Labor Day Traffic Jams Could Be Daily Occurrence By The 2020s, Study Says

The traffic jams we can anticipate on highways like Route 22 this holiday weekend will plague American highways routinely by as soon as 2020 without increases in traffic capacity or other solutions, according to a travel-industry study.

In a report released Thursday, the U.S. Travel Association joins a growing list of engineers, contractors and other business interests, as well as federal and state agencies and officials, urging Congress and state governments to add new lanes and new highways. Long lead times for planning, design, environmental and other permitting before construction begins emphasize the need for early project starts.

“At current rates of highway-traffic growth, unless additional capacity … is created through expansion of existing infrastructure, new facilities or innovative techniques, the typical day will approach Labor Day peaks” of frustrating traffic jams, concludes the study by consultant Cambridge Systems Inc.

Though none of the interstates in the Lehigh Valley region are among the 16 segments used in the examination, the roads’ geographical diversity suggests that “together, they provide a reliable snapshot of the growing congestion on America’s highways” generally, according to U.S. Travel.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-road-congestion-labor-day-20130901,0,4247270.story#ixzz2dkwrwOsz
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Costs Associated With May 9 Tanker Truck Fire Increased To $13 Million

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has upped its estimate of the cost to repair damage caused by a May 9 tanker truck fire in Susquehanna Twp.

But, not by much.

District 8 spokesman Greg Penny said the original estimate was $10 million.

That has been increased to $12 million-$13 million.  The original estimate did not include reconstruction costs because it was not known at the time.

G.A. & F.C. Wagman Inc., of York was the low bidder for the reconstruction at $3.3 million.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/06/costs_associated_with_may_9_ta.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Interstate 81 Should Reopen In Harrisburg By Tuesday Morning, PennDOT Officials Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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

Under ideal circumstances, transportation officials hope to reopen all lanes of Interstate 81 underneath the ramp damaged by last week’s tanker fire by early Tuesday morning.

“Our goal will be [to reopen I-81] for the Tuesday morning rush,” said Mike Keiser, the area district executive for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation during a news conference Sunday at the scene of the fire on I-81, near Exit 67.

“I-81 should be back to full lanes in all directions by Tuesday,” he said.

Keiser also announced the completion of crossover lanes splitting the two westbound lanes of Route 22 into a single eastbound and a single westbound lane.  Access to Harrisburg via the crossover should be available after 4 p.m. Sunday, Keiser said.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/interstate_81_should_be_open_i.html#incart_river_default

Allentown’s American Parkway Bridge Groundbreaking

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At first glance, Friday’s groundbreaking for the American Parkway Bridge looked pretty much like every other ceremony where shivering, dark-suited community leaders poke their gold-painted shovels into some carefully piled dirt.

But this time, behind all the pomp and pageantry were more than five decades of planning, fighting, waiting and frustration.

It was 1956 when excited city leaders first proposed a direct path between downtown Allentown and Route 22, and Friday those shovel-wielding leaders celebrated the beginning of construction of a $46 million American Parkway Bridge project they say represents both the struggles of the past and the promise of the future.

It will span the Lehigh River just north of the Tilghman Street bridge and south of the Route 22 bridge.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-american-parkway-bridge-20121214,0,3965525.story