Daily News Briefs, November 21, 2023

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Expedited New York Thruway Bridge Project Advances Toward Completion

Niagara Frontier Publications reports, replacement of a bridge over the New York State Thruway is on track to wrap up by the end of this year. Exit 18B on I-190 has been closed for the project, which was scheduled for next year before engineers determined it couldn’t wait. The overpass connects local roads to the Beaver Island Parkway on Grand Island, which lies in the Niagara River directly between Niagara Falls and Buffalo. Steel beam installation started last week and follows construction of concrete abutments, as well as roadway work on the approaches. “The new bridge is designed to have wider traffic lanes; emergency shoulders; a new guide rail; new riding surface; and increased vertical clearance, going to 16 feet, 9 inches, from the previous 14 feet, 2 inches.” The work is contracted to Union Concrete and Construction Corporation of West Seneca, New York, through the Thruway Authority.

Highway and Bridge Maintenance Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts) New York New York State Thruway Authority

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State Agencies Announce Thanksgiving Travel And Tolling Accommodations

The West Virginia Parkways Authority (WVPA) — operator of the state’s turnpike — is anticipating a total of 715,000 toll transactions will take place at the tollway’s three plazas between today, November 21, and Sunday, November 26. During a typical Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday and Sunday are the busiest travel days, according to WVPA executive director Jeff Miller. “In addition to Toll Operations and Maintenance being fully prepared, we will have additional traffic flaggers staged at each toll plaza, as well as additional troopers from West Virginia State Police Troop 7 and Courtesy Patrol members for motorist assistance,” Miller said.

The Illinois Tollway, which defines the holiday travel period as Wednesday through Monday, expects to accommodate 8.8 million vehicles this year. On a typical day, 1.5 million drivers use the Tollway; 1.8 million transactions are predicted for Wednesday, which is expected to be the busiest. “To help make travel easier for drivers, the Illinois Tollway will suspend most temporary maintenance and construction lane closures from noon on Wednesday, November 22, through 9 a.m. on Monday, November 27. However, construction may continue in existing work zones to keep work on schedule for ongoing Illinois Tollway construction projects.”

Virginia DOT announced last week, “To make Thanksgiving travel more enjoyable and, most importantly, safe, [the department] will be suspending many highway work zones and lifting most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon on Wednesday, Nov. 22 until noon on Monday, Nov. 27.” VDOT added it will suspend I-66 Express (inside the beltway) peak-period tolling on Thanksgiving Day. In the Hampton Roads region, I-64, I-264, I-564 HOV lane restrictions and 64 Express Lanes tolling will also be suspended on Thursday.

64 Express 66 Express Lanes (Inside DC Beltway) ETC Systems Express Lanes Illinois Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (IL Tollway) Virginia Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) West Virginia West Virginia Parkways Authority (West Virginia Turnpike)

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PennDOT To Open New Round Of NEVI Funding In December

Transportation Today reports, Pennsylvania DOT will open a new round of funding for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure along the state’s Alternative Fuel Corridors from December 11, 2023, through January 26, 2024. “PennDOT estimates $22 million will be available for Round 1A projects. Proposers are required to provide at least a 20 percent match.” The IIJA’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program awarded $171.5 million to the state to build out its EV charging resources over five years. A virtual information session for Round 1A was held yesterday, and the recording will be made available online. For more information, including a detailed timeline and map of priority locations, visit PennDOT’s “Apply for NEVI Funds” web page on Round 1A funding opportunities.

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) Service Plazas US Gov't Transportation Funding US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives

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Plus And Bestpass Recognized As Two Of Transportation's "Most Innovative And Disruptive Companies”

Plus, the global autonomous driving software provider based in California, announced last week that it placed second on the 2024 list of FreightTech 25 award recipients. FreightWaves, the freight and supply chain market analysis firm, sponsors the awards to recognize the achievements of the year’s “most innovative and disruptive companies in the transportation industry.” (Winners are chosen by a group of transportation industry business leaders, academics and investors.) Plus’ news release highlighted several of the firm’s 2023 achievements, including partnering with Transurban on an autonomous trucking demonstration program in Australia, working with Bosch to integrate Plus’ assisted driving technology (PlusDrive) into Bosch’s steering system, and collaborating with IVECO on public road testing of AV trucks in Germany.

Bestpass, the provider of toll management services for commercial fleets, announced that it also made the 2024 list of recipients. It noted that over 250 companies were nominated for recognition, a hundred of which were named to the FreightTech 100 list in September. Award winners were chosen from that list. Bestpass placed fourth overall in the voting for the 25 awards. Tom Fogarty, Bestpass CEO, commented that it was “especially rewarding to know that the winners were selected by a panel of industry experts,” and he applauded Bestpass staff “for boldly delivering innovation to better serve our customers.”

Bestpass ETC Systems Industry Awards & Recognitions Self-Driving Vehicles Transurban

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

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