turnpike. The current I-95 north of the connection will be redesignated as I-195.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140124__155M_approved_to_link_I-95_and_Pa__Turnpike.html#IaGkJCmaqMOSQbBg.99

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Sidewalks Necessary To Grow Transit, Improve Walkability In Lehigh Valley, Study Says

wm-license-information-description-missing wm-...

wm-license-information-description-missing wm-license-information-description-missing-request LANTA logo.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Installing sidewalks and crosswalks along Hamilton Boulevard near Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township would encourage more people to use transit in the area.

It would also make the area, which was the site of a fatal pedestrian crash in 2012, safer and more attractive to walkers, according to a Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority study.

The area is one of five highlighted in the study, which outlines how land development in the Lehigh Valley can help promote transit use in the region.

The authority wants to grow ridership, and most municipal officials are committed to improving walkability in their communities, so LANTA has been spreading the message about how best to accomplish both goals, planning director Owen O’Neil said.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/01/lanta_study_sidewalks_necessar.html

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Snow Causes Accidents, School Cancellations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(UPDATED 10:45 a.m.) An Atlantic Clipper snowstorm traveling across the East Coast Tuesday could drop up to 9 inches of snow in some areas, causing some schools to close and others to institute early dismissal.

Boyertown, Daniel Boone, Owen J. Roberts and the Spring-Ford School District all cancelled classes and all afterschool activities.

Pottstown, Phoenixville, Upper Perkiomen, and the Pottsgrove school districts were all dismissing students early as the snowstorm was expected to worsen in the afternoon.

Collegeville, East Greenville, Spring City Borough, Lower Pottsgrove, and Upper Pottsgrove townships declared snow emergencies Tuesday morning. The snow emergency in Spring City was declared for 9 a.m. and will be in place until noon Wednesday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140121/updated-snow-causes-accidents-school-cancellations

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Fee Could Raise $4M For NEPA Counties

Northeastern Pennsylvania‘s seven counties could collect more than $4 million per year for transportation projects starting next year if officials assess an optional $5 vehicle registration fee on their residents.

The state’s $2.3 billion transportation bill authorizes counties to collect the optional fee. State Department of Transportation records show the region’s drivers registered 826,694 vehicles in 2012.

Leaders in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, which together could collect $2.36 million of that total, initially sounded more open to the idea than their more rural counterparts.

“Right now, we are reviewing the legislation and taking a look at it, so we just started that process,” said Jim Wansacz, chairman of the Lackawanna County commissioners. “We’ll see what can be done and what type of revenue would be associated with it.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/fee-could-raise-4m-for-nepa-counties-1.1619430

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A Public Service Announcement From The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA)

POTTSTOWN, PA – SNOW IS ON IT’S WAY – PLEASE If you plan to park along High Street between York and Evan’s, please go to the various municipal lots so that the parking areas can be cleared of snow as easily as possible. PENNDOT only plows the center lane for us. PDIDA must do the rest, it will be best for all if we can manage a few hours in the lots, clear the streets without issue and then park again on High – Please share this information if you can so things go smoothly. If 5″ or more is laid, we will begin snow removal as quickly as possible. Thanks everyone for your cooperation!

Specific municipal lots are assigned to the 100, 200, and 300 hundred blocks of High Street. Vehicles which park overnight on the 100 block of High Street are assigned to the parking lot across the tracks from the old train station. In the 200 block, cars are assigned to the lot behind American Cash Traders and cars from the 300 block should park in the Evans Street lot.
Questions? Please call Sheila at 610-323-5400 or 484-948-6061.

Snow, Then Cold Expected Thursday Night

A snowstorm chased closely by a frigid cold snap is expected to blow into Berks County on Thursday night.

Forecasters expect the storm to hit just as evening commutes start and be at its heaviest after dark. They expect 3 to 6 inches of snow to be dumped on Berks before Friday morning.

“If you do have to do any traveling (Thursday), definitely the morning is the better time,” said Kristina Pydynowski, a forecaster with AccuWeather near State College.

Even though the snow will likely stop falling by Friday morning, she said, heavy winds could blow it back onto roads that have already been plowed.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140101/NEWS/301019943/1052#.UsQ6EvRDsxI

York Public Transportation To Improve With Bill

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The aging fleet of public transportation buses in York County will get a boost from the recently passed state transportation bill, as could Rabbit Transit‘s plans for a fleet conversion from diesel to natural gas.

Rabbit Transit CEO Richard Farr said the $2.3 billion package “couldn’t be passed a moment too soon,” as about 64 percent of the organization’s 87-vehicle fleet is beyond its useful life or will be in 2014.

That means they’ve surpassed 12 years of age or 600,000 miles, “and we have vehicles with mileage as high as 900,000 miles,” he said.

The old buses are more expensive to maintain, to the tune of an extra $600,000 per year, he said, and in recent months two of them had to be retired because the frames are cracked beyond repair, making them unsafe to haul passengers.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24801596/york-public-transportation-improve-bill

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area Bridges Are On Replacement List

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state’s $2.4 billion transportation funding law will enable the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to use its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project on at least 200 more bridges than originally planned.

Among the 998 bridges eligible for replacement are eight in Luzerne County, seven in Lackawanna County and four in Wyoming County.

The project that will reconstruct at least 500 structurally deficient bridges of similar design across the state involves PennDOT reaching out to the private sector to submit statements of qualification.

Erin Waters, a PennDOT spokeswoman, said those interested in bidding must submit their statements of qualifications to the agency by Jan.31.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1052771/Area-bridges-are-on-replacement-list

Winter Storm Causes At Least One Death; Drops 10 Inches In S. Jersey

The region’s first serious winter storm – one that took forecasters by surprise with its intensity – has caused at least one death in the region.

A motorist was struck and killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike shortly after noon when he got out of his car after a minor crash, a spokesman for the turnpike commission said. Detours between the Downingtown and Morgantown exits of the turnpike are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia International Airport is experiencing substantial delays as the day’s heavy snow – up to 10 inches in some parts of South Jersey – is expected to transition to sleet and then plain rain by morning.

A winter storm warning will be in effect until midnight, the National Weather Service said Sunday afternoon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20131209_Snow_has_begun__icy_mix_to_follow.html#BkXWkQX6eWGAtwOE.99

State To Cover Cost Of BARTA, Red Rose Management Pact

English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsy...

English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, July 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state has agreed to cover the cost of the management pact between BARTA and Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit Authority, BARTA directors learned Monday.

That means PennDOT will pick up the $60,000 tab BARTA agreed to pay Red Rose for a six-month management contract approved last month. BARTA only has to put up $1,800 in matching funds to get the grant.

The agencies are testing whether it makes sense to share management.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=520180

With House Passage, All Are Aboard State Transportation Bill

Pennsylvania state map county outlines

Pennsylvania state map county outlines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Billions in new taxes and spending for roads, bridges and mass transit in Pennsylvania comfortably cleared a final legislative hurdle Thursday with a bipartisan vote to send a long-stalled bill to the governor.

The state House voted 113-85 to tax gasoline and raise motorist fees over five years to generate at least $2.3 billion in annual additional funding.

Gov. Tom Corbett said in brief remarks at an appearance with a few dozen legislators that he perceived an urgent need to address transportation infrastructure after taking office three years ago.

He said passage of the vote showed leadership and mentioned concerns about public safety several times.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519891