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Author Topic: PA Turnpike News  (Read 836047 times)

famartin

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2825 on: October 12, 2022, 03:22:16 AM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).
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davewiecking

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2826 on: October 12, 2022, 08:50:39 AM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).

https://www.paturnpike.com/traveling/design-construction shows no projects in that area.
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2827 on: October 12, 2022, 09:18:48 AM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).

The biggest issues seem to be WB between PA 611 and PA 309 (just volume) and EB from east of the I-76 split to the NE Extension (due to the heavy merge of I-476 NB traffic) and then again to PA 309.  Not sure what would fix the WB issue, but the EB issue could be improved with a longer acceleration lane, if not a fourth lane to PA 309.  The rest of the Turnpike seems to flow well during rush hour, despite only 3 lanes.

Speaking of this area, work has started on toll gantries.  I saw a few equipment buildings in various construction phases around Downingtown and Reading.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2828 on: October 12, 2022, 10:50:54 AM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).

The PA Turnpike tends to spread out their projects so no one area has all the work zones, allowing construction workers throughout the state to have work opportunities close to their home locale. This winds up with the situation we see: Rural areas that rarely experience congestion getting widened, while areas that have significant congestion just sitting there with 2 lanes still.
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famartin

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2829 on: October 13, 2022, 12:20:44 AM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).

The biggest issues seem to be WB between PA 611 and PA 309 (just volume) and EB from east of the I-76 split to the NE Extension (due to the heavy merge of I-476 NB traffic) and then again to PA 309.  Not sure what would fix the WB issue, but the EB issue could be improved with a longer acceleration lane, if not a fourth lane to PA 309.  The rest of the Turnpike seems to flow well during rush hour, despite only 3 lanes.

I'd think 4 lanes each way between I-476 and PA 611 would be a big help. It seems like there isn't that much congestion elsewhere (certainly not anything comparable in most of the sections under active widening projects).
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2830 on: October 13, 2022, 08:46:24 AM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).

The biggest issues seem to be WB between PA 611 and PA 309 (just volume) and EB from east of the I-76 split to the NE Extension (due to the heavy merge of I-476 NB traffic) and then again to PA 309.  Not sure what would fix the WB issue, but the EB issue could be improved with a longer acceleration lane, if not a fourth lane to PA 309.  The rest of the Turnpike seems to flow well during rush hour, despite only 3 lanes.

I'd think 4 lanes each way between I-476 and PA 611 would be a big help. It seems like there isn't that much congestion elsewhere (certainly not anything comparable in most of the sections under active widening projects).

The challenge will probably be more of the stretch between I-476 and PA 309.  I think the demographics are similar to those in Swarthmore, who successfully fought building I-476 with more than two lanes through their area.  Not sure they anticipated breathing all the fumes from the congestion in their backyard that resulted.  Further, there are a lot of bridges that will need to be widened in that stretch.
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famartin

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2831 on: October 13, 2022, 12:35:41 PM »

So... seen a lot about turnpike widening in various locales... but nothing about where it seems to really need it:  I-276 (at least from I-476 east to PA 611).  Have they given up on improving that section because of ROW constraints?  Or are there local factors pushing against it?  Despite it being among the wider parts of the system, its also arguably the most congested (haven't seen stats, but its pretty routine during the morning and evening rush hours).

The biggest issues seem to be WB between PA 611 and PA 309 (just volume) and EB from east of the I-76 split to the NE Extension (due to the heavy merge of I-476 NB traffic) and then again to PA 309.  Not sure what would fix the WB issue, but the EB issue could be improved with a longer acceleration lane, if not a fourth lane to PA 309.  The rest of the Turnpike seems to flow well during rush hour, despite only 3 lanes.

I'd think 4 lanes each way between I-476 and PA 611 would be a big help. It seems like there isn't that much congestion elsewhere (certainly not anything comparable in most of the sections under active widening projects).

The challenge will probably be more of the stretch between I-476 and PA 309.  I think the demographics are similar to those in Swarthmore, who successfully fought building I-476 with more than two lanes through their area.  Not sure they anticipated breathing all the fumes from the congestion in their backyard that resulted.  Further, there are a lot of bridges that will need to be widened in that stretch.

That’s the most interesting thing about that section… most of those overpasses were never widened back when it was 6-laned, so you lose the shoulders under each one. Meanwhile, all more recent widenings have included complete replacements of overpasses. I’d think they are actually due to replace them along that stretch.
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74/171FAN

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2832 on: October 19, 2022, 04:38:51 PM »

I just received an email in regard to the Scranton Beltway stating the following:

Quote
We would like to take this opportunity to update you about the Scranton Beltway Project.

A recent directive from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for all major projects receiving federal funding now requires these projects to have their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review designation re-evaluated. As a result of this re-evaluation, we were notified earlier this year (2022) by FHWA that the Scranton Beltway project must now go through the Environmental Assessment (EA) process.

This federal directive and its resulting project changes will also change our timeframe.

We understand that this delay in the schedule will be disappointing to our stakeholders, and we share that disappointment. Unfortunately, this decision is out of our hands, and we must adhere to the regulations required by this Federal process. Please see the ‘Fall 2022- Anticipated Design and Field Work’ for more information.



Fall 2022 – Anticipated Design and Field Work



Based on the directive from FHWA, the project team has continued to work through the EA process. Assembling the EA documentation is a more complex and lengthier process than what is required for a project designated as a CE. This process has added significant time, effort, and layers of reviews and approvals from outside agencies. We are actively going through the EA process and are evaluating any way that we can streamline the schedule and help expedite review times from outside agencies to the best of our ability. As a result of needing these approvals prior to having a public hearing, we have had to alter our original schedule of a Fall 2022 public hearing. We are currently anticipating a public hearing in 2023.



Please see the updated FAQs for additional information about the EA process.
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Rothman

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2833 on: October 19, 2022, 05:08:43 PM »

I find it laughable they tried to pass the Beltway project as a CE.  Designation of such a project as EA would not have come as a surprise in NY.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2834 on: October 19, 2022, 09:40:59 PM »

Are there other Turnpike projects further along in the review process that the PTC could pivot to instead?
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davewiecking

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2835 on: October 19, 2022, 10:14:17 PM »

Are there other Turnpike projects further along in the review process that the PTC could pivot to instead?

A quick review of https://www.paturnpike.com/traveling/construction/site/mileposts-12-14-total-reconstruction/design-construction-details reveals that this section had its overpasses rebuilt years ago, but actual work is awaiting funding. There may be other sections in a similar situation.

Editing to add that this section is already scheduled to start in 2023…
« Last Edit: October 19, 2022, 10:22:02 PM by davewiecking »
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Roadsguy

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2836 on: October 20, 2022, 02:03:59 PM »

Are there other Turnpike projects further along in the review process that the PTC could pivot to instead?

A quick review of https://www.paturnpike.com/traveling/construction/site/mileposts-12-14-total-reconstruction/design-construction-details reveals that this section had its overpasses rebuilt years ago, but actual work is awaiting funding. There may be other sections in a similar situation.

Editing to add that this section is already scheduled to start in 2023…

Notably, this project will be the first time a standard Turnpike interchange (i.e. exiting the ticket system) will be converted from a trumpet-based design into a more generic design on the mainline. (The redesigned Quakertown exit on the Northeast Extension might beat it to opening.)
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Crown Victoria

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2837 on: November 03, 2022, 08:29:52 AM »

A bill passed last month and awaiting the Governor's signature will help strengthen the PTC's efforts to pursue unpaid tolls by changing the thresholds for vehicle registration suspensions. It lowers the dollar amount threshold to $250, drops the number of unpaid Toll-by-Plate invoices from six to four, and increases the statute of limitations from three years to five.

It also directs the PTC to look into using services like Apple Pay and Venmo, and requires an annual report on toll collections.


https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/11/02/bill-pennsylvania-turnpike-tolls-collection-revenue/stories/202211020099
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2838 on: November 03, 2022, 04:42:25 PM »

A bill passed last month and awaiting the Governor's signature will help strengthen the PTC's efforts to pursue unpaid tolls by changing the thresholds for vehicle registration suspensions. It lowers the dollar amount threshold to $250, drops the number of unpaid Toll-by-Plate invoices from six to four, and increases the statute of limitations from three years to five.

It also directs the PTC to look into using services like Apple Pay and Venmo, and requires an annual report on toll collections.


https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/11/02/bill-pennsylvania-turnpike-tolls-collection-revenue/stories/202211020099

The police need a real-time feed into the toll system to identify vehicles that drive through with obstructed plates (or no plates at all) and pull them over on the spot.  I'm sure I've seen news about this being done in other states.
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Mr. Matté

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2839 on: November 23, 2022, 10:37:46 AM »

So there was a fancy toll gantry constructed across the Northeast Extension at around mp 123.4 (perfect numbering).  Per roadwaywiz's drive in July, there were automated cameras on the southbound side but during my drive yestersay, nothing's on it. It's hard to search here about any information about it; what's the haps on this thing?
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Roadsguy

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2840 on: November 23, 2022, 03:54:26 PM »

So there was a fancy toll gantry constructed across the Northeast Extension at around mp 123.4 (perfect numbering).  Per roadwaywiz's drive in July, there were automated cameras on the southbound side but during my drive yestersay, nothing's on it. It's hard to search here about any information about it; what's the haps on this thing?

Judging by the sign, presumably they're testing implementation of open-road tolling for when they remove the toll plazas.
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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2841 on: November 23, 2022, 09:03:54 PM »

So there was a fancy toll gantry constructed across the Northeast Extension at around mp 123.4 (perfect numbering).  Per roadwaywiz's drive in July, there were automated cameras on the southbound side but during my drive yestersay, nothing's on it. It's hard to search here about any information about it; what's the haps on this thing?

I noticed the cameras were gone recently as well. Maybe they finished testing?
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wilbur_the_goose

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2842 on: November 25, 2022, 09:46:29 AM »

FYI - You can see the latest PA Audit report here:  https://www.paauditor.gov/audit-report/item/107576

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MASTERNC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2843 on: November 28, 2022, 11:49:08 AM »

Drove through the construction west of Somerset this week.  It looked like some of the new alignments were awaiting final paving, and there was paving on the eastbound side of the roadway.  However, I didn't see much done on the westbound side, which would make it difficult to switch to reconstructing the inner roadway.
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