Work On Civic Arena Site To Begin In August

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Construction of streets at the former Civic Arena site, now a sprawling parking lot in the heart of Pittsburgh, will begin in August, officials said on Thursday.

It will be the first significant activity on the 28-acre site since crews completed demolition of the arena about two years ago. More than $500 million in redevelopment is planned.

“We’re almost ready to start construction of the urban street grid,” said Mary Conturo, executive director of the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.

The first phase is expected to cost $9 million and focus on building interior streets on the eastern part of the site, Conturo said. The work is expected to take about a year.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5924203-74/conturo-site-million#ixzz2ybAziPaI
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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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PennDOT To Spend More In Fayette, Westmoreland Counties

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state is primed to pump approximately $33.8 million in additional money into highway and bridge projects in Fayette and Westmoreland counties this year with revenue generated from higher fees paid by motorists.

PennDOT said it would use the revenue from Act 89 to make about 59 miles of improvements to 12 roads in both counties.

In Westmoreland, 40 miles of improvements are planned to Routes 66, 119, 130, 356, 381, 819, 981 and 993 in Allegheny, Donegal, Hempfield, Loyalhanna, North Huntingdon, Penn, Salem, Unity and Washington townships, as well as Greensburg, Jeannette, Irwin, Manor and Trafford.

Those projects are estimated to cost $10.5 million.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5890090-74/bridge-museum-penndot#ixzz2yKTmZ9oQ
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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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Planner: Despite $90 Million Cost, Route 222 Widening Not A Return To Big PennDOT Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Friday evening, just as it is most evenings, traffic was backed up as drivers coming from U.S. 30 waited to merge onto Route 222 in Manheim Township.

Friday morning, just as it is most weekday mornings, the Route 222 traffic backed up merging onto U.S. 30.

The situation is nothing new to PennDOT.

With additional money coming from the new state transportation law, state Transportation Department officials will soon begin looking for ways to address the problem.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/conestogavalley/news/planner-despite-million-cost-route-widening-not-a-return-to/article_de7c88b6-bc32-11e3-a1a1-001a4bcf6878.html

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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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Last Year’s Gridlock Looms Large Over Pirates’ Opener

PNC Park

PNC Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fans arriving for Opening Day on Monday will be getting an earlier start to tailgating around PNC Park, and so will police hoping to avoid last year’s gridlock — but not by much.

Police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said officers assigned to ease congestion and operate signals at the busiest intersections will start arriving at their posts at 10:30 a.m., at least 45 minutes earlier than last year.

But this year’s first pitch is about a half-hour earlier, about 1 p.m. Parking lots and garages open to tailgaters at 9 a.m., and the ballpark gates open at 11. Officials urge fans to have patience, use mass transit or park farther away from the ball field.

“If people can curtail their excitement with a little bit of patience, we’ll be able to help them get where they need to go,” Toler said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5830137-74/parking-pirates-fans#ixzz2xYokJ1U5
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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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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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$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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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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First Wave Of New Roads Funds Likely To Focus On Smaller Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

In the next couple years, the engineering needed to widen the northern segment of Route 222 in Berks County is likely to begin.

That’s one of the ways PennDOT and local transportation planners are looking to spend the first round of extra roadwork funds coming to Berks as a result of the recent statewide transportation funding package.

“The increase in state money alone will give us an extra $25 million total over the next four years,” said Alan D. Piper, senior Berks transportation planner.

Planners discussed the money during a Thursday meeting of the Reading Area Transportation Study, the panel that plans transportation spending in Berks.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140110/NEWS/301109921/1052#.UtBFP_RDsxI

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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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Snowstorm Hits Lancaster County With Up To 7 Inches Of Snow; Dozens Of Crashes Snarl Roads

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County is getting off to a slow start this morning in the wake of the snowstorm that dropped 6.5 to 7 inches of snow overnight.

In addition, wind chills dipped below zero.

Most local school districts closed, and the Lancaster County Courthouse was opening 2 hours late.

One institution, Ephrata‘s Green Dragon farmer’s market, announced Thursday it was closed Friday.

Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst, who initially had predicted 2 to 5 inches, upped his forecast to 4 to 7 inches late Thursday. Friday morning, he said most of the county got 6.5 to 7 inches of snow.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/939014_Snowstorm-hits-Lancaster-County-with-up-to-7-inches-of-snow–dozens-of-crashes-snarl-roads.html#ixzz2pMeUtsf8

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Rising Gas Prices, Fees Taking Toll

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

FORTY FORT, PA — Mary Cebrick, a senior citizen from Swoyersville who lives on a fixed income, said the increase in gasoline prices will hurt her pocketbook.

“You better believe it will,” she said while waiting for her car to be repaired at Joe Kristan’s Forty Fort Lube and Service on Wyoming Avenue on Thursday morning. “But I guess we can’t do anything about it. I just hope the money goes to where it’s supposed to — to fix the roads and bridges.”

Cebrick was reacting to higher prices at the gas pump, caused most recently by higher wholesale state taxes on gasoline and diesel that went into effect Wednesday — the first of three increases being imposed by a new law. The law lifted the cap on the wholesale fuel tax dating back to 2006.

State gasoline taxes increased by 9.5 cents per gallon, while diesel taxes are up by almost 13 cents per gallon. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Pennsylvania gas average was $3.48 per gallon this week, up 5 cents in the last week. Diesel was $4 per gallon.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1096562/Rising-gas-prices-fees-taking-toll

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Digging Out As High, Frigid Winds Settle In

The snow came as forecast Thursday, walloping the area with five to seven inches through the evening and overnight, closing area schools and reducing travel to a crawl on area roads.

PennDOT worked through the night, clearing highways across Pennsylvania as the first winter storm of 2014 ushered in frigid temperatures and strong, bone-chilling winds.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140103/digging-out-as-high-frigid-winds-settle-in

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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