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Author Topic: PA Turnpike News  (Read 906440 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2675 on: May 12, 2021, 11:36:16 AM »

Some good news here

Pennsylvania Turnpike adds nearly $200 million to capital spending as commercial traffic returns

This includes resumption of widening projects and the removal of toll plazas (starting in NE PA).  If the Legislature follows through with reducing the annual transit payments, the work will expand to interchange reconfiguration.

Reducing the transit subsidy payments from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to PennDOT as mandated by Act 44 and then Act 89 is already on schedule to happen.  But that is not likely to cause tolls to go down nor the amount of money for turnpike improvements to go up that much.  That's because the Turnpike Commission did not have cash on hand to make those transit subsidy payments, but sold bonds secured by future toll revenues to come up with the cash.  Those bonds have billions of dollars in principal outstanding and will be slowly paid-down over the coming decades.  Until the bonds are paid-off, the burden of the transit subsidy payments will remain on the PTC and its patrons.
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tylert120

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2676 on: May 14, 2021, 12:46:19 PM »

First look at new Southern Beltway toll road to connect I-79 to PIT via WPXI

I find it hard to believe PTC still does not have toll rates set.

https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/first-look-new-southern-beltway-toll-road-connect-i79-pit/ZIV4PJYYMBDMXD5KQYKNFGEFJA
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2677 on: May 14, 2021, 10:44:11 PM »

First look at new Southern Beltway toll road to connect I-79 to PIT via WPXI

I find it hard to believe PTC still does not have toll rates set.

https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/first-look-new-southern-beltway-toll-road-connect-i79-pit/ZIV4PJYYMBDMXD5KQYKNFGEFJA

I wonder if they will have an "open house" like they did for the first section, where you can walk or bike on the new roadway.
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Bitmapped

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2678 on: May 15, 2021, 09:44:08 PM »

I was on the Uniontown-Brownsville part of the Mon-Fayette Expressway yesterday. The mainline toll plaza in this stretch was built with high-speed E-ZPass lanes. Even after to AET, they had kept the toll booths open but no longer. The exit to them is now blocked off with cones and they have taken down the overhead signs for the plazas.
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2679 on: May 16, 2021, 11:14:48 AM »

Might be venturing somewhat off topic, but the Post-Gazette examined the "secrecy" of many of the Commission's meetings.

https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/pennsylvania-turnpike-commission-sunshine-act-layoffs-gramian-lieberman-transparency/
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jemacedo9

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2680 on: May 16, 2021, 05:32:04 PM »

I noticed today, on PA 63 west, the BPS (Big Purple Signs) for E-Z Pass Only at the slip on-ramp have been replaced with regular BGS and with both the E-Z Pass and Toll-By-Plate logos.

I was on I-476 northbound last weekend, and nothing had changed in terms of how Exits 31A and 31B are signed.
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Roadsguy

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2681 on: May 17, 2021, 11:41:00 AM »

I noticed today, on PA 63 west, the BPS (Big Purple Signs) for E-Z Pass Only at the slip on-ramp have been replaced with regular BGS and with both the E-Z Pass and Toll-By-Plate logos.

I was on I-476 northbound last weekend, and nothing had changed in terms of how Exits 31A and 31B are signed.

Additionally, both the Lansdale and Quakertown exits now have the permanent "E-ZPass or Toll-By-Plate only" BGSes on the entrances to the toll plazas from their respective local roads. I don't know about further up on the Northeast Extension, but I haven't seen any interchange on the mainline with these signs yet. I only regularly drive it east of Harrisburg West, though, and there may be some in the Philly area that have them that I haven't seen yet.

Weirdly, Valley Forge is the only toll plaza I've seen since the AET conversion (mainline or NE Ext) where the signs over each lane are still up, though all have been changed to the old standard "E-ZPass Only" signs and none say cash or tickets. I was just through this toll plaza yesterday and can confirm that the signs are still up in both directions.
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2682 on: May 17, 2021, 02:50:57 PM »

I noticed today, on PA 63 west, the BPS (Big Purple Signs) for E-Z Pass Only at the slip on-ramp have been replaced with regular BGS and with both the E-Z Pass and Toll-By-Plate logos.

I was on I-476 northbound last weekend, and nothing had changed in terms of how Exits 31A and 31B are signed.

Additionally, both the Lansdale and Quakertown exits now have the permanent "E-ZPass or Toll-By-Plate only" BGSes on the entrances to the toll plazas from their respective local roads. I don't know about further up on the Northeast Extension, but I haven't seen any interchange on the mainline with these signs yet. I only regularly drive it east of Harrisburg West, though, and there may be some in the Philly area that have them that I haven't seen yet.

Weirdly, Valley Forge is the only toll plaza I've seen since the AET conversion (mainline or NE Ext) where the signs over each lane are still up, though all have been changed to the old standard "E-ZPass Only" signs and none say cash or tickets. I was just through this toll plaza yesterday and can confirm that the signs are still up in both directions.

Lehigh Valley has the permanent signage, as does Mid-County (southbound).  Oddly, there is a separate "E-ZPass or Toll By Plate" sign at the entrance to the Turnpike in Carlisle that I saw in a video.  It is next to the Turnpike trailblazer at the gore point of the ramp to the toll plaza.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2683 on: May 18, 2021, 10:01:33 AM »

Lehigh Valley has the permanent signage, as does Mid-County (southbound).  Oddly, there is a separate "E-ZPass or Toll By Plate" sign at the entrance to the Turnpike in Carlisle that I saw in a video.  It is next to the Turnpike trailblazer at the gore point of the ramp to the toll plaza.

Something like this? (From Clarks Summit - this one presumably has been around longer since Keyser Ave & Clarks Summit went cashless in April 2018.)
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2684 on: May 18, 2021, 03:40:31 PM »

Lehigh Valley has the permanent signage, as does Mid-County (southbound).  Oddly, there is a separate "E-ZPass or Toll By Plate" sign at the entrance to the Turnpike in Carlisle that I saw in a video.  It is next to the Turnpike trailblazer at the gore point of the ramp to the toll plaza.

Something like this? (From Clarks Summit - this one presumably has been around longer since Keyser Ave & Clarks Summit went cashless in April 2018.)

That's it.  It's definitely an afterthought and easy to miss.  Something like Maryland that has a BGS with "E-ZPass" and "No Cash" on it might be clearer.

https://goo.gl/maps/CjuVBNDHcM7iXkmf6
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jemacedo9

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2685 on: May 18, 2021, 03:50:23 PM »

Lehigh Valley has the permanent signage, as does Mid-County (southbound).  Oddly, there is a separate "E-ZPass or Toll By Plate" sign at the entrance to the Turnpike in Carlisle that I saw in a video.  It is next to the Turnpike trailblazer at the gore point of the ramp to the toll plaza.

Something like this? (From Clarks Summit - this one presumably has been around longer since Keyser Ave & Clarks Summit went cashless in April 2018.)

That's it.  It's definitely an afterthought and easy to miss.  Something like Maryland that has a BGS with "E-ZPass" and "No Cash" on it might be clearer.

https://goo.gl/maps/CjuVBNDHcM7iXkmf6
Except that the MD sign is EZPass only.  Whereas the PA Turnpike is no longer EZPass only...
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2686 on: May 18, 2021, 08:33:10 PM »

Lehigh Valley has the permanent signage, as does Mid-County (southbound).  Oddly, there is a separate "E-ZPass or Toll By Plate" sign at the entrance to the Turnpike in Carlisle that I saw in a video.  It is next to the Turnpike trailblazer at the gore point of the ramp to the toll plaza.

Something like this? (From Clarks Summit - this one presumably has been around longer since Keyser Ave & Clarks Summit went cashless in April 2018.)

That's it.  It's definitely an afterthought and easy to miss.  Something like Maryland that has a BGS with "E-ZPass" and "No Cash" on it might be clearer.

https://goo.gl/maps/CjuVBNDHcM7iXkmf6
Except that the MD sign is EZPass only.  Whereas the PA Turnpike is no longer EZPass only...

They're using the same format for AET signage.  I tried to look for the one installed at the Hatem Bridge like that but GSV went through before AET was activated.
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storm2k

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2687 on: May 19, 2021, 12:31:11 PM »

Lehigh Valley has the permanent signage, as does Mid-County (southbound).  Oddly, there is a separate "E-ZPass or Toll By Plate" sign at the entrance to the Turnpike in Carlisle that I saw in a video.  It is next to the Turnpike trailblazer at the gore point of the ramp to the toll plaza.

Something like this? (From Clarks Summit - this one presumably has been around longer since Keyser Ave & Clarks Summit went cashless in April 2018.)

That's it.  It's definitely an afterthought and easy to miss.  Something like Maryland that has a BGS with "E-ZPass" and "No Cash" on it might be clearer.

https://goo.gl/maps/CjuVBNDHcM7iXkmf6

This MdTA assembly is more in line with "official" MUTCD signage for these sorts of roadways. I do also believe that the forthcoming edition of the MUTCD is going to include better guidance on handling how to sign AET situations like the PATP is now since that is becoming more common.
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ekt8750

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2688 on: May 19, 2021, 08:18:08 PM »

Drove through Mid County today and they're prepping to take down the toll gantry. All of the non-EZPass Express lanes are blocked off and they're erecting transponder/plate scanners over those lanes.
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2689 on: May 19, 2021, 08:25:25 PM »

Drove through Mid County today and they're prepping to take down the toll gantry. All of the non-EZPass Express lanes are blocked off and they're erecting transponder/plate scanners over those lanes.

Good.  Hoping they restore the third lane through the tolls, and get rid of those rumble strips from the old toll plaza that are still there for the SB Express lanes.
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PHLBOS

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2690 on: May 20, 2021, 04:40:10 PM »

One minor thing I noticed - this part of the Mon-Fayette had a complete sign replacement around 2018 using FHWA alphabet. The new signs are using Clearview.
Par for the course.  Both the PTC & PennDOT have since started reusing Clearview on their newer signs since the Interim Approval was reinstated a few years ago.

Drove through Mid County today and they're prepping to take down the toll gantry. All of the non-EZPass Express lanes are blocked off and they're erecting transponder/plate scanners over those lanes.
I've been by there several times in the last 2 months & noticed that the new pull-thorough BGS' for I-476 southbound feature the reverse-order of its two control cities vs. what's on the earlier-installed approach & diagrammatic signs.  Chester/Philadelphia as opposed to Philadelphia/Chester.
:rolleyes: Hooray for consistency!  *dripping with sarcasm*

It appears that whoever signed it looked only at the older 90s-vintage pre-E-ZPass express signs, from old photos, that were there rather than review the newer ones erected further north. 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2021, 04:42:18 PM by PHLBOS »
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Crown Victoria

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2691 on: May 28, 2021, 09:04:57 AM »

The PTC has posted its 2022 Capital Plan. Some highlights:

-The next segment of the NE Extension reconstruction begins later this year, up to the Quakertown interchange.
-Looks like this year is the last you'll get to see the New Baltimore church steps, as reconstruction starts there next year.
-The Cashless Tolling Conversion appears to be fully funded
-Around mid-decade we get the Beaver River Bridge replacement and the new Lafayette Street interchange in Norristown, as well as reconstruction between the Downingtown and PA 29 interchanges.
-The Allegheny Mountain Tunnel replacement and Delaware River Bridge replacements occur toward the end of the decade, as does the Scranton Beltway.

Curiously, the reconstruction between PA 29 and Valley Forge appears unfunded despite being shown on the PTC site as starting later this year.

https://www.paturnpike.com/pdfs/business/FY22_Captial_Plan.pdf
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 09:09:12 AM by Crown Victoria »
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2692 on: May 28, 2021, 05:18:36 PM »

Looks like signage around the E-ZPass slip ramps is changing.  The 2 mile advance sign for the Street Road exit no longer says E-ZPass ONLY (the 1 mile sign still does).  The toll plaza is also no longer listed on the BGS listing the exits around Bensalem.

The Virginia Drive BGS signage also no longer references E-ZPass.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 08:11:41 PM by MASTERNC »
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2693 on: June 11, 2021, 08:41:38 PM »

The E-ZPass Only signage has been removed at the entrance from PA 29 in Malvern (one sign remains but the foundation for a new sign is ready).  On the Turnpike, the advance BGS still say E-ZPass ONLY but the same note has been removed from the distance sign after the Downingtown interchange (though the text now says "SR 29" next to the SR 29 shield).

I also noticed new wood utility poles along the westbound side between Malvern and Morgantown every one or two tenths of a mile. Only thought is that is for the fiber optic cable they are installing but I thought they were burying that.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 07:48:49 PM by MASTERNC »
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jemacedo9

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2694 on: June 12, 2021, 08:42:36 AM »

The E-ZPass Only signage has been removed at the entrance from PA 29 in Malvern (one sign remains but the foundation for a new sign is ready).

I also noticed new wood utility poles along the westbound side between Malvern and Morgantown every one or two tenths of a mile. Only thought is that is for the fiber optic cable they are installing but I thought they were burying that.

Maybe the fiberoptic lines willbe on the poles until the widening projects start,and then will be buried as part of the widening.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2695 on: June 12, 2021, 09:00:52 AM »

The E-ZPass Only signage has been removed at the entrance from PA 29 in Malvern (one sign remains but the foundation for a new sign is ready).

I also noticed new wood utility poles along the westbound side between Malvern and Morgantown every one or two tenths of a mile. Only thought is that is for the fiber optic cable they are installing but I thought they were burying that.

Maybe the fiberoptic lines willbe on the poles until the widening projects start,and then will be buried as part of the widening.

If there's a project starting soon, most likely those poles will be used for street lighting.
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2696 on: June 13, 2021, 09:59:40 AM »

The E-ZPass Only signage has been removed at the entrance from PA 29 in Malvern (one sign remains but the foundation for a new sign is ready).

I also noticed new wood utility poles along the westbound side between Malvern and Morgantown every one or two tenths of a mile. Only thought is that is for the fiber optic cable they are installing but I thought they were burying that.

Maybe the fiberoptic lines willbe on the poles until the widening projects start,and then will be buried as part of the widening.

If there's a project starting soon, most likely those poles will be used for street lighting.

I don't see PTC use that as much as PennDOT, and these went on for 10+ miles (normally they only put poles for lights at the point where the lanes shift)
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2697 on: June 30, 2021, 11:36:09 AM »

Looks like changes were made to Mid-County going north into the tolls as well.  I was driving in the opposite direction, so I could only see the signs, but it looks like traffic for I-276 EB is directed into the old toll plaza while NE Extension traffic is directed into the Express lanes.  I don't know if there was separation after the toll plaza to force the decision.

There is now AET signage approaching the tolls
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CentralPAGal

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2698 on: July 03, 2021, 01:07:32 PM »

Looks like they're getting ready to replace the PA 441 bridge over the turnpike in the Harrisburg area. I wonder if PTC is eying an extension of the 6-lanes between the Harrisburg east and west interchanges in the not too distant future? Because after they replace this bridge, the only bridges that might need to be replaced to connect that 6 lane section to the widened (though not striped) segment around the Swatara creek bridge is the bridge carrying the airport connector. That would add several miles of 6-lane highway.

Temporary bridge to be put in place in Dauphin County
« Last Edit: July 03, 2021, 01:10:39 PM by CentralPAGal »
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2699 on: July 03, 2021, 04:47:50 PM »

Looks like they're getting ready to replace the PA 441 bridge over the turnpike in the Harrisburg area. I wonder if PTC is eying an extension of the 6-lanes between the Harrisburg east and west interchanges in the not too distant future? Because after they replace this bridge, the only bridges that might need to be replaced to connect that 6 lane section to the widened (though not striped) segment around the Swatara creek bridge is the bridge carrying the airport connector. That would add several miles of 6-lane highway.

Temporary bridge to be put in place in Dauphin County

Actual Link: https://www.abc27.com/news/traffic/temporary-bridge-to-be-put-in-place-in-dauphin-county/
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