Daily News Briefs, February 15, 2024

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PA Turnpike Schedules Open House On Next Leg Of Mon/Fayette Expressway Construction

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) announced it will host an in-person open house next Wednesday evening, February 21, to give the public an opportunity to learn about the next construction section of the final and largest of the four Mon/Fayette Expressway (PA Turnpike 43) projects in metro Pittsburgh. PTC notes that last October, it awarded Trumbull Corporation a “$165.6 million contract for the second section (53A2) to be built. It will extend approximately two miles . . . in West Mifflin Borough, Allegheny County.” The scope of Trumbull’s engagement includes excavation of nearly four million cubic yards of earth, as well as construction of five bridges and a full interchange at Camp Hollow Road. Maryland-based Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc., is responsible for managing construction of the entire eight-mile southern section of the Mon/Fayette project.

Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) Pittsburgh PA Metro Area Public Outreach And Communication Trumbull Corporation


Philadelphia City Lawmaker Proposes Ban On License Plate "Flipping" Devices

WTXF reports, Philadelphia City Councilmember Michael Driscoll has introduced a municipal bill (No. 240089) to outlaw the purchase, use, production or sale within the city of any device that allows a driver to “flip” vehicle’s license plate automatically. Toll scofflaws use the devices to conceal or misrepresent vehicle plates when they pass through electronic tolling points, but their use by serious and violent offenders to avoid identification has also been documented. “There’s been this sense of ‘We can whatever we wanna do,’ and if we don’t start nipping that in the bud, it’s gonna get worse,” Driscoll commented. The bill would subject violators to a $2,000 fine. Driscoll wanted to empower Philadelphia police officers to seize and impound vehicles using the devices “but was told by city attorneys that would violate state law.”

Crime Beat ETC Systems Issues of Law Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA Metro Area Scofflaws


Wisconsin Receives INFRA Grant To Boost Truck Parking At I-90 Rest Facility

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) announced that WisDOT received an $8 million federal INFRA grant to “to significantly expand truck parking at a key facility serving traffic from Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago on I-90 westbound to La Crosse, Rochester, and beyond.” The funding will be used to extensively rehabilitate a safety rest area near Sparta. More than 50 additional truck parking spaces will be created, a staging area for oversized-overweight vehicles will be added, ramps and paving will be repaired and “technology to proactively communicate open truck parking spots to commercial drivers” will be introduced. Evers commented, “The nationwide challenges facing our trucking industry are placing an undue burden on our hardworking truck drivers as they deliver the critical goods and services that we all depend upon. We’re working with [US Senator] Tammy Baldwin and our federal partners to help alleviate some of those concerns on this critical freight and passenger route through Western Wisconsin.”

Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Maintenance Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) US Department of Transportation (USDOT) US Gov't Transportation Funding US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)


Many Eligible New South Wales Motorists Seemingly Don't File Toll Rebate Claims

ABC News Australia reports, as of the start of this month, the New South Wales state government has returned about $167 million to drivers through a toll rebate program that was announced in early 2023. “That’s well short of the $500 million set aside by the previous Coalition government for the two-year program, which is set to end on June 30.” Apparently, many eligible motorists haven’t yet filed claims, and both the government and broadcasters are reminding them to act. A deadline is approaching for requesting 2022-2023 rebates, but a year remains on the filing period for 2023-2024 rebates. The current Labor government decided not to extend the rebate program and will replace it with a $60-per-week toll cap scheme. Roads minister John Graham told ABC Radio, “That really will protect people who are commuting long distances and using the tunnels a lot.” He said the cap will afford short-term toll relief until the government can introduce long-term reforms to make tolling fairer and simpler. A final report on an independent review of New South Wales tolling is due to be filed this year. ABC notes that motorists have so far submitted 460,760 quarterly rebate claims “with $362 on average paid out for each.” The government originally estimated that  500,000 people would be eligible for rebates. (Currently, 1 AUD = 0.65 USD)

TRN notes, an earlier scheme that offered discounted vehicle registration to drivers who incurred steep toll bills expired in June 2023.

Australia ETC Systems New South Wales Toll Exemption, Discount And Equity Programs Transurban


These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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