PhillyDeals: French Building Firm Chooses Malvern For New U.S. HQ

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

John Crowe is the top North American executive for Saint-Gobain, the $55 billion- a-year French construction- materials maker that traces its roots to the group that built Versailles for King Louis XIV. Crowe has been looking for a place to build another palace – in Pennsylvania – as Saint-Gobain’s U.S. base and showroom.

To replace the company’s aging U.S. headquarters near Valley Forge, Crowe scouted sites for “an absolutely spectacular building that will incorporate all aspects of what we know as a building-materials company in terms of energy efficiency and a sustainable, open, collaborative workplace,” he tells me. Plus, a research and development center to replace the old labs in Blue Bell.

The search, extended by the recession, took Saint- Gobain six years. The company plans to announce this week that it has picked a potentially spectacular fixer-upper, an $80 million-plus expansion of the once-innovative but now-rusted and vacant complex built in 1969 by the former National Liberty Life Insurance Co. on 65 acres north of Malvern, close to the new State Route 29 ramp from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140413_PhillyDeals__French_building_firm_chooses_Malvern_for_new_U_S__HQ.html#2pYscMdh5kLGVKze.99

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Pennsylvania Turnpike To Raise Tolls In 2015

Pennsylvania Turnpike Ticket from the Warrenda...

Pennsylvania Turnpike Ticket from the Warrendale (30) Toll Stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania Turnpike drivers can expect another toll increase of at least 3 percent next January, and continuing annual increases for years to come, turnpike CEO Mark Compton said Thursday.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Airport Corridor Transportation Association, Mr. Compton said the state’s new transportation funding law has shortened, but not eliminated, the turnpike’s requirement to pay $450 million a year to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Instead of continuing to 2057, the required payments will end after 2022, he said. Toll increases are needed to underwrite the debt incurred by the turnpike in making those payments.

In the past, PennDOT has directed $200 million from each payment to non-turnpike highway projects and $250 million to mass transit. The new law directs all of the $450 million to transit.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/03/28/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-to-raise-tolls-in-2015/stories/201403280114#ixzz2xHOq34iN

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More Than A Dozen Injured In Pennsylvania Turnpike Crashes

Tollgate at the Willow Grove interchange (exit...

Tollgate at the Willow Grove interchange (exit 343) of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 276) with Pennsylvania Route 611 in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Authorities say more than a dozen people were injured in traffic accidents involving several tractor-trailers and dozens of cars on the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia.

Abington Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Taing says the hospital received 16 patients, including five trauma patients. She says no one has life-threatening injuries.

The series of accidents backed up traffic for miles between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits of the turnpike, the state’s primary east-west highway.

The crashes were reported just after 8 a.m., about five hours after a storm that dropped a foot of snow finally moved out. Speed restrictions enacted during the storm had been lifted at 6 a.m., but motorists say the roadway was very slick.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140214/updated-more-than-a-dozen-injured-in-pa-turnpike-crashes

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PECO: Montgomery County Ice Storm Second Worst For Power Outages Since Hurricane Sandy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — A PECO spokesperson said they are looking into a multiple day restoration process for 67 percent of customers without power in Montgomery County.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, 181,902 of the 302,600 PECO customers in Montgomery County are without power—not all Montgomery County residents are PECO customers— and crews are in the area trying to turn the lights back on.

“We’re looking at the second worst storm for power outages since Hurricane Sandy,” PECO Spokesperson Cathy Engel Mendez said on Wednesday.

Mendez said the most common cause of the outages have to do with tree limbs coming down on power lines.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/peco-montgomery-county-ice-storm-second-worst-for-power-outages-since-hurricane-sandy

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Snowstorm Leads To Closures, Traffic Accidents Throughout Berks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

That darn groundhog.

Within 24 hours of forecasting six more weeks of winter, large dense snowflakes began falling in Berks County early Monday, and the storm continued to drop about an inch an hour before tapering off to flurries about 2:30 p.m.

Blame Phil if you were stuck in traffic behind one of the numerous crashes that occurred through the day or lost power from outages, but remember he wasn’t the only messenger.

Forecasters at AccuWeather, near State college, predicted this storm would bring wet, heavy snow that would affect the morning commute, and did it ever. By 11 a.m., with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees, at least a half a foot of snow had fallen in Berks County.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/news/article/snowstorm-leads-to-closures-traffic-accidents-throughout-berks#.UvA5BvRDsxI

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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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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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Pennsylvania Turnpike Rates Jump Again On Sunday

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchang...

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new year will take its toll on Pennsylvania motorists — literally.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will raise tolls for the sixth consecutive year, with the price increases taking effect Sunday.

Drivers paying in cash will see a 12-percent rate increase, while E-ZPass users will incur a more palatable 2-percent hike as the commission tries to encourage drivers to use the more efficient electronic option to traverse the toll road.

Increased tolls have become customary after Gov. Ed Rendell signed Act 44 into law in 2007, requiring the commission to fork over $450 million annually to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/20140103/pennsylvania-turnpike-rates-jump-again-on-sunday

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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

Multiple Traffic Accidents During Morning Commute Throughout Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The westbound turnpike has been shutdown between the Reading and Morgantown exchanges due to multiple vehicle accidents, according to Lancaster County Emergency Management director, Randy Gockley.

The detour route to avoid the area is as follows: Rt. 10 to Rt. 23 to Rt. 322 to Rt. 222.

Dozens of accidents were reported on the roadways this morning as snow was quickly laying on the roads.

Use caution and expect delays around the county.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/936223_Multiple-traffic-accidents-during-morning-commute-throughout-Lancaster-County.html#ixzz2obTpGD7l

Up To An Inch Of Snow Expected

PITTSBURGH, PA — A snow storm moving eastward across Pennsylvania could leave up to an inch on the ground in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties. The snow is causing icy road conditions in some areas and drivers are advised to be cautious if traveling today. Numerous incidents were reported on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Denver and Route 476 before 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131226/up-to-an-inch-of-snow-expected

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

Snow causes traffic problems throughout region

Snow and ice arrived much earlier — and in greater amounts — than anticipated on Sunday, causing traffic issues and other nuisances throughout the region.

Late in the morning, snow began falling well before the late afternoon/early evening timeslot forecasters predicted.

Charles Metzger, a spokesman with PennDOT, said that PennDOT was “not surprised,” though, and had 300 trucks out on their roads Saturday night and throughout the day Sunday.

He said the trucks sprayed a salt brine Saturday night in anticipation of the storm.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131208/snow-causes-traffic-problems-throughout-region

Some Pennsylvania Highways Will See 70 Mph Speed Limits Next Summer

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The billions of dollars for road projects in the new state transportation law isn’t the only factor that could speed up traffic on Pennsylvania highways.

Deep in the details of the new law is a provision raising the state’s maximum speed limit to 70 mph. Some roads could see higher speed limits by next summer, PennDOT said.

Speed limits will not automatically jump around the state. But PennDOT and Pennsylvania Turnpike officials now have the option to increase the limits on a case-by-case basis.
The agencies must study safety and traffic on the roads to determine if they can accommodate a higher limit.

“It’s probably going to take at least six months to do this,” said Rich Kirkpatrick, acting PennDOT press secretary. “Drivers will not likely see any changes before the end of June.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article/20131206/NEWS/312069925/1052#.UqI3c_SgnuI

Subject Of Manhunt Captured Near Morgantown

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After eluding a massive manhunt in southern Berks County for hours and hours, a cold, hungry and tired truck driver must have been drawn by the outdoor security light of the Chestnut Hill Field Archers clubhouse, the club president said Friday.

Larry Buzzard, club president, said there’s a hollow that the wanted trucker could have followed from the spot on Interstate 176 where he crashed Thursday morning and ran from police. That hollow leads to a ridge from which he would have seen the light on the clubhouse, near the Conestoga Landfill in New Morgan, shining like a beacon in a sea of darkness.

“It can be seen for miles,” said Buzzard, who lives in Caernarvon Township, Lancaster County.

State police said Harold A. Davis Jr. broke into the clubhouse on Quarry Road and spent the night.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519195

Police Looking For Truck Driver After Chase In Berks County

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A trucker wanted for robbery in Florida drove more than 3 miles on Interstate 176 this morning with a state trooper clinging to the cab of his truck before crashing and fleeing into the woods, setting off an extensive manhunt. The trooper was not injured.

Police have identified the man as Harold. A. Davis Jr., 56, of Philadelphia. He remains at large, with dozens of police officers from all around Berks County joining in the search.

The incident began about 10 a.m. when Davis drove through a truck inspection detail being done by Caernarvon Police on Interstate 176 just north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, said Trooper David C. Beohm, state police spokesman. A trooper approached Davis’ car hauler, but as he mounted the truck to speak with the driver Davis began to pull away, starting a slow-speed chase with the trooper still hanging from the side of the cab.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519081

Pennsylvania Among Worst In Nation For Failing Bridges

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

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

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is among the nation’s leaders in bridges that both lack backup protection against collapse in case a single, vital component fails and are designated by highway officials as being in need of repair, an Associated Press review of national bridge records found.

Some are among the busiest in the state, including the 85-year-old Liberty Bridge, spanning the Monongahela River from downtown Pittsburgh to its south side, and an Interstate 95 span in Philadelphia’s lower northeast section along the Delaware River.

Others are on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Fewer than a third are state-owned, with many owned by county and municipal governments or railroads.

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/09/pa_is_among_national_leaders_i.html#incart_river_default

Goodbye, Tollbooth: E-ZPass Will Soon Retire A Turnpike Icon

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is moving ahead with plans to convert to an all-electronic toll collection system by 2018, an inevitable nod to technology that will improve the situation for motorists.

Once fully implemented, the 545-mile turnpike’s 76 tollbooths will be a thing of the past.  Vehicles would maintain normal highway speeds as they pass under overhead stanchions equipped with electronic readers, which is what happens now in some E-ZPass lanes.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/goodbye-tollbooth-e-zpass-will-soon-retire-a-turnpike-icon-701322/#ixzz2dTiWEbl9

Turnpike Tolls To Increase, Especially For Cash Customers

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchang...

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Drivers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will notice a bump in their tolls next year, especially when paying with cash.

On Monday the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced toll increases of 12 percent for cash customers and 2 percent for E-ZPass customers.  The new rates go into effect Jan. 5.

In a statement, the commission said it needed the rate hike to make its annual $450 million payment to the state and to fund additional construction on the turnpike.

The five-member commission approved the increase at its July 15 meeting.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=497929

PA Turnpike To Be Widened From Valley Forge To Downingtown

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchang...

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has picked a construction manager for a $480 million road-widening project between the Valley Forge and Downingtown interchanges.

Hill International of Marlton, N.J., will be paid $17.1 million to manage the project. Roadwork is expected to begin in the summer of 2014 and will continue into 2020, Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said Wednesday.

The roadwork will be done in two phases, DeFebo said, beginning next summer at the Valley Forge interchange and going west for about six miles.  That work is expected to last about three years, the spokesman said.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130718/NEWS03/130719320/turnpike-to-be-widened-from-valley-forge-to-downingtown-#full_story