AARoads Forum

Regional Boards => Northeast => Topic started by: mightyace on February 16, 2009, 05:29:14 PM

Title: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on February 16, 2009, 05:29:14 PM
PTC Leaves existing trade association.

Stunned reaction to Penn Pike's blow to IBTTA (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4003)

Penn Pike departs IBTTA to form American Public Toll Assoc (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4000)

Reacations?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 16, 2009, 09:52:54 PM
Now they can put that $21,000 they used to pay in dues towards their projects.  Seems that cutting back has become a trend lately with the PTC as they closed down the MFE/SB Project Office in Duquesne.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 74/171FAN on February 17, 2009, 03:45:42 PM
Maybe they can actually make I-70 a freeway by using that money to help build an I-70 interchange with I-76/Pennsylvania Turnpike(with no signals or shopping centers off it)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 17, 2009, 04:43:42 PM
Maybe they can actually make I-70 a freeway by using that money to help build an I-70 interchange with I-76/Pennsylvania Turnpike(with no signals or shopping centers off it)

The idea of a direct connection was killed thanks in part to Bud Shuster.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on February 17, 2009, 04:56:54 PM
The idea of a direct connection was killed thanks in part to Bud Shuster.

Man he was busy!

Isn't he out of office now?  :clap:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rawr apples on February 17, 2009, 06:02:13 PM
local opposition would put a quick stop to that
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 17, 2009, 08:53:29 PM
Isn't he out of office now?  :clap:

He retired earlier this decade, but his son Bill (http://www.house.gov/shuster/) now holds his former seat.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 17, 2009, 08:55:06 PM
local opposition would put a quick stop to that

That's exactly what happened.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: EVjohn168 on March 11, 2009, 09:58:38 PM
If anybody needs an easier way to Norfolk/Va. Beach from The Pittsburgh area, I can give it to you.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: EVjohn168 on March 11, 2009, 10:01:44 PM
The Pa. Turnpike is a PURE JOKE for a toll road. Those tunnels are old and outdated. The speed limit should be cut back to 60. The N.J. Turnpike is more smoother and wider. Go figure.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 12, 2009, 12:49:13 PM
Not to mention it carries more traffic being located in the Megalopolis so it should be wider.

The sections of Pennsylvania's that have been rebuilt are much improved over the old highway; however, I'd prefer the PTC had added a third lane to all rebuilt sections as part of the plans.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 12, 2009, 08:25:57 PM
From the PA Turnpike Website:  (http://www.paturnpike.com/rttc/AdvisoryInfo.aspx?ID=121614 (http://www.paturnpike.com/rttc/AdvisoryInfo.aspx?ID=121614))

Title:      Planned Detour Interstate 76 Carlisle to Breezewood
Location:    226-Carlisle AND 161-Breezewood   Mileposts: 226.5-161.5
 Direction:
 All    Lanes Affected:
All Lanes    Traffic Flow:
At or Near Posted Speed Limits    ETA:
3/15/2009 @ 4:00 AM
   Report Type:   Update   Date/Time:   3/12/2009 6:45 PM
Comments:
Please be advised of a planned detour this weekend on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, between the Carlisle Exit 226 and Breezewood Exit 161 interchanges. The detour is scheduled Saturday night March 14th into Sunday March 15th, and will begin at 11:00 pm for Eastbound motorists by closing the Breezewood Interchange Exit 161. Westbound motorists will be detoured at 11:45 pm when crews close traffic at Carlisle Interchange Exit 226. Blue Mountain Exit 201, Willow Hill Exit 189 and Fort Littleton Exit 180 traffic intending to travel Westbound will be permitted to enter the system. The detours are required so that crews can demolish two overhead bridges located in Cumberland County.

_______________________________________________________

Now that's some detour!

The most logical alternate route to me seems to be US 30 between Breezewood and Chambersburg and I-81 between Chamberburg and Carlisle.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 12, 2009, 09:28:16 PM
Now that's some detour!

The most logical alternate route to me seems to be US 30 between Breezewood and Chambersburg and I-81 between Chamberburg and Carlisle.

That is more for trucks to use rather than trying to negotiate the winding, narrow US 30 over the mountains.

After the complaints the PTC received after the numerous accidents in the MP 75-85 reconstruction zone and resulting closures of the mainline with traffic detoured over PA 31, they route traffic via higher capacity routes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 24, 2009, 07:32:15 PM
Gov fires corruption 'target' chair Rubin from Penn Turnpike Commission

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4069 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4069)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 24, 2009, 08:10:22 PM
Study Calls Aborted Turnpike Leasing Flawed (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09083/957921-100.stm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 27, 2009, 07:39:49 PM
Once again....

From the PA Turnpike Website:  (http://www.paturnpike.com/rttc/AdvisoryInfo.aspx?ID=121812 (http://www.paturnpike.com/rttc/AdvisoryInfo.aspx?ID=121812))

Updated:      3/26/2009 12:02 PM
Title:    Planned Detour - Interstate 76 Carlisle to Breezwood
Location:    161-Breezewood AND 226-Carlisle   Mileposts: 161-226
 Direction:
 All    Lanes Affected:
All Lanes    Traffic Flow:
At or Near Posted Speed Limits    ETA:
3/29/2009 @ 5:00 AM
   Report Type:   Initial   Date/Time:   3/26/2009 12:02 PM
Comments:
Please be advised of a planned detour this weekend on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Carlisle (Exit 226) and Breezewood (Exit 161) interchanges. The detour is scheduled Saturday night March 28th into Sunday March 29th and will begin at 11:00 pm. for Eastbound motorists by closing the Breezewood Interchange (Exit #161) and then Westbound motorist will be detoured at 11:45 pm. when crews close traffic at Carlisle Interchange (Exit #226). Traffic intending to travel Westbound from Willow Hill (Exit #189) and Fort Littleton (Exit #180) will be permitted to enter the system. The detours are required so that crews can demolish two overhead bridges located in Cumberland County
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 29, 2009, 04:59:57 PM
Weather Warning Carlisle to Reading (http://www.paturnpike.com/rttc/AdvisoryInfo.aspx?ID=121844)

Tornado Warning - NWS State College (http://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KCTP/0903292021.wfus51.html)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jackson1300 on April 06, 2009, 10:20:24 AM
The truck stops and businesses along the I-70 stretch of US 30 will never allow a direct connection the PA Tpke to I-70.  It would kill business at the truck stops and gas stations along that 1/2 mile stretch.  Even though a direct-connect would keep "turnpike to freeway" traffic moving, it actually comes in quite handy for a quick pit-stop at Breezewood.  I kinda would hate to see a direct connection, it would push me to keep driving instead of stopping to grab a drink, a bite to eat, and use the facilities for a quick 15-30 minute break.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 26, 2009, 03:56:27 PM
The PA Turnpike Authority has completed reconstruction and six-laning on the western 10 miles  http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4174 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4174)

EDIT: fixed to show right authority
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on May 26, 2009, 05:16:47 PM
PennDOT has nothing to do with the Turnpike system.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Ian on May 26, 2009, 07:45:02 PM
Its also Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on May 26, 2009, 07:47:14 PM
Unfortunately, it's a tossup to whether PennDOT or the PTC is more disorganized and corrupt.  X-(
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: J N Winkler on May 26, 2009, 09:01:47 PM
Personally, my opinion of PennDOT has improved hugely since they opened ECMS to guest users.  It is now possible to see what they are actually doing in terms of construction.  The PTC hasn't gotten to that point yet.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on May 26, 2009, 09:32:30 PM
Personally, my opinion of PennDOT has improved hugely since they opened ECMS to guest users.  It is now possible to see what they are actually doing in terms of construction.  The PTC hasn't gotten to that point yet.

Well, I've never lost the bad taste in my mouth from the Milton Shapp administration in the 1970s.  So, I am definitely biased here. :-P
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on May 31, 2009, 12:47:39 AM
The PTC is once again debating what to do with the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on May 31, 2009, 03:16:18 AM
The PTC is once again debating what to do with the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm).

As the article said, they've been talking about this for years, but no action.

Of course, talk is cheap, but new highway is not!

Stop talking and start doing something PTC!  :banghead:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on June 01, 2009, 05:36:44 PM
The PTC is once again debating what to do with the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm).

Tollroadnews.com has also picked this up.
http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4186 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4186)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 17, 2009, 08:40:14 PM
Some Pennsylvania Turnpike Curves Will be a Little Less Sharp (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/westmoreland/s_629794.html)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on June 17, 2009, 08:57:32 PM
Some Pennsylvania Turnpike Curves Will be a Little Less Sharp (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/westmoreland/s_629794.html)

<sarcasm>The PTC is acutally using toll money to maintain and upgrade existing turnpike right-of-way.  What a concept! :clap:</sarcasm>
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 17, 2009, 09:03:43 PM
<sarcasm>The PTC is acutally using toll money to maintain and upgrade existing turnpike right-of-way.  What a concept! :clap:</sarcasm>

They've been doing that for about a decade now.  When the section around Donegal was rebuilt a few years ago, the S-curves just east of Exit 91 were straightened.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on June 17, 2009, 09:10:42 PM
<sarcasm>The PTC is acutally using toll money to maintain and upgrade existing turnpike right-of-way.  What a concept! :clap:</sarcasm>

They've been doing that for about a decade now.  When the section around Donegal was rebuilt a few years ago, the S-curves just east of Exit 91 were straightened.


I know you're right.

IMHO This core mission of the PTC has gotten lost in the shuffle of building all the new "Turnpikes," assistance to PennDOT, the infamous I-80 project, etc.  (at least it feels that way to me.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on June 19, 2009, 09:31:46 AM
Yeah.. so now we folks in the southern half of the state not only pay the same vehicle registration & gas tax as the people in the northern half for state roads in general.... but we have to pay to use "our" E-W interstate on top of that.  Money that is now not only used for the toll road itself, but to give PennDOT money to use, in part (because it's part of the state), for transportation needs in the north part of the state as well.
And the people around I-80 want to bitch about "fair" every time someone talks about tolling I-80!?!
It can be argued that Act 44 was just an all around bad idea from the start, but the bottom line is that currently the system is extremely unfair to residents that use the turnpike.

Asides from that, I'll give credit to the PTC in the last decade for actually trying to make the turnpike a much better ride.  I can't wait for the completed rebuilding / 6-lane-ing of the Irwin<-> New Stanton stretch.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: exit322 on June 19, 2009, 09:46:32 AM
Three-laning all of the PA Turnpike probably wouldn't be a terrible idea, though for my travels I can easily avoid it to get to Pittsburgh from here.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on June 19, 2009, 10:09:21 AM
And the people around I-80 want to bitch about "fair" every time someone talks about tolling I-80!?!
It can be argued that Act 44 was just an all around bad idea from the start, but the bottom line is that currently the system is extremely unfair to residents that use the turnpike.

I will agree with you that Act 44 is a bad idea.  Diverting tolls to non-toll projects is usually a bad idea.  There is now a lawsuit is Mass. since Mass Pike tolls are paying for some of the non-tolled portions of the Big Dig.

But, spreading the misery around doesn't make it right!

The main thrust of all this chicanery is that Gov. Rendell wants to increase support for Philly and Pittsburgh transit systems either directly or indirectly and I don't see why people like my dad who live in the northern part of the state or even people in southern parts of the state like Bedford and Somerset should pay for this!

As a former PA resident, I remember how the two P's have thrown their weight around and stuck it to the rest of the state!  Might does not make right!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 22, 2009, 07:26:23 PM
PTC Approves Rebuilding Seven Miles in Allegheny County (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09203/985460-147.stm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Revive 755 on July 23, 2009, 09:22:13 PM
The PTC is once again debating what to do with the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09151/973812-147.stm).

Quote from: the article
As the turnpike gradually widens to three lanes in each direction, and with traffic expected to increase, the two-lane tunnels will become a bottleneck.

I have a hunch that by the time the I-70 to Harrisburg section is six lanes all the way, whatever major widening that happens in the Wheeling - KC section of I-70 (truck lanes or 6+ lanes) will be done.

And instead of tolling I-80, they should toll that awful section of I-70 between the Turnpike and I-79 and bring it up to interstate standards.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 23, 2009, 09:57:24 PM
I have a hunch that by the time the I-70 to Harrisburg section is six lanes all the way, whatever major widening that happens in the Wheeling - KC section of I-70 (truck lanes or 6+ lanes) will be done.

It won't be six lanes all the way.

And instead of tolling I-80, they should toll that awful section of I-70 between the Turnpike and I-79 and bring it up to interstate standards.

The issue is that no one is going to sell their farmland to the state or give up their house to widen a road they feel is fine.  It has been improved as much as possible with some widening of the median and shoulders, but it will never be like the post-1956 Interstates such as 79 or 80.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: exit322 on July 24, 2009, 11:41:53 AM
I think the appropriate move on 70 might be to take out some of the ramps and make the stop-sign merges a better onramp.  The medians suck, but you can deal with that - it's the off ramps/on ramps that are the bigger problem to me.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SSOWorld on July 28, 2009, 01:49:32 PM
I think the appropriate move on 70 might be to take out some of the ramps and make the stop-sign merges a better onramp.  The medians suck, but you can deal with that - it's the off ramps/on ramps that are the bigger problem to me.
No doubt, I drove that stretch in April and I feared for my life.  I hope no partial realignments happen that force me to clinch it again  :banghead:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 28, 2009, 07:06:03 PM
I think the appropriate move on 70 might be to take out some of the ramps and make the stop-sign merges a better onramp.  The medians suck, but you can deal with that - it's the off ramps/on ramps that are the bigger problem to me.
No doubt, I drove that stretch in April and I feared for my life.  I hope no partial realignments happen that force me to clinch it again  :banghead:

Don't worry, PennDOT won't be realigning any sections.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on August 16, 2009, 09:50:56 PM
Allegheny River Bridge Project Will Take on the Appearance of a Natural Hillside (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/s_638566.html)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Sykotyk on August 16, 2009, 11:17:38 PM
Other than the absurdly short ramps on that stretch of 70, the other big complaint I have is the Mon River crossing. Slowing an interstate down to 45mph is rather troublesome. Throw in that a lot of people don't follow it (which makes those that do a problem, afterall, where are cops going to sit at to watch that section?) and you wind up with big safety issues.

Sykotyk
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on August 16, 2009, 11:55:19 PM
Slowing an interstate down to 45mph is rather troublesome. Throw in that a lot of people don't follow it (which makes those that do a problem, afterall, where are cops going to sit at to watch that section?) and you wind up with big safety issues.

As someone who drove that Interstate regularly for three years, I can tell you exactly where they would hide:  Speers on-ramp, PA 88 interchange, and the North Belle Vernon on-ramp going eastbound, and the PA 906 interchange and Speers on-ramp going westbound.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 08, 2009, 06:54:02 PM
High-Speed E-ZPass Coming Soon to Jefferson Hills Toll Plaza (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2009/20090908144621.htm)

Ironically, the first toll plaza built specifically with high-speed E-ZPass lanes is the last to have them implemented.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mgk920 on September 09, 2009, 01:06:00 AM
I think the appropriate move on 70 might be to take out some of the ramps and make the stop-sign merges a better onramp.  The medians suck, but you can deal with that - it's the off ramps/on ramps that are the bigger problem to me.
No doubt, I drove that stretch in April and I feared for my life.  I hope no partial realignments happen that force me to clinch it again  :banghead:

Don't worry, PennDOT won't be realigning any sections.
Maybe what SHOULD be done instead is to reroute I-70 to follow I-68 to I-79 and then northward on I-79, rejoining its current route via a re-engineered interchange at Washington, PA.

<Ducks!!!!>

 :-D

Mike
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 09, 2009, 01:29:58 AM
the "stop and floor it" freeway merges are indeed a nightmare.

the worst I've ever seen wasn't a freeway but was an expressway section of US-46 that had a very poorly placed big orange temporary construction sign that effectively blocked the view of oncoming traffic from the perspective of the on-ramp.  I pushed over the damn thing.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on September 16, 2009, 07:21:07 PM
It's a little stale, but since no one has posted this...

Criminal probe reported into corruption at Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4340)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 16, 2009, 07:57:26 PM
Contractor Ordered to Redo Work on Mon-Fay Bridge (http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/09-16-Toll-43-Piers)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on October 29, 2009, 06:23:54 PM
Attorney general looking into Pennsylvania Turnpike (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09302/1009272-147.stm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on October 29, 2009, 06:39:11 PM
Attorney general looking into Pennsylvania Turnpike (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09302/1009272-147.stm)

Here are the articles on TollRoadsNews that the above article was referring to:

FBI raid Pennsylvania Turnpike HQ, take hard drives and other evidence (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4418)

New details emerge on FBI raid at Pennsylvania Turnpike - second source confirms (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4419)

IMHO I agree with the Post-Gazette, the author of the article PAHighways cited, that TollRoadNews was not as accurate as they could have been.  In past links on that site, it seems that the person/people running that site have some kind of beef with the PTC.  While anyone who's read the I-80 Tolling thread knows, I don't think kindly of the PTC, giving them a hatchet job that may or may not be based on facts is not appropriate for a news site.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News: Move to abolish Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Post by: mightyace on December 09, 2009, 10:13:14 PM
While this is probably a longshot...

Republican backbench move to abolish Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4484)

It's an interesting proposition similar to what has already been done in Massachusetts.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Snappyjack on December 10, 2009, 02:41:28 AM
...and what should be done in New York.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: njroadhorse on December 10, 2009, 06:23:18 PM
...and what should be done in New York.
and what will never happen in Jersey
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on December 10, 2009, 07:45:15 PM
Personally I think the Thruway Authority does a good job.  The portions I travel are at least as good as NYSDOT maintained roads (and usually better).  Plus you can look up current conditions on the road, great for winter traveling.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on December 10, 2009, 07:58:02 PM
Personally I think the Thruway Authority does a good job.

That used to be the case in PA, back in the 70s and 80s the "free" interstates were rough and the Turnpike was smooth.  But, according to my brother who traveled more of the PA Turnpike lately, the opposite is now true.  (in his opinion and on the segments he's traveled.)

It's the alleged corruption and patronage at the PTC that is another reason for my opposition to tolling I-80.  At the present time, I want PennDOT to maintain it.  If you'd asked me back in 1980, I'd have said something different.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 10, 2009, 10:59:43 PM
That used to be the case in PA, back in the 70s and 80s the "free" interstates were rough and the Turnpike was smooth.  But, according to my brother who traveled more of the PA Turnpike lately, the opposite is now true.  (in his opinion and on the segments he's traveled.)

It's the alleged corruption and patronage at the PTC that is another reason for my opposition to tolling I-80.  At the present time, I want PennDOT to maintain it.  If you'd asked me back in 1980, I'd have said something different.

There are places such as between Allegheny Valley and Irwin that are rough, but those will be rebuilt soon enough.  The parts that have been rebuilt from the ground up like near Donegal and Somerset are smooth.

Something else that has changed is PennDOT doesn't have a crushing debt load from Interstate construction financing now that they had back in the 1980s.  It seems that the tables have been turned in that respect as well.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: froggie on December 11, 2009, 06:41:56 AM
You can thank Act 44 for that in no small part.  Nevermind the more recent legislation that has PTC subsidizing PennDOT these days...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Dougtone on December 11, 2009, 09:32:40 AM
Personally I think the Thruway Authority does a good job.  The portions I travel are at least as good as NYSDOT maintained roads (and usually better).  Plus you can look up current conditions on the road, great for winter traveling.

The NYS Thruway Authority is considered to be a public benefit corporation, which means that they have some independence from the New York State government in how they are operated, while keeping state employees on its payroll.  This allows the Thruway Authority to be on a little better financial footing when the State has money troubles.  Therefore, I think it may be safe to see the Thruway Authority keep its status quo.

I'm not sure if the PTC is also considered to be a public benefit corporation.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on January 23, 2010, 03:37:52 AM
Former Penn Pike official, Fumo aide apologizes, gets five years confinement (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4550)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on January 25, 2010, 07:03:42 PM
More fun and games with those "Paragons of Virtue" at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Former finance manager Bailets accuses Penn Pike chiefs of corruption, waste in lawsuit (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4553)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on February 04, 2010, 03:28:57 AM
US Rep citing TOLLROADSnews asks state AG to investigate potential criminal offenses at Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4572)

Quote
US congressman Glenn `GT’ Thompson, (Republican, Howard, 5th District PA) is asking Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett to investigate claims in former financial manager Ralph Bailets’ lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC). His letter to the state Attorney General quotes a report of the lawsuit in TOLLROADSnews and includes a printout of our report as an attachment, together with a copy of the complaint and other legal references.

But, as nearly half of I-80's progress through Pennsylvania runs through the his district.  He may simply be grinding an axe.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 09, 2010, 07:49:25 PM
Turnpike Closed for Hours When Man Threatens to Jump (http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a9_1jumper.7172019feb09,0,7451533.story)

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissioner Quits After Admitting to 2 DUI Convictions in Turnpike Vehicle (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/02/pennsylvania_turnpike_commissi.html)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 10, 2010, 09:15:19 PM
Penn Pike ex-chairman Rubin sang to Feds, more charges & arrests expected (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4647)

However:
Quote
The charges against Rubin have no legal bearing on the Turnpike's application to the Feds to toll I-80 but they add to the political price they'd pay for a Yes decision.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on March 14, 2010, 05:24:12 PM
Slightly off topic, but I agree that the NY Thruway Authority runs a good operation. Especially their radio dispatching system which is excellent. For any of you emergency dispatchers or scanner buffs out there, the frequencies are 453.425 and 453.525.

I'm less familiar with the PTC,  but in general these toll-road agencies seem to me to pretty much have their act together, especially the NJ Turnpike authority. I'm talking about day-to-day operations, not politics and corruption.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 14, 2010, 09:23:16 PM
Slightly off topic, but I agree that the NY Thruway Authority runs a good operation. Especially their radio dispatching system which is excellent. For any of you emergency dispatchers or scanner buffs out there, the frequencies are 453.425 and 453.525.

The Turnpike Commission is still using VHF (http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=1260) even though they are one of the participating agencies in the STARNet OpenSky trunked system which PennDOT has switched over to already.

I'm less familiar with the PTC,  but in general these toll-road agencies seem to me to pretty much have their act together, especially the NJ Turnpike authority. I'm talking about day-to-day operations, not politics and corruption.

It's always the ones in the trenches that take the hits from what the higher ups do or fail to do.  I know people at the PTC, but it's the ones like Rubin and Fumo who give them a bad name.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 16, 2010, 07:09:32 AM
Well, those in the trenches better hunker down again...

Penn Pike ex-chair Rubin to repay Senate $150k, house arrest in deal with USDOJ (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4652)

Of course, if a toll collector took say even $1,000, he'd be in the slammer.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 19, 2010, 09:41:58 PM
Pa. Turnpike Inspector General Announces First Year's Results (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2010/20100319142714.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: sammack on March 21, 2010, 10:39:29 PM


The idea of a direct connection was killed thanks in part to Bud Shuster.
[/quote]

Out of curiosity, what exactly did he have to do with it?

Did he enshrine it into federal law?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mc78andrew on March 24, 2010, 09:39:49 PM


The idea of a direct connection was killed thanks in part to Bud Shuster.

Out of curiosity, what exactly did he have to do with it?

Did he enshrine it into federal law?
[/quote]

As Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, you can pretty much do what you want.  He wanted Breezewood PA to look like Las Vegas only with gas stations, motels and fast food joints to provide jobs in what is a rather poor part of the country.  Imagine what the us interstate system would look like if all congressmen had that kind of power.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: sammack on March 25, 2010, 07:40:55 PM

As Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, you can pretty much do what you want.  He wanted Breezewood PA to look like Las Vegas only with gas stations, motels and fast food joints to provide jobs in what is a rather poor part of the country.  Imagine what the us interstate system would look like if all congressmen had that kind of power.




I am very familiar with his power, see I-99, as well as the one that replaced him from AK.

But I really don't think he had anything  to do with Breezewood or I-70's dead end at a traffic signal at US 30.

It is my understanding from various communications from former PENN DOT Transportation Secretary's, as well as the former District  9 Engineer, that it is the locals, as well as Bedford Co that have prohibited and will continue to prohibit any changes.

Feel free to contact  Penndot Secy Alan Biehler  or the Dist 9 Executive  Thomas A. Prestash,
tprestash@state.pa.us  for more info

fixed quote mismatch
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 25, 2010, 07:55:39 PM
I-70's dead end at a traffic signal at US 30.

the question then is why dignify that disaster with I-70 signage?  Just take the 70 signs down, or slap TO banners over them.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 25, 2010, 11:08:52 PM
Out of curiosity, what exactly did he have to do with it?

I discuss this situation on my Turnpike page, and the story I gleaned from Dan Cupper's The Pennsylvania Turnpike:  A History.

About a decade ago, a state senator from Pittsburgh was involved in an accident at the 70 and 30 intersection and began pushing PennDOT to build the missing ramps.  The business owners went to their US Representative claiming if the two ramps were built, Breezewood will become a ghost town and Shuster got the project killed.  Cupper does not go into details on what exactly happened to kill the idea, but the consolation prize was an upgraded 30 along with new signals with better timing.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 25, 2010, 11:28:18 PM
the question then is why dignify that disaster with I-70 signage?  Just take the 70 signs down, or slap TO banners over them.

There are no I-70 trailblazers anywhere on 30 between the two limited-access sections.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: sammack on March 26, 2010, 02:03:57 AM
the question then is why dignify that disaster with I-70 signage?  Just take the 70 signs down, or slap TO banners over them.

There are no I-70 trailblazers anywhere on 30 between the two limited-access sections.

I think what Agentsteel may be referring to is this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.999093,-78.238803&spn=0.003296,0.009388&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.999183,-78.238769&panoid=FBx_gt_LDz-dAVYlt6etpQ&cbp=12,37.17,,0,1.81

and

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.999454,-78.238707&spn=0.003296,0.009388&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.99946,-78.238859&panoid=gQeKhPo2PjOHJZh50rMEIg&cbp=12,92.71,,0,6.23

and

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.999389,-78.236185&spn=0.003296,0.009388&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.999386,-78.236063&panoid=r8jmjH9DiobAR1T57pYfrw&cbp=12,107.73,,0,-2.1
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on March 26, 2010, 12:37:33 PM
It's criminal.  I'm sick and tired of crybaby companies that want to maintain the status quo to maintain their bottom line.

Notice to crybaby companies: we live in a free market system (well, we're supposed to).  You adapt to your environment.  If you can't adapt, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DIE.  Live with it.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on March 26, 2010, 02:20:05 PM
the question then is why dignify that disaster with I-70 signage?  Just take the 70 signs down, or slap TO banners over them.

There are no I-70 trailblazers anywhere on 30 between the two limited-access sections.

I think what Agentsteel may be referring to is this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.999093,-78.238803&spn=0.003296,0.009388&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.999183,-78.238769&panoid=FBx_gt_LDz-dAVYlt6etpQ&cbp=12,37.17,,0,1.81

and

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.999454,-78.238707&spn=0.003296,0.009388&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.99946,-78.238859&panoid=gQeKhPo2PjOHJZh50rMEIg&cbp=12,92.71,,0,6.23

and

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.999389,-78.236185&spn=0.003296,0.009388&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.999386,-78.236063&panoid=r8jmjH9DiobAR1T57pYfrw&cbp=12,107.73,,0,-2.1

I-70 shields on a map versus I-70 shields in actual practice?!?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: InterstateNG on March 26, 2010, 02:48:09 PM
I didn't know that fast food chains and DOT's were participants in the same market.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 26, 2010, 02:58:59 PM

There are no I-70 trailblazers anywhere on 30 between the two limited-access sections.

these green signs certainly indicate that I-70 is the mainline.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/misc/w23312.jpg)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 26, 2010, 03:04:48 PM
Breezewood will become a ghost town

sounds good to me.  "Breezewood" sounds like a synonym for "tumbleweed" already.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 26, 2010, 03:55:22 PM
Breezewood will become a ghost town

Which IIRC, is what Breezewood was before this mess started.

What would probably happen if direct ramps were built and they bypassed Breezewood is that many of the businesses would relocate to a convenient exit on the new route say here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Breezewood,+PA&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.424342,49.921875&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.9786,-78.245444&spn=0.01202,0.012188&t=h&z=16

So if we're gonna have to live with Government Pork on this, how about paying the business to relocate that can't afford to.  I'm not saying that we should, but it might be the only way to get this done.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 26, 2010, 04:11:44 PM
So if we're gonna have to live with Government Pork on this, how about paying the business to relocate that can't afford to.  I'm not saying that we should, but it might be the only way to get this done.

oh Hell no - Breezewood should be paying for the bypass out of their own pockets.  Every year since 1975 or so that they have been in business has been a gift.  Literally every other town-by-the-interstate in America has adapted.  Breezewood is nothing but an entitlement farm. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 26, 2010, 04:18:22 PM
oh Hell no - Breezewood should be paying for the bypass out of their own pockets.  Every year since 1975 or so that they have been in business has been a gift.  Literally every other town-by-the-interstate in America has adapted.  Breezewood is nothing but an entitlement farm. 

I agree with you, they should pay.  I was just stating what my be one of the few practical, albeit distasteful, ways to resolve it.  (Devil's advocate.  :evilgrin:)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on March 26, 2010, 04:26:50 PM

these green signs certainly indicate that I-70 is the mainline.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/misc/w23312.jpg)

They could add insult to injury and stick an Exit Tab on the US 30 BGS.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 26, 2010, 05:28:07 PM
They could add insult to injury and stick an Exit Tab on the US 30 BGS.

Oh, the agony!  :ded:

Let's not give them any ideas.

I just looked at Google Streetview and it doesn't look like the I-70 West "End" at US 30 is signed as an exit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 26, 2010, 08:09:00 PM
these green signs certainly indicate that I-70 is the mainline.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/misc/w23312.jpg)

It's just a sign indicating which of the three lanes people should be in to make the turn onto 70, like there would be at any major junction.

Like I said, there are no 70 trailblazers along that section and as I've said many times, the SR designation for the Lincoln Highway is "SR 0030" not "SR 0070" which is what it would be using PennDOT's system of lowest number of highest classification to determine the SR.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 26, 2010, 08:12:42 PM
What would probably happen if direct ramps were built and they bypassed Breezewood is that many of the businesses would relocate to a convenient exit on the new route say here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Breezewood,+PA&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.424342,49.921875&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.9786,-78.245444&spn=0.01202,0.012188&t=h&z=16

They wouldn't move and wouldn't need to considering people know Breezewood is a mile-long service plaza.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 26, 2010, 08:43:47 PM

It's just a sign indicating which of the three lanes people should be in to make the turn onto 70, like there would be at any major junction.

well, that far back, it should be signed with a "to".  The distant sign with the arrow left is fine without a "to", but the one in the immediate foreground, if it is to be interpreted as a trailblazer, should be signed as "to I-70", otherwise the implication is that - bizarrely enough - you are on I-70.

the last green sign on the eastbound freeway segment is "west US-30 to east I-70".  That is correct if I-70 is not on that surface street.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: exit322 on March 27, 2010, 08:57:47 AM
I know it's worse, but I see this much like I see the "interchange" between the Pike and I-81 in Carlisle.  Another mile-long service plaza.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on March 27, 2010, 11:37:15 AM

Like I said, there are no 70 trailblazers along that section and as I've said many times, the SR designation for the Lincoln Highway is "SR 0030" not "SR 0070" which is what it would be using PennDOT's system of lowest number of highest classification to determine the SR.

Are you saying PennDOT never screws up?  I would assume that I-70 is not a discontiguous highway, therefore it must follow US 30.  Because it's not up to Interstate standards, it doesn't surprise me that this segment would still be numbered 0030.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: exit322 on March 27, 2010, 01:02:27 PM
Could also go with the thought that it's numbered 30 because it was 30 before 70 was even around?  Not sure when PA put in the "SR 0030" type numbers together.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 27, 2010, 01:25:27 PM
well, that far back, it should be signed with a "to".  The distant sign with the arrow left is fine without a "to", but the one in the immediate foreground, if it is to be interpreted as a trailblazer, should be signed as "to I-70", otherwise the implication is that - bizarrely enough - you are on I-70.

It's only about 500 feet from the intersection which is less distance than other locations of guides or gantries on two intersecting roads, end of a multiplex or not.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 27, 2010, 01:26:42 PM
Are you saying PennDOT never screws up?  I would assume that I-70 is not a discontiguous highway, therefore it must follow US 30.  Because it's not up to Interstate standards, it doesn't surprise me that this segment would still be numbered 0030.

No, but they are consistent when it comes to cataloging roads.  There is also no classification for the old Turnpike segment between 76 and 30 which would be a 2 1/2 mile "gap" of 70 between 76 and the 30/70 intersection.  In addition, the PTC signs the Breezewood Interchange as "30 TO 70 EAST" rather than "70 EAST 30" or "70 EAST TO 30."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 27, 2010, 01:29:06 PM
Could also go with the thought that it's numbered 30 because it was 30 before 70 was even around?  Not sure when PA put in the "SR 0030" type numbers together.

The SR (State Route) system replaced the archaic LR (Legislative Route) system in 1985.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: J N Winkler on March 27, 2010, 02:57:11 PM
Some thoughts:

*  Is the (notional) Breezewood connection still on the Interstate system as chargeable mileage?  If it is and if it were built, would it be eligible for Interstate Construction funds at the traditional 90% federal, 10% state ratio?

*  Does Breezewood have formal status as a "temporary routing" of I-70?

*  Interstate designations are a FHWA/AASHTO function, while route numbering and logging is a state function.  PennDOT therefore does not have to satisfy an external requirement to use "SR 0070" mileposting through Breezewood even if it is considered a temporary routing of I-70.  Similarly, if the Breezewood connection were built as a US 30 relocation and incorporated into the Interstate system as a built length of I-70, FHWA and AASHTO won't care if PennDOT milepoints it as SR 0030.  Business 80 in Sacramento is on point here.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: english si on March 27, 2010, 03:28:38 PM
Given WV plan on extending I-68 to Wheeling, when (if) they do, could the powers that be push for I-70 to go on the continuous interstate route, taking the route out of PA, unless Breezewood is sorted, in a blackmail PA/Breezewood to sort themselves out kind of way?

You'd have to have a 3di up old I-70 to Breezewood, plus the bit to the south of Pittsburg. The cost of resigning would probably be as much as adding two ramps to the south of Breezewood, but it might force something to be done.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: sammack on March 27, 2010, 05:52:21 PM
It's criminal.  I'm sick and tired of crybaby companies that want to maintain the status quo to maintain their bottom line.

Notice to crybaby companies: we live in a free market system (well, we're supposed to).  You adapt to your environment.  If you can't adapt, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DIE.  Live with it.


"money is the mother's milk of politics"

My guess would be said businesses in Breezewood have the money.

As long as they have the money as well as power to control the local politics, no matter how much you rant, it will never change.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 27, 2010, 07:39:49 PM
"money is the mother's milk of politics"

My guess would be said businesses in Breezewood have the money.

As long as they have the money as well as power to control the local politics, no matter how much you rant, it will never change.

That's why I made my suggestion of basically "bribing" the businesses in Breezewood to allow a better connection to be built.   (A practical but not necessarily moral matter of getting things accomplished.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: sammack on March 27, 2010, 07:59:28 PM
"money is the mother's milk of politics"

My guess would be said businesses in Breezewood have the money.

As long as they have the money as well as power to control the local politics, no matter how much you rant, it will never change.

That's why I made my suggestion of basically "bribing" the businesses in Breezewood to allow a better connection to be built.   (A practical but not necessarily moral matter of getting things accomplished.)

As long as they have the attitude that a direct connection would cause them to "dry up"  be assured no amount of money will change it.

For the most part the history of building the interstate hwy system, hundreds of towns were bypassed.  Towns like Tucumcari used billboards hundreds of miles from the town "Tucumcari Tonight".

It appears to be a simple matter.  A flyover from "nb" I-70 to the tpk entrance and a simple ramp connection from the tpk entrance to "sb" I-70.  Not really that expensive. My guess would be the row is either already owned by PENNDOT or the PTC.

But no matter, as long as the town has the political power they do as has been so aptly stated over and over again, 20-30-40 years from now, it will be the same.

As an aside, I will not buy gas there as their gas prices are much higher then PGH or Hburg.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: froggie on March 28, 2010, 07:20:51 AM
Quote
It appears to be a simple matter.  A flyover from "nb" I-70 to the tpk entrance and a simple ramp connection from the tpk entrance to "sb" I-70.  Not really that expensive. My guess would be the row is either already owned by PENNDOT or the PTC.

It's not that easy.  While the right-of-way is there, the topography of the area would make building the connections as you suggest very difficult, and a lot more expensive than you'd think.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on March 28, 2010, 02:38:18 PM
Quote
It appears to be a simple matter.  A flyover from "nb" I-70 to the tpk entrance and a simple ramp connection from the tpk entrance to "sb" I-70.  Not really that expensive. My guess would be the row is either already owned by PENNDOT or the PTC.

It's not that easy.  While the right-of-way is there, the topography of the area would make building the connections as you suggest very difficult, and a lot more expensive than you'd think.

Was it Micheal Koerner who drew up a map of a proposed "Breezewood fix?" Mind you I'm talking about 10-12 years ago when he did this.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 28, 2010, 04:56:13 PM
Quote
It appears to be a simple matter.  A flyover from "nb" I-70 to the tpk entrance and a simple ramp connection from the tpk entrance to "sb" I-70.  Not really that expensive. My guess would be the row is either already owned by PENNDOT or the PTC.

It's not that easy.  While the right-of-way is there, the topography of the area would make building the connections as you suggest very difficult, and a lot more expensive than you'd think.

The topography there is relatively flat considering it is in the mountains and a connection probably wouldn't cost more than what the PTC has spent replacing the Allegheny River and Susquehanna River Bridges.  Most of the money would probably be spent on earth moving operations. Interestingly enough, the Department of Highways built 70 with a very wide median where it crosses the old Turnpike (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Breezewood,+PA&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=33.214763,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&ll=39.990438,-78.242075&spn=0.007842,0.01929&t=h&z=16) as if to provide space for a connection, which would be far enough away from the toll plaza that it wouldn't interfere with traffic flow.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on March 28, 2010, 05:13:02 PM
As an aside, I will not buy gas there as their gas prices are much higher then PGH or Hburg.

It looks like Google's camera van did, though. (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=breezewood,+pa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=27.976484,76.904297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Breezewood,+Bedford,+Pennsylvania&layer=c&cbll=39.999378,-78.235425&panoid=dZsawXjyax2AI0rqsDrEhw&cbp=12,117.31,,0,12.31&ll=39.99938,-78.235542&spn=0.003945,0.007081&t=h&z=17)  :-D
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 15, 2010, 01:15:21 PM
Turnpike Approves Toll Increases For 2011 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10196/1072889-147.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 16, 2010, 09:16:50 PM
Turnpike to Become Nation's Costliest Toll Road (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10197/1073083-455.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Editorial Cartoonist Randy Bish's take on the impending toll increase (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/bish/e_1_2010-07-16.html) - Tribune-Review
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on July 18, 2010, 12:40:49 AM
Turnpike to Become Nation's Costliest Toll Road (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10197/1073083-455.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There is a line in that story just like one in an article about the Allegheny River Bridge demolition....
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10195/1072552-147.stm (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10195/1072552-147.stm)

Quote
"It's a proud day for the Pennsylvania Turnpike," said CEO Joe Brimmeier, who noted that by next year, the entire stretch from Ohio to beyond the Allegheny Tunnel, 125 miles, will have been rebuilt.

Have their standards for "rebuilding" changed?? I'm pretty sure sections like Irwin-Monroeville, or the Westmoreland/Somerset Co. line to near the Somerset interchange, to name a few, will not be rebuilt from the "ground-up" (Like other sections have been) by next year.  A "simple" resurfacing and such maintenance, sure... but not completely rebuilt.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: yakra on July 21, 2010, 04:31:02 AM
Editorial Cartoonist Randy Bish's take on the impending toll increase (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/bish/e_1_2010-07-16.html) - Tribune-Review
HA! How `bout this one? http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/bish/e_1_2010-07-18.html
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 21, 2010, 03:24:12 PM
Editorial Cartoonist Randy Bish's take on the impending toll increase (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/bish/e_1_2010-07-16.html) - Tribune-Review
HA! How `bout this one? http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/bish/e_1_2010-07-18.html

Yep, that's a good one, although it would be more appropriate in the PA 28 Construction Updates (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1918.0) thread.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on August 04, 2010, 10:30:05 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Approves Construction of Route 29 All-Electronic Interchange (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2010/20100804141543.htm)

Having been proposed for most of the previous decade, it looks like this connection will finally become reality.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on September 08, 2010, 06:30:25 PM
Anybody seen any confirmation (or credible denial) of this?

Eastern Regional Office of Penn Pike raided - two directors fired, computers, documents hauled off (BREAKING NEWS) (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4889)

Quote
A source at the Pennsylvania Turnpike reports a dramatic raid this morning at the Eastern Regional Office (ERO) of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. He says a team from the Office of the Turnpike Inspector General, Anthony Maniscola showed up during the morning.

Two directors, longtime staffers at the Turnpike - Melvin Shelton and John Trevolina (spelling needs confirmation) were told they were fired and escorted to their cars and sent away, according to the report we received. Meanwhile members of Maniscola's 'hit team' disconnected a number of computers and took them away. They also emptied filing cabinets, boxing their contents and carrying the boxes to their vehicles too.

We don't have any independent confirmation of this. A Turnpike spokesman missed our call but emailed us later: "I cannot confirm anything relating to personnel actions undertaken by the commission today."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 08, 2010, 11:43:35 PM
There are no other news outlets from the Philly area reporting any "raid" on the Eastern Regional Office.

They need to run spell check on that article, as Dan Onorato is not the "Democrati" candidate for governor and while spelling his name correctly in the article, it is mis-spelled under his picture.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 09, 2010, 10:26:10 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Officials Confirm Firings at Philadelphia-area Office (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/09/pennsylvania_turnpike_official_1.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on September 10, 2010, 10:50:18 AM
Thanks for the confirmation.

And this interesting tidbit from the article.
Quote
The firings were first reported by TollRoadsNews, a transportation industry newsletter published out of Frederick, Md. Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo confirmed the firings of Melvin M. Shelton and John P. Travelina on Thursday.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on September 21, 2010, 03:45:13 PM
Just came across this in the (Pittsburgh) Post-Gazette..... (I don't think I've seen it posted anywhere here, sorry if it was...)

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10259/1087670-94.stm (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10259/1087670-94.stm)

At first I thought, "What an idiot"... but in thinking about it, if you're not familiar with how the system works, I guess it's a legitimate interpretation of "No Cash"...  Both the signs approaching and at the booth should say "E-ZPass ONLY / NO CASH", instead of just E-ZPass / No Cash, I suppose.  (Though, unless the lane was closed at the time, the "Full Service" lane seems like it should make the most sense anyway.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: deathtopumpkins on September 22, 2010, 05:54:36 PM
My issue is that the guy is from Ohio. Ohio uses E-Z Pass. :| And I bet they have very similar toll plaza signage setups to Pennsylvania. This his argument of it confusing out-of-staters is invalid.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 22, 2010, 07:07:27 PM
I'm surprised this guy didn't e-mail me complaining about the treatment he received, and not wanting a V-Toll, which I sometimes receive in my inbox.

I don't understand why drivers from Ohio have such difficulties with our toll plazas.  Yes, the sign above the lane would say "NO CASH" but it also has a giant "E-ZPass" logo below which the motorist failed to see.  Even before he got that far, he failed to see the "TOLL ROAD" on the guide sign (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=New+Stanton,+PA&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=32.38984,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=New+Stanton,+Westmoreland,+Pennsylvania&ll=40.225155,-79.594488&spn=0.007618,0.01929&z=16&layer=c&cbll=40.225268,-79.594304&panoid=hYmGZBWsFpJGNEnF6xhLBQ&cbp=12,50.78,,0,-24.43) for 66 at the 119 cloverleaf or the announcement at Exit 1 that it is the last free exit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 22, 2010, 07:13:07 PM
he clearly was intending to pay the toll... so noting the TOLL ROAD signs is not pertinent.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 22, 2010, 07:40:14 PM
It is pertinent since by the time reaching New Stanton, and having used up all of his cash since Cincinnati and do not possess an E-ZPass transponder, the "TOLL ROAD" statement should have made him contemplate an alternate route.

He knew beforehand he would be taking a toll road, he should have put aside a $5 bill for a cushion.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on September 22, 2010, 09:30:17 PM
He wanted to pay by check or credit card... name one other highway system that lets you do that at a toll plaza?  (I know they are contemplating credit card payments at plazas now... imagine if a card gets rejected - multiply exact change headaches by 20.)  I may offend someone by saying this, but I see him as an older driver who can't keep up with all this newfangled toll technology and had too many signs to read and therefore got confused.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on September 23, 2010, 12:06:29 PM
My issue is that the guy is from Ohio. Ohio uses E-Z Pass.

They haven't had it for that long.
And the article makes it sound like he's from Cincinnati (or at least that's where he works...); He may hardly ever (if ever) even use the Ohio Turnpike. (Or any toll road for that matter, so "E-Zpass" might be a foreign concept to him), so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt there.

I guess I just thought, when I first read the article (before analyzing & over-analyzing it), Hey, I guess someone could interpret a sign that says "No Cash" to mean "This must be the lane to use if you have no cash", as opposed to the correct "Cash not accepted in this lane" meaning.

I also want to say that some of the newer plazas on the PTC expansion highways take cards (in addition to being automated for cash), but maybe my brain is just subconsciously making that up.

Also of note, I guess I've never mapped it out (and upon checking, a route via downtown & the Parkway East is Google's recommended route for a trip like that, and it seems about 10mi. shorter), but I'd probably default to avoiding downtown PGH and take that same route via New Stanton anyway (despite I-70's crappiness between Wash. & N.S.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 23, 2010, 02:59:37 PM
And the article makes it sound like he's from Cincinnati (or at least that's where he works...); He may hardly ever (if ever) even use the Ohio Turnpike. (Or any toll road for that matter, so "E-Zpass" might be a foreign concept to him), so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt there.

I guess I just thought, when I first read the article (before analyzing & over-analyzing it), Hey, I guess someone could interpret a sign that says "No Cash" to mean "This must be the lane to use if you have no cash", as opposed to the correct "Cash not accepted in this lane" meaning.

Here (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Greensburg,+PA&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=32.38984,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Greensburg,+Westmoreland,+Pennsylvania&ll=40.289069,-79.611472&spn=0.003568,0.009645&t=h&z=17&layer=c&cbll=40.288855,-79.611479&panoid=AbUEwWWgPAB37VHGC17l8A&cbp=12,359.37,,0,-5.11) is the toll plaza configuration.  If he didn't know what E-ZPass is, and knowing he had nothing E-ZPass, he should have stayed out of the lane entirely.

I also want to say that some of the newer plazas on the PTC expansion highways take cards (in addition to being automated for cash), but maybe my brain is just subconsciously making that up.

The machines used to accept the PTC Credit Card, which was for commercial vehicles to pay tolls before E-ZPass was implemented on the Turnpike System.

Also of note, I guess I've never mapped it out (and upon checking, a route via downtown & the Parkway East is Google's recommended route for a trip like that, and it seems about 10mi. shorter), but I'd probably default to avoiding downtown PGH and take that same route via New Stanton anyway (despite I-70's crappiness between Wash. & N.S.)

He could have taken the scenic route and exited at 51 then taken 48 to 22 and avoided all toll issues.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: J N Winkler on September 24, 2010, 04:13:52 AM
I'm surprised this guy didn't e-mail me complaining about the treatment he received, and not wanting a V-Toll, which I sometimes receive in my inbox.

Look at it this way:  is there anything on your website, or anything on the Web that is linked to your name, which might lead him to believe you would admit the possibility that the PTC could do wrong?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 24, 2010, 04:55:18 PM
The only thing is the Toll Highways (http://www.pahighways.com/toll/) section of my website, which has an e-mail link at the bottom which forwards anything sent via that link to my main e-mail account.  Most of the complaints come via the e-mail link on the main index page, which is right above the legal disclaimer that states said website is not affiliated with any government agency and specifying PennDOT and the PTC.

As for a complaints about toll collection, I just received one this past week about an issue on 576.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on October 06, 2010, 12:51:32 PM
Turnpike Considers All-Electronic Tolls (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10279/1092861-147.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on October 06, 2010, 06:06:40 PM
Well, until a more "universal" transponder comes out, it looks like my days of traveling the Pennsy Turnpike are numbered.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 06, 2010, 06:29:06 PM
I was reading that article about the All-Electronic Tolls and I came across this line in it:

Quote
Westbound on- and off-ramps at the Virginia Drive interchange north of Philadelphia are E-ZPass only, and a new eastbound interchange in Bucks County will open as E-ZPass only this month.

Does anybody know where this new interchange is in Bucks County?  Is it part of the I-95/I-276 interchange or something else?

EDIT: Wait, never mind.  Just found a mention in the Wiki article that it's a slip ramp for PA-132.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on October 06, 2010, 08:26:44 PM
I was reading that article about the All-Electronic Tolls and I came across this line in it:

Quote
Westbound on- and off-ramps at the Virginia Drive interchange north of Philadelphia are E-ZPass only, and a new eastbound interchange in Bucks County will open as E-ZPass only this month.

Does anybody know where this new interchange is in Bucks County?  Is it part of the I-95/I-276 interchange or something else?

EDIT: Wait, never mind.  Just found a mention in the Wiki article that it's a slip ramp for PA-132.
The interchange is between Willow Grove (PA 611) and Ft. Washington (PA 309), not affiliated in any way with the I-95/I-276 interchange.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 06, 2010, 10:00:34 PM
I was reading that article about the All-Electronic Tolls and I came across this line in it:

Quote
Westbound on- and off-ramps at the Virginia Drive interchange north of Philadelphia are E-ZPass only, and a new eastbound interchange in Bucks County will open as E-ZPass only this month.

Does anybody know where this new interchange is in Bucks County?  Is it part of the I-95/I-276 interchange or something else?

EDIT: Wait, never mind.  Just found a mention in the Wiki article that it's a slip ramp for PA-132.
The interchange is between Willow Grove (PA 611) and Ft. Washington (PA 309), not affiliated in any way with the I-95/I-276 interchange.

Now I'm confused. :confused:  As far as I read in the Wiki article, it seems there was only going to be a new slip ramp for PA-132.  I know about the already open exit for #340 (Virginia Dr).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on October 06, 2010, 10:49:26 PM
Apologies -- did not read the previous post carefully enough . . . Google maps shows construction where the old eastbound service plaza east of U.S. 1 interchange, so this could be it.  When I was through there a few weeks ago, there was still construction going on, but I could not tell progress because of darkness.  I still don't think that it is affiliated with I-95 interchange, though.

I live a few miles north of there, so I'll try to look around more in the next few days.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 06, 2010, 11:54:35 PM
It's cool.  I've not fully read posts in the past as well.  It's happened to all of us, so no biggie. :sombrero:

Anyways, I'd appreciate the info you can provide me on what's happening around there on this new "slip" ramp.  What I'm curious is if it will have a separate exit number from the main interchange instead of having an "A" ending on it's number.  Mainly, that's the info I need so I can let Tim know to add it for the CHM project if it's "separate" enough from the main exit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on October 07, 2010, 03:10:12 PM
The PA 132 E-ZPass-only ramp (http://www.pennoni.com/portfolio/project.aspx?project=189) must not be close to the construction phase, as it is not listed on the projects section of the PTC's site unlike the ones for PA 29 (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/Route29_SlipRamp/home.html) and PA 903 (http://www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/Route_903_Slip_Ramp/home.html).

It will probably be Exit 35#, as the Virginia Drive Exit is just 340 even though it only services the westbound side of 276.  I wouldn't worry about updating the CHM until something is announced on the PTC site.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 07, 2010, 10:22:01 PM
The PA 132 E-ZPass-only ramp (http://www.pennoni.com/portfolio/project.aspx?project=189) must not be close to the construction phase, as it is not listed on the projects section of the PTC's site unlike the ones for PA 29 (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/Route29_SlipRamp/home.html) and PA 903 (http://www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/Route_903_Slip_Ramp/home.html).

It will probably be Exit 35#, as the Virginia Drive Exit is just 340 even though it only services the westbound side of 276.  I wouldn't worry about updating the CHM until something is announced on the PTC site.

Then what is going to be the new "E-ZPass eastbound interchange" that will be opening in Bucks County this month?  If there wasn't going to be one, why did they mention that in the article? :ded:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on October 07, 2010, 11:09:39 PM
I didn't say it wasn't going to be built, just that there was no mention of its start which is odd since the one for 29 was talked about for most of the last decade.

The only thing I found about a Street Road slip ramp on their site was it being mentioned yearly in their annual Capital Investment Program report, and the PTC board meeting minutes from August which set the fare schedule.  It is mentioned in passing in the press release for the closure of the South Neshaminy Service Plaza (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2007/20070629085100.htm) as part of the Turnpike/95 interchange project but that was all.

It will be located at milepost 352 where the plaza once stood.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on October 08, 2010, 04:21:36 PM
Was just down there this afternoon -- alas, no camera.  Signal on Street Road is up and operational (probably for some time) -- right now it serves the hotel on the other side of the road from the ramp entrance.  No left turns either direction from Street Road, so eastbound traffic must use U.S. 1 to get to the Turnpike in either direction.  Pavement is in and most regulatory/warning signing is in place.  No guide signing on WB Street Road yet.  On Turnpike side, I could see from U.S. 1 overpass that construction barrier is out and lighting, pavement and signing is in place for ramp.  I did not go on the Turnpike to see if guide signing has changed to reflect new ramp -- I would think existing cantilevers would need to be changed to full span structures.

Looks like it is pretty close to opening.  Last I was in that area was mid-September, so progress is reasonable.

If you read Pennoni's propaganda (can you tell I work for another consultant?), it seems like Bensalem Township is administering the project, so that may explain the lack of information on the PTC site.  I used to live in a small development along Richlieu Road (two lights east on Street Road), and I recall that a condition of approval for expansion of Philadelphia Park to include the casino facilities was for direct ramps to and from the Turnpike.  Thinking aloud, perhaps this is it.

Next time I get down there, perhaps when it opens, I will be sure to get photos.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on October 08, 2010, 04:46:58 PM
No left turn from eastbound Street Rd. to eastbound Turnpike? That's a surprise. I guess the ramps are only for Philadephia Park users' convenience.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on November 14, 2010, 12:26:03 PM
For Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll Collectors, The Bell May Toll (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10318/1103248-454.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on November 16, 2010, 02:19:18 PM
http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/the-roundabout/23113-allegheny-river-bridge-is-open (http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/the-roundabout/23113-allegheny-river-bridge-is-open)

Both Allegheny River Bridge spans are now fully open.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on November 22, 2010, 12:14:56 PM
Street Road E-ZPass-only Ramp Opened (http://www.paturnpike.com/rttc/advisoryinfo.aspx?ID=132996) - PTC

As I guessed, it will be designated Exit 352.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on November 22, 2010, 07:20:19 PM
Okay, someone humor me here. Why did PTC change the name of the Phila. Interchange to "Bensalem"?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on November 22, 2010, 10:08:40 PM
Probably because any exit east of Downingtown you take will lead you to Philadelphia.  Or Bensalem wanted the mention as what happened to old Exit 3 (now 28) being changed from Perry Highway to Cranberry.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Revive 755 on November 22, 2010, 10:21:17 PM
For Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll Collectors, The Bell May Toll (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10318/1103248-454.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

And for some reason I don't see any cost savings from this to prevent/delay further toll increases.  Probably be some extra fee for the occasional user who comes from a state lacking E-Z Pass toll facilities added also.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Stephane Dumas on November 23, 2010, 03:34:18 PM
Probably because any exit east of Downingtown you take will lead you to Philadelphia.  Or Bensalem wanted the mention as what happened to old Exit 3 (now 28) being changed from Perry Highway to Cranberry.

Or another possibility, the future I-95 interchange will be the Philadelphia interchange. But I think Bensalem Township had a population growth since 2 or 3 decades and now a more important municipality in Metro Philly.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on November 23, 2010, 03:49:06 PM
Hmmm........ good thinking Stephane. That kind of makes sense. Like other places in the country where small cities that had major population growth in the last 20 years have become destination cities on some interestates.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on November 23, 2010, 03:53:57 PM
But I think Bensalem Township had a population growth since 2 or 3 decades and now a more important municipality in Metro Philly.

That whole area has had a population growth in that time.  When the Turnpike was built through there in the 1950s, it was laid through what could have been considered rural land but urban sprawl overtook 276 as it did the 401 in Toronto.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 07, 2010, 08:41:34 PM
Pa. Turnpike Won't Print Tolls on Tickets in 2011 (http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story/Pa-turnpike-wont-print-tolls-on-tickets-in-2011/qnY8pwV4bUu5DF7GllEvqA.cspx?rss=50) - WHP-TV Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner Questions Whether the Turnpike Commission is Trying to Hide Fare Increases (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pennsylvania_auditor_general_j_2.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on December 09, 2010, 08:22:04 AM
Probably because any exit east of Downingtown you take will lead you to Philadelphia.  Or Bensalem wanted the mention as what happened to old Exit 3 (now 28) being changed from Perry Highway to Cranberry.

Or another possibility, the future I-95 interchange will be the Philadelphia interchange. But I think Bensalem Township had a population growth since 2 or 3 decades and now a more important municipality in Metro Philly.

If you're coming from the west, going to US 1 or I-95 to get into Philadelphia is way out of the way.  If there needs to be a "Philadelphia" interchange at all, you could make as good a case for King of Prussia.  I say "as good a case" because you'd have the same problem in reverse.  Someone remind me whether the interchange in Monroeville is still called "Pittsburgh"?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 09, 2010, 01:32:51 PM
Exit 57 is still called the Pittsburgh Interchange.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on December 09, 2010, 06:15:57 PM
In fact, if we care about interchange names at all (I'm not clear why we do; this isn't Germany), we may as well have them make sense, so that the rare person whose only source of directions is what it says on the toll ticket doesn't go out of his way.  There are already two Harrisburg interchanges, so why not:
I-79 becomes Pittsburgh/Cranberry
I-376 becomes Pittsburgh/Monroeville
Lebanon/Lancaster remains thus
"Reading" (US 222) becomes Reading/Lancaster
"Morgantown" (I-176...) becomes Morgantown/Reading
"Valley Forge" becomes Philadelphia/Valley Forge
US 1 becomes Philadelphia/Bensalem until 95's done, then Bensalem/Northeast Philadelphia
I-95 becomes, um, Philadelphia/something.  Trenton, if we don't object to using a point out of state.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on December 09, 2010, 07:44:53 PM
^^^

I like the idea other than the length.

Here are a few alternatives using the idea of "Harrisburg East" and "Harrisburg West"

I-79 becomes Pittsburgh North
I-376 becomes Pittsburgh East
US 222 I grudgingly leave as Reading - Lancaster
I-176 simply becomes Reading
Valley Forge becomes Philadelphia West
US 1 becomes Philadelphia East (until I-95 completed then Bensalem)
I-95 then becomes Philadelphia East when completed - though this probably wouldn't happen due to possible confusion.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on December 09, 2010, 08:18:36 PM
Sure.  Why not.  My idea takes into account the egos of local officials in places like Cranberry and Bensalem townships.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on December 10, 2010, 01:59:41 PM
Personally, I like the exit name to be as "local" as possible, with the control cities indicating more important destinations.  In the west part of the state, I'd keep them as is, except rename "Pittsburgh" to "Monroeville".
I've also never been a fan of "Butler Valley" either for stupid reasons.  (I'd change it to "Hampton")

All the discussion about people's ideas for potential renamings aside... I admit I do like the fact that mainline interchanges have retained "names" along with the exit numbers
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 10, 2010, 02:58:12 PM
In fact, if we care about interchange names at all (I'm not clear why we do; this isn't Germany)...

Where you think the idea for the Turnpike came from.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 13, 2010, 06:30:21 PM
Turnpike Chief's Legacy:  Higher Rates, Better Road (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10347/1110352-147.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 22, 2010, 06:10:31 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Changes Mind About Not Printing Tolls on Tickets (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pa_turnpike_changes_mind_about.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on December 22, 2010, 07:10:56 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Changes Mind About Not Printing Tolls on Tickets (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pa_turnpike_changes_mind_about.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News

Nice that they have decided to reverse it.  Too bad it will take like 3 months for the new tickets to be ready. :pan:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on December 22, 2010, 07:18:47 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Changes Mind About Not Printing Tolls on Tickets (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pa_turnpike_changes_mind_about.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
That'll make the blank toll tickets a collectors' item.  Jeff, you're PennDOT incarnate, can you get some for us?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Ian on December 22, 2010, 08:14:46 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Changes Mind About Not Printing Tolls on Tickets (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pa_turnpike_changes_mind_about.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
That'll make the blank toll tickets a collectors' item.  Jeff, you're PennDOT incarnate, can you get some for us?

I second that!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on December 22, 2010, 08:23:31 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Changes Mind About Not Printing Tolls on Tickets (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pa_turnpike_changes_mind_about.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
That'll make the blank toll tickets a collectors' item.  Jeff, you're PennDOT incarnate, can you get some for us?

I second that!

And I'll 3rd it!  Too bad it's the Turnpike we're talking about which isn't part of PennDOT (yet....).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 23, 2010, 03:18:39 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Changes Mind About Not Printing Tolls on Tickets (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/12/pa_turnpike_changes_mind_about.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
That'll make the blank toll tickets a collectors' item.  Jeff, you're PennDOT incarnate, can you get some for us?

I doubt it.

When I held the 2003 Harrisburg Meet which included a tour of the PTC HQ, we tried to score some then but were told no.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 01, 2011, 06:36:54 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chief Retires (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/02/pennsylvania_turnpike_commissi_1.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 01, 2011, 05:45:14 PM
Pittsburgh Businessman Named Pa. Turnpike Commission Chairman (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110301170123.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 08, 2011, 07:52:46 PM
Pa. Turnpike Celebrates Start of $151 Million Reconstruction and Widening Project in Montgomery County (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110304150146.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 18, 2011, 09:35:34 PM
Pa. Turnpike to Show Plans for Widening Project between Butler Valley and Allegheny Valley Exits (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110317100909.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 24, 2011, 11:20:11 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Starts Construction of Route 29 All-Electronic Interchange (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110324163457.htm)

This project, much like many of them, has been talked about for years and it's finally getting off the drawing boards unlike many that have not.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on March 28, 2011, 11:52:10 AM
While it is well known to regulars on this board that I am resistant to all-electronic tolling at this point in time, I do have to agree that building this interchange as EZ-Pass only is a reasonable idea in this case.

As this looks to be an interchange primarily for commuters, the percentage of potential users of the interchange that already have EZPasses is probably much higher than the 60% average mentioned in the press release.

Also, with the PTC looking to go all electronic in the near future, it wouldn't be prudent to spend money on traditional toll booths here.  And, hopefully, once the PTC does go all electronic, they will change the cameras to toll non-transponder users at the toll-by-plate rate instead of looking at them as violators.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on April 14, 2011, 05:21:51 PM
Fairview Residents Who Will Lose Land Unhappy with Turnpike Plan (http://www.yorkdispatch.com/news/ci_17836838) - York Dispatch
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on April 15, 2011, 11:36:20 AM
^^^

Nothing unusual of the stories of the unhappy people here.

Unfortunately, there's only so much that can be done to fight eminent domain.

And, while it must stink to be one of the affected property owners, anyone with any degree of common sense should know that losing land or the entire property to a road project comes with buying a property by a major highway.  But, far too many people don't have common sense and they expect their freeway adjacent property to be as quiet and stable as a cabin in the woods.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on April 21, 2011, 08:59:47 PM
Pa. Turnpike Announces Lower Tolls for Street Road E-ZPass Interchange in Bucks County (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110421140125.htm)

Cash-Paying Holiday Travelers to See Pa. Turnpike Tickets with Toll Rates (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110421163645.htm) - The fare schedules return!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on May 19, 2011, 02:03:45 PM
Pa. Turnpike Announces Reopening of Dauphin Lebanon County Service Plaza (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110518100224.htm)

This comes nearly a week after the Bowmansville Service Plaza reopened on the eastbound side in Lancaster County.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 27, 2011, 11:10:57 PM
Prank signs on rest area drinking fountains target gas drilling (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11178/1156490-454.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Professionally done signs are being affixed to drinking fountains at service plazas along the Turnpike, but they aren't official.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on June 28, 2011, 12:52:08 PM


Prank signs on rest area drinking fountains target gas drilling (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11178/1156490-454.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Professionally done signs are being affixed to drinking fountains at service plazas along the Turnpike, but they aren't official.

You know you pay attention to signs a bit too much when you see that, and before even reading it's "warning" you think "Gee... That DEP logo looks bogus."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on June 28, 2011, 09:09:03 PM


Prank signs on rest area drinking fountains target gas drilling (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11178/1156490-454.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Professionally done signs are being affixed to drinking fountains at service plazas along the Turnpike, but they aren't official.

You know you pay attention to signs a bit too much when you see that, and before even reading it's "warning" you think "Gee... That DEP logo looks bogus."

Hate to say there are a lot of "special interest" groups that advertise on PA Turnpike billboards.  I can think of AFSCME, anti puppy mill organizations, an association for juvenile justice officers, and clean coal.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on June 28, 2011, 11:33:08 PM
^^What's wrong with that?

And it's unconstitutional to prohibit advocacy or political speech unless you prohibit billboards altogether.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 29, 2011, 02:30:18 PM
Hate to say there are a lot of "special interest" groups that advertise on PA Turnpike billboards.  I can think of AFSCME, anti puppy mill organizations, an association for juvenile justice officers, and clean coal.

I do not recall seeing any billboards within the PTC ROW.  The ones outside the fenced off ROW are usually owned by Viacom and other advertising agencies.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on June 29, 2011, 02:43:01 PM
Better than on Florida's Turnpike:
Quote
Heartbeat Starts at [foo] Weeks
Quote
Pregnant? Your Child's Heart is Already Beating!
Nice to know that pregnancy doesn't begin at conception :)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 29, 2011, 07:17:53 PM
That didn't take long:

Fake signs suggesting travelers put open flame to drinking water removed from Pennsylvania Turnpike rest stops (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/06/fake_signs_suggesting_traveler.html) - Harrisburg Patriot-News
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 21, 2011, 08:20:06 PM
Turnpike Commission OKs 2012 Toll Increase (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20110721140300.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on August 03, 2011, 06:55:13 PM
Aside from the free bottles of water the PTC had out for attendees of the ribbon-cutting ceremony back on July 11, they also had something I hadn't seen in almost seven years:  a new map.  I have detailed the changes between the 2004 and 2011 edition and a copy of the cover on my website's blog (http://www.pahighways.com/blog/archives/50-2011-Pennsylvania-Turnpike-Travel-Guide-and-Map.html).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 02, 2011, 08:52:58 PM
PA Turnpike Launches Hands-Free, Eyes-Free and Cost-Free Traveler Alert Smartphone App (http://www.paturnpike.com/press/2011/20110902143116.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 08, 2011, 06:20:48 PM
39-Mile Stretch of PA Turnpike Closed Because of Flooding (http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-national/39-mile-stretch-of-Pa-Turnpike-closed-because-of-flooding/-/132552/678110/-/7htq7p/-/index.html) - WFMZ-TV
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on September 09, 2011, 12:07:51 AM
Gosh.  But why are they recommending 222 north/61/78/81 as an alternate rather than 222 south/30/283?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 09, 2011, 12:50:58 AM
US 222 is closed between the Oregon Pike and US 322 interchanges due to flooding.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on September 09, 2011, 09:09:33 AM
Ah.  That would do it....
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on November 23, 2011, 01:21:25 AM
Motorists traveling the Turnpike eastbound from Exit 10/New Castle to Exit 48/Allegheny Valley found themselves in a rather sticky situation last night.  A tanker carrying driveway sealant leaked its load between Toll I-376 and the Oakmont-Plum Service Plaza, with the majority of it falling west of the Warrendale Toll Plaza.

http://www.wtae.com/news/29837601/detail.html
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 23, 2011, 02:36:33 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike firee George Hatalowich named director "Strategic Operations" at Parsons Brinck PA (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5621)

Quote
A colorful former officer of the Pennsylvania Turnpike George Hatalowich has been put on the payroll of Parsons Brinckerhoff in Camp Hill PA with the unusual title Director-Pennyslvania Strategic Operations. At the Turnpike Hatalowich, 46, was best known as a liaison with and fund raiser for politicians, and for drunken driving charges.

Post Merge: November 28, 2011, 09:11:31 PM
Motorists traveling the Turnpike eastbound from Exit 10/New Castle to Exit 48/Allegheny Valley found themselves in a rather sticky situation last night.  A tanker carrying driveway sealant leaked its load between Toll I-376 and the Oakmont-Plum Service Plaza, with the majority of it falling west of the Warrendale Toll Plaza.

http://www.wtae.com/news/29837601/detail.html

More from TOLLROADSnews: Tar spread by tanker trailer leaks over 40 mile stretch of Penn Pike Tuesday night (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5626)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 29, 2011, 08:28:04 PM
Motorists traveling the Turnpike eastbound from Exit 10/New Castle to Exit 48/Allegheny Valley found themselves in a rather sticky situation last night.  A tanker carrying driveway sealant leaked its load between Toll I-376 and the Oakmont-Plum Service Plaza, with the majority of it falling west of the Warrendale Toll Plaza.

http://www.wtae.com/news/29837601/detail.html

More of the story from the Baltimore Sun:

Trucker cited after tanker oozes asphalt goo onto Pa. Turnpike (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-trucker-asphalt-accident.-20111129,0,5010711.story)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on November 29, 2011, 08:39:23 PM
More Than 460 Cars Damaged in PA Turnpike Spill (http://www.wjactv.com/news/news/more-460-cars-damaged-pa-turnpike-spill) - WJAC-TV Johnstown
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 30, 2011, 10:35:53 PM
More Than 460 Cars Damaged in PA Turnpike Spill (http://www.wjactv.com/news/news/more-460-cars-damaged-pa-turnpike-spill) - WJAC-TV Johnstown

LOL, they have already killed that article.  Guess they don't like hotlinking.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 02, 2011, 12:30:38 PM
More Than 460 Cars Damaged in PA Turnpike Spill (http://www.wjactv.com/news/news/more-460-cars-damaged-pa-turnpike-spill) - WJAC-TV Johnstown

LOL, they have already killed that article.  Guess they don't like hotlinking.

No, apparently just changed the URL:  http://www.wjactv.com/ap/ap/pennsylvania/almost-500-cars-damaged-in-pa-turnpike-spill/nFpqt/
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2011, 10:06:23 AM
TOLLROADSnews:
Consultants say all-electronic should work for Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5645)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on December 08, 2011, 06:19:11 PM
Quote
The consultants would keep the present organization of toll points which over most of the mainline of the Turnpike the toll is trip-based in which a vehicle is registered on entry at a side toll plaza and again on exit and a distance-based toll computed. The western end plus newer extension tollroads are the more conventional point tolling, with multiple tolls levied at mainline or ramp toll points.

A nitpick here.  I would call point tolling more popular than conventional.  When the turnpike was first built, there were few precedents on tolling modern highways and in those early days, the ticket system was popular on all the big projects.  It is also a fairer way to toll as you pay the same rate for the miles you drive.

In a point system, you can pay $2 to drive 1 mile or 10 miles depending if the setup is just right (or wrong).

If you've looked at Toronto's 407ETR road, it works like a ticket system.  There are gantries on all exit ramps and gantries across the mainline only at both ends.  And, their toll schedule reflects this.

With electronic tolling, it is easier to implement ticket systems where it would have been uneconomical in the past.  But, it probably won't change as point tolling is easier to implement and understand.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on December 08, 2011, 07:48:50 PM
In a point system, you can pay $2 to drive 1 mile or 10 miles depending if the setup is just right (or wrong).
And if it's very wrong (Garden State Parkway) you can pay $2 for 10 miles and $0 for 20. (When they changed barrier tolls to one-way alternating they didn't touch the ramp tolls.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on December 08, 2011, 08:00:19 PM
In a point system, you can pay $2 to drive 1 mile or 10 miles depending if the setup is just right (or wrong).
And if it's very wrong (Garden State Parkway) you can pay $2 for 10 miles and $0 for 20. (When they changed barrier tolls to one-way alternating they didn't touch the ramp tolls.)
You can pay $1.35 for 4 miles - on at 141, barrier toll, off at 145, ramp toll. (Or $1.25 for 3 miles.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: goobnav on December 08, 2011, 08:02:05 PM
The E-tolling is going to be done here on Toll NC 147 and Toll NC 540.  I seriously doubt that the Tollworkers Union will ever allow E-Tolling is PA, if they do, don't surprised if it shows up on I-80.  Rendell may be gone but, unfortunately, his ideas cannot be destroyed.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on December 09, 2011, 02:37:39 PM
Quote
The consultants would keep the present organization of toll points which over most of the mainline of the Turnpike the toll is trip-based in which a vehicle is registered on entry at a side toll plaza and again on exit and a distance-based toll computed. The western end plus newer extension tollroads are the more conventional point tolling, with multiple tolls levied at mainline or ramp toll points.

A nitpick here.  I would call point tolling more popular than conventional.  When the turnpike was first built, there were few precedents on tolling modern highways and in those early days, the ticket system was popular on all the big projects.  It is also a fairer way to toll as you pay the same rate for the miles you drive.

In a point system, you can pay $2 to drive 1 mile or 10 miles depending if the setup is just right (or wrong).

I completely agree.  PA-TPK 66, for example, you pay $1.45 (cash) for the approx. 2 miles between PA-136 & US 30.  The same amount you pay to drive the whole thing from New Stanton to Delmont.  Certainly not "fair".
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 10, 2011, 03:48:40 PM
The E-tolling is going to be done here on Toll NC 147 and Toll NC 540.  I seriously doubt that the Tollworkers Union will ever allow E-Tolling is PA, if they do, don't surprised if it shows up on I-80.  Rendell may be gone but, unfortunately, his ideas cannot be destroyed.

They dug their collective feet in when E-ZPass was proposed in the late 90s, and it took concessions to allow it anywhere near the Turnpike.

The plan for tolling I-80 would have been E-ZPass gantries placed at roughly 30 mile intervals from Ohio to New Jersey.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2011, 09:18:56 PM
If you've looked at Toronto's 407ETR road, it works like a ticket system.  There are gantries on all exit ramps and gantries across the mainline only at both ends.  And, their toll schedule reflects this.

Maryland's Md. 200 (ICC) toll road works the same way (toll is based on miles driven), though the designers chose not to put toll gantries at the on- and off-ramps, instead putting a gantry across the mainline roadways between each interchange, possibly because Md. 200 is much shorter than Highway 407.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 16, 2011, 05:37:51 PM
PA Turnpike Reminds Motorists of 10% Cash-Only Toll Increase Next Year (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20111216111152.htm)

Cash fares go up in accordance with the Act 44 legislation passed in 2007.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 17, 2011, 11:05:44 AM
PA Turnpike Reminds Motorists of 10% Cash-Only Toll Increase Next Year (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2011/20111216111152.htm)

Cash fares go up in accordance with the Act 44 legislation passed in 2007.

Does anyone know why some toll road operators (especially the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission) insist on calling tolls "fares." 

In my opinion, fares are what we pay when taking a trip on an aircraft, a bus, a taxicab, or a train, but not for driving our own vehicle (or a vehicle belonging to an employer) on a toll road.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on December 17, 2011, 04:19:37 PM
An idea whose time has not yet come...
The 'green' Penn Pike to have electric vehicle charging at 17 service plazas (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5660)

Given the current range of current electric vehicle and the recharging time, I doubt you'll see many people using this.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2011, 10:14:24 PM
An idea whose time has not yet come...
The 'green' Penn Pike to have electric vehicle charging at 17 service plazas (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5660)

Given the current range of current electric vehicle and the recharging time, I doubt you'll see many people using this.

I agree, especially given how far it is between Pennsylvania Turnpike E-W mainline interchanges (heck, the range of at least some electric cars does not seem to allow travel between more than one or two interchanges).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on December 19, 2011, 08:51:21 AM
An idea whose time has not yet come...
The 'green' Penn Pike to have electric vehicle charging at 17 service plazas (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5660)

Given the current range of current electric vehicle and the recharging time, I doubt you'll see many people using this.

I agree, especially given how far it is between Pennsylvania Turnpike E-W mainline interchanges (heck, the range of at least some electric cars does not seem to allow travel between more than one or two interchanges).

And also given the time it takes to charge the vehicles with the Level II system that will be (at least initially) provided. (Twenty to thirty minutes for a charge from 20% to 80%.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on December 19, 2011, 07:07:26 PM
They might get some Chevy Volt drivers to use it, but that's all I see at this time.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on December 20, 2011, 12:58:55 AM
They might get some Chevy Volt drivers to use it, but that's all I see at this time.

Come to Pennsylvania, where our turnpike interchanges are spaced just far enough for you to recharge your Chevy Volt at.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on December 20, 2011, 05:44:42 PM
They might get some Chevy Volt drivers to use it, but that's all I see at this time.

Come to Pennsylvania, where our turnpike interchanges are spaced just far enough for you to recharge your Chevy Volt at.

Well, the only reason I mentioned the Volt is because they also have a Gas tank to allow them to go farther than say the Nissan Leaf.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 26, 2011, 06:53:39 PM
More Than 460 Cars Damaged in PA Turnpike Spill (http://www.wjactv.com/news/news/more-460-cars-damaged-pa-turnpike-spill) - WJAC-TV Johnstown

From AP via WTOP Radio (Washington, D.C.): Insurer claims $1M policy won't cover turnpike goo (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=209&sid=2683842)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: surferdude on December 28, 2011, 11:35:12 AM
Please do not forget the alignment of the Turnpike from Irwin to Harrisburg is over 70 years old.  It is America's first attempt to copy the German AUTOBAHN, which there was a collaboration between Germany and Pennsylvania Engineers.  We all know that the current alignment needs some tweaking but it will be done with Turnpike Money and Turnpike Engineers, not PennDOT money and not PennDOT Engineers. 

I can remember a few years ago that they where seriously talking about disbanding the Turnpike Comission, which is seperate from PennDOT, and letting the Districts themselves service the Turnpike needs that are placed in their District.  However there are some Districts that do not have any Turnpike Highways.  I think that the cost savings would be minimal since PennDOT would have to seperate the Turnpike Highways from the PennDOT Highways.   
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on December 28, 2011, 03:19:50 PM
Please do not forget the alignment of the Turnpike from Irwin to Harrisburg is over 70 years old.  It is America's first attempt to copy the German AUTOBAHN, which there was a collaboration between Germany and Pennsylvania Engineers.  We all know that the current alignment needs some tweaking but it will be done with Turnpike Money and Turnpike Engineers, not PennDOT money and not PennDOT Engineers.  

I can remember a few years ago that they where seriously talking about disbanding the Turnpike Comission, which is seperate from PennDOT, and letting the Districts themselves service the Turnpike needs that are placed in their District.  However there are some Districts that do not have any Turnpike Highways.  I think that the cost savings would be minimal since PennDOT would have to seperate the Turnpike Highways from the PennDOT Highways.  

PennDOT's Interstate design standards and Interstate pavement maintenance standards far exceed those of the PTC, at least on the average.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 28, 2011, 06:07:40 PM
Considering that most of the Interstate System of Pennsylvania was built after there were standards for Interstate construction, it isn't surprising.  While the original Turnpike and Northeast Extension are antiquated by contemporary standards, the Turnpike extensions are built to modern limited-access standards.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on December 28, 2011, 08:58:36 PM
Considering that most of the Interstate System of Pennsylvania was built after there were standards for Interstate construction, it isn't surprising.  While the original Turnpike and Northeast Extension are antiquated by contemporary standards, the Turnpike extensions are built to modern limited-access standards.

It -is- surprising ... toll-funded highway segments opened between 1940 and 1959 could and should have long-since been improved to at least 1970 Interstate standards.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on December 29, 2011, 02:29:52 PM
I'll grant that it hasn't necessarily been "long-since", but the PTC has been improving the mainline for over a decade now.  And the stretches they've done are pretty good. 
And in the last couple of years they've decided to 6-lane the sections they've been completely rebuilding.

The recently completed Irwin to New Stanton section is now a very nice drive. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on December 29, 2011, 03:16:58 PM
I'll grant that it hasn't necessarily been "long-since", but the PTC has been improving the mainline for over a decade now.  And the stretches they've done are pretty good. 
And in the last couple of years they've decided to 6-lane the sections they've been completely rebuilding.

The recently completed Irwin to New Stanton section is now a very nice drive. 

As is the new Susquehanna River bridge and approches.  Problem is over 80% of the length of the original turnpike (E-W and NE) is still in its original design.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 29, 2011, 08:51:25 PM
It -is- surprising ... toll-funded highway segments opened between 1940 and 1959 could and should have long-since been improved to at least 1970 Interstate standards.

It is easier to build new than try to rebuild what already exists.

The now decade-long rehabilitation[/widening] of the original 50s expressway, rebuilding from the ground up rather than the resurfacing jobs that were the mainstay of PTC maintenance, is making for a much-improved ride.  The Turnpike Commission planned "Super Turnpike" concept for the original Carlisle-to-Irwin section featuring 2/2/2/2 car/truck/truck/car ROW complete with holographic signage.  Yes, what is currently happening is not a complete rebuild to full and true Interstate standards, but something is better than nothing.  As the saying goes, "Beggars can't be choosers."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on December 29, 2011, 09:01:46 PM
It -is- surprising ... toll-funded highway segments opened between 1940 and 1959 could and should have long-since been improved to at least 1970 Interstate standards.

It is easier to build new than try to rebuild what already exists.

The now decade-long rehabilitation[/widening] of the original 50s expressway, rebuilding from the ground up rather than the resurfacing jobs that were the mainstay of PTC maintenance, is making for a much-improved ride.  The Turnpike Commission planned "Super Turnpike" concept for the original Carlisle-to-Irwin section featuring 2/2/2/2 car/truck/truck/car ROW complete with holographic signage.  Yes, what is currently happening is not a complete rebuild to full and true Interstate standards, but something is better than nothing.  As the saying goes, "Beggars can't be choosers."

The Turnpike has a 200-foot-wide right-of-way, wider where cuts and fills and interchanges necessitate.  In most places there is space for an Interstate cross-section with six 12-foot lanes, inside and outside 12-foot shoulders, and a 40-foot median.  In mountainous terrain a 22-foot median (10-foot shouders and 2-foot concrete median barrier) will suffice.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: surferdude on December 30, 2011, 11:12:02 AM
Some sad news there will be hike price for tolls, but if you have EZ-Pass the rate will not change.  So get your EZ-Pass!!!!!

http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20111230/NEWS01/111230005/Pa-turnpike-cash-tolls-going-up-again?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 30, 2011, 06:45:38 PM
The Turnpike has a 200-foot-wide right-of-way, wider where cuts and fills and interchanges necessitate.  In most places there is space for an Interstate cross-section with six 12-foot lanes, inside and outside 12-foot shoulders, and a 40-foot median.  In mountainous terrain a 22-foot median (10-foot shouders and 2-foot concrete median barrier) will suffice.

I would have liked them to have added a lane in both directions as part of the rebuilding project, especially within the 70 multiplex.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 30, 2011, 10:55:47 PM
I was wondering:  Did they at least grade for an extra lane between the 70's
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on December 30, 2011, 11:49:39 PM
I was wondering:  Did they at least grade for an extra lane between the 70's

No ... that was part of the section opened in 1940, long before I-70 was planned.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 31, 2011, 03:05:21 PM
I was wondering:  Did they at least grade for an extra lane between the 70's

The section from New Stanton to Donegal was six-laned when it was rebuilt, with the outer lanes serving primarily as truck climbing/descending lanes due to the Turnpike beginning to enter the Appalachians at that point.  From Donegal to east of the Allegheny Tunnel westbound approach, the third lane alternates from side-to-side depending on the hills where it has been rebuilt, but grading wasn't performed to allow easy construction of addition lanes.

Outside the 70 multiplex, such around Pittsburgh, provisions have been made for a six lane Turnpike.  The soon-to-be-completed Irwin to New Stanton section will be six lanes and the new Allegheny River Bridge and approaches are six lanes, with the outer lanes currently serving as an Exit 48 lane drop going westbound and an Oakmont-Plum Service Plaza lane drop going eastbound.  The new Susquehanna River Bridge south of Harrisburg is also a six lane span.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on December 31, 2011, 03:48:33 PM
Between the Blue Mtn and Carlisle exits, they are currently widening to 6 lanes, and there is a 6-lane section open.  It's a little funny that out of nowhere, there is a 3rd lane in each direction, and then later that lane ends.  They are also straighening the eastbound exit of the Blue Mtn tunnel. I drove that way over Thanksgiving and I could see the grading.  AND, the Blue Mtn interchange is being reconstructed also.  The ramp will now go over the mainline on a new bridge, instead of going under.

The 6-lane widening of the first 11 miles of the NE Extension is under construction, and wider overpasses are being constructed on the Mile 320-326 section (approaching the Valley Forge Interchange).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on December 31, 2011, 03:58:48 PM
It seems as though at some point in the last 5 years (after a chunk of sections between New Stanton & the base of the Allegheny Ridge have already been completely rebuilt), the PTC decided if they're gonna rebuild from the ground up, to just go ahead and 6 lane.

Some of the overpass replacements between the Allegheny Tunnels and Breezewood that were in progress last August appear to be designed to accommodate a future 6-lane rebuild.

In addition to Irwin to New Stanton (which has been completed for about a month and a half - it's nice), and the Allegheny River Bridge, it's being rebuilt-widened to 6 lanes between the Warrendale plaza and about a mile-and-a-half west of the Rt. 8 interchange.  It's also been in the papers that 6-laning between PA-8 & PA-28 is on the docket in a couple of years.  (They should be starting to replace overpasses fairly soon to accommodate it).  A 6-lane Beaver River Bridge is also on the agenda at some point. (I do believe all this stuff is on the PTC website somewhere)

Irwin to Monroeville and Monroeville to PA-28 might be a bit farther off in the future, as both of those sections have fairly major structures that probably have some life left in them...  (I recall them getting major work in the late 80's / early 90's, I think....), Over PA-993 & a railroad in a valley about a mile west of the Irwin IC; and one spanning a valley and some roads about halfway between US-22 & PA-28.
I'm guessing a similar structure about a mile west of PA-8 is the reason they're not 6-laning that stretch the whole way between the Warrendale Plaza and the Butler Valley Interchange.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on December 31, 2011, 04:03:00 PM
Also, somewhat unrelated to the recent "conversation", but PTC related....
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Facebook page has some pictures of the rebuild of the trail bridge over the Turnpike at the Somerset/Westmoreland County line:

https://www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandshikingtrail (https://www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandshikingtrail)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: billpa on January 01, 2012, 03:16:36 PM
Also, somewhat unrelated to the recent "conversation", but PTC related....
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Facebook page has some pictures of the rebuild of the trail bridge over the Turnpike at the Somerset/Westmoreland County line:

https://www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandshikingtrail (https://www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandshikingtrail)

That's really nice looking.  The large lettering naming the trail is a very nice touch.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on January 02, 2012, 07:05:05 PM
The tough question regarding six-laning is, what of the tunnels? Can't easily bypass the remaining ones. Simple inelegant solution would be to just have the road narrow to four lanes for the tunnels, but then you turn them into bottlenecks again. Could always bore a third (and fourth?) tube, I suppose.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on January 02, 2012, 10:33:07 PM
The tough question regarding six-laning is, what of the tunnels? Can't easily bypass the remaining ones. Simple inelegant solution would be to just have the road narrow to four lanes for the tunnels, but then you turn them into bottlenecks again. Could always bore a third (and fourth?) tube, I suppose.

I would imagine a bypass, if possible.  Many of the former Turnpike tunnels have been bypassed and they have been toying on and off with bypassing the Allegheny Tunnel.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on January 02, 2012, 11:30:30 PM
I would imagine a bypass, if possible.  Many of the former Turnpike tunnels have been bypassed and they have been toying on and off with bypassing the Allegheny Tunnel.

I hope not. One of the "selling points" of the Turnpike originally was that the tunnels allowed the highway to be maintained a low elevation which resulted in much better winter driving conditions than was seen on the existing US 30 (the previous E-W route across PA) where it crossed some of the mountain ridges. Today, the worst conditions on the entire system—icy surface, fog, bad visibility from you-name-it—are found on the bypass of the Sideling Hill and Rays Hill Tunnels, east of Breezewood. There are times when that stretch has the only reduced visibility on the entire Turnpike, and not just in the winter.

Ironically, all of the proposed bypass alignments of the Allegheny Tunnel would see the actual roadway at a lower elevation than the roadway through the current tunnel.

But achieving the same thing for the other tunnels (Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Lehigh) would be either be extremely difficult (to the point of being not feasible) or impossible.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 04, 2012, 12:31:37 AM
Bridge over Pennsylvania Turnpike to reconnect hikers with adventure (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/westmoreland/s_774695.html) - Greensburg Tribune-Review
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 04, 2012, 03:32:40 PM
But achieving the same thing for the other tunnels (Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Lehigh) would be either be extremely difficult (to the point of being not feasible) or impossible.

I'd have to agree with that.  I imagine, even if all the sections around those tunnels are 6-laned, those will be still be 4 lanes for many years to come.
I wonder what would be involved with widening a tunnel to 3 lanes (other than the major traffic disruptions while construction is occurring)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 04, 2012, 10:40:56 PM
But achieving the same thing for the other tunnels (Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Lehigh) would be either be extremely difficult (to the point of being not feasible) or impossible.

I'd have to agree with that.  I imagine, even if all the sections around those tunnels are 6-laned, those will be still be 4 lanes for many years to come.
I wonder what would be involved with widening a tunnel to 3 lanes (other than the major traffic disruptions while construction is occurring)

If the segments of the Penna. Turnpike leading up to the tunnel portals are widened to six (or more) lanes, then it might make operational (but maybe not fiscal) sense to bore two additional tubes through the mountains? 

That would allow (relatively) easy maintenance of any given tube (consider that the Maryland Transportation Authority frequently closes one of the two lane tubes of the Fort McHenry Tunnel (which has a total of four two-lane tubes) for maintenance in the overnight hours). 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 05, 2012, 08:16:45 AM
But achieving the same thing for the other tunnels (Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Lehigh) would be either be extremely difficult (to the point of being not feasible) or impossible.

I'd have to agree with that.  I imagine, even if all the sections around those tunnels are 6-laned, those will be still be 4 lanes for many years to come.
I wonder what would be involved with widening a tunnel to 3 lanes (other than the major traffic disruptions while construction is occurring)

If the segments of the Penna. Turnpike leading up to the tunnel portals are widened to six (or more) lanes, then it might make operational (but maybe not fiscal) sense to bore two additional tubes through the mountains? 

That would allow (relatively) easy maintenance of any given tube (consider that the Maryland Transportation Authority frequently closes one of the two lane tubes of the Fort McHenry Tunnel (which has a total of four two-lane tubes) for maintenance in the overnight hours). 

Widening a 2-lane tube to 3 lanes would probably not be less expensive than building a new 3-lane tube.

They could build a pair of new 3-lane tubes, and close the original tubes.  The advantage here is that the tunnels would match the number of lanes of the widened 6-lane turnpike.

Or --

They could build a pair of 2-lane tubes, and incorporate the existing pair of 2-lane tubes into a 2-2-2-2 lane configuration.  The advantage here is that it would undoubtably have much lower construction costs than the first alternative.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on January 05, 2012, 12:51:55 PM
But achieving the same thing for the other tunnels (Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Lehigh) would be either be extremely difficult (to the point of being not feasible) or impossible.

I'd have to agree with that.  I imagine, even if all the sections around those tunnels are 6-laned, those will be still be 4 lanes for many years to come.
I wonder what would be involved with widening a tunnel to 3 lanes (other than the major traffic disruptions while construction is occurring)

If the segments of the Penna. Turnpike leading up to the tunnel portals are widened to six (or more) lanes, then it might make operational (but maybe not fiscal) sense to bore two additional tubes through the mountains? 

That would allow (relatively) easy maintenance of any given tube (consider that the Maryland Transportation Authority frequently closes one of the two lane tubes of the Fort McHenry Tunnel (which has a total of four two-lane tubes) for maintenance in the overnight hours). 

The other potential advantage to the multiple-tube configuration is that it allows for shutting down one tube in the event of an accident or other problem. You still get traffic problems, but it's not as bad as when something happens halfway through a single-tube tunnel. If you've ever been stuck in the Allegheny Tunnel because someone has a flat tire (happened the last time I went through there), you know what I mean, but I'm thinking in terms of more severe stuff like crashes or an incident where the tunnel might be damaged. The extra tube allows them to maintain tunnel operations even if they have to shut down the affected tube. (I suppose again the Fort McHenry Tunnel is a fine example in that its opening allowed them to shut down portions of the Harbor Tunnel for extended periods for rehabilitation, and I suspect a 2-2-2-2 setup might allow the PTC to do the same thing with their existing tunnels.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 05, 2012, 08:14:24 PM
Auditor general says Turnpike Commission 'in jeopardy' (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12005/1201596-100.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pa. Turnpike Chief Responds to Auditor General Wagner’s Claims of Financial Chaos (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2012/20120105171343.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 05, 2012, 08:30:55 PM
The other potential advantage to the multiple-tube configuration is that it allows for shutting down one tube in the event of an accident or other problem. You still get traffic problems, but it's not as bad as when something happens halfway through a single-tube tunnel. If you've ever been stuck in the Allegheny Tunnel because someone has a flat tire (happened the last time I went through there), you know what I mean, but I'm thinking in terms of more severe stuff like crashes or an incident where the tunnel might be damaged. The extra tube allows them to maintain tunnel operations even if they have to shut down the affected tube. (I suppose again the Fort McHenry Tunnel is a fine example in that its opening allowed them to shut down portions of the Harbor Tunnel for extended periods for rehabilitation, and I suspect a 2-2-2-2 setup might allow the PTC to do the same thing with their existing tunnels.)

Twin tube tunnels have the provision for temporarily closing a tube and maintaining 2-way traffic.  The approach roadways have median crossovers so that 2-way traffic can be handled in one of the tubes.

I experienced this once in the original Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, back in the 1970s.  It was late evening and it seemed odd, but with no real congestion.  FYI, that was before the I-95 tunnel existed.

I will grant that closing a tube on a 2-2-2-2 tunnel would not be nearly as impacting to traffic as closing a tube on a 2-2 tunnel.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 05, 2012, 09:14:34 PM
How about what the Lincoln Tunnel does, 2-2-2? The center tube would normally operate 1/1, but can be converted to 2/0 if one of the other tubes closes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 05, 2012, 10:46:29 PM
How about what the Lincoln Tunnel does, 2-2-2? The center tube would normally operate 1/1, but can be converted to 2/0 if one of the other tubes closes.

Does the Lincoln Tunnel operate that way?

I thought that the center tube runs with both lanes in the direction of peak traffic.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 05, 2012, 11:44:26 PM
Auditor general says Turnpike Commission 'in jeopardy' (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12005/1201596-100.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pa. Turnpike Chief Responds to Auditor General Wagner’s Claims of Financial Chaos (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2012/20120105171343.htm)

This is disturbing.  If I was a holder of Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission-issued bonds, I would be more than disturbed, I would be angry.

Perhaps it's time to end the generous subsidies that the PTC passes along to PennDOT (and I understand that much of the money ends up going to urban transit agencies like SEPTA and the Port Authority of Allegheny County)?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 06, 2012, 02:00:08 PM
Perhaps it's time to end the generous subsidies that the PTC passes along to PennDOT (and I understand that much of the money ends up going to urban transit agencies like SEPTA and the Port Authority of Allegheny County)?

I agree.  Though I do believe the only way to to get that done is to repeal Act 44.
Ironically, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) components of Act 44, tolling I-80, was rejected because it would fund stuff other than I-80.  Instead, the Turnpike, which was self-sufficient, now has to give the state (via higher tolls from TPK users) money (a generous amount, as you put it) for stuff other than the Turnpike.

I get that the way things are let that happen, as I-80 was built with federal money, and federal rules apply to it that do not with the Turnpike.... But I have to say that this current situation -- and I'll admit to bias since I use the TPK frequently and I-80 rarely -- right now is BULLSHIT.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 06, 2012, 04:18:47 PM
Is it allowed in PA to ask voters to approve an incremental sales tax addition for transportation like in san Diego?  It is my understanding that Allegheny county has a 1% dedicated sales tax to finance the stadiums, that was voter approved, if so why not try a 1/4% sales tax for transportation?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on January 06, 2012, 05:14:38 PM
I get that the way things are let that happen, as I-80 was built with federal money, and federal rules apply to it that do not with the Turnpike.... But I have to say that this current situation -- and I'll admit to bias since I use the TPK frequently and I-80 rarely -- right now is BULLSHIT.

Well, as the Feds rarely give up power, the only way this will be balanced is if the Feds regulate the PTC as well.  Do you really want that?  IMHO, that would only make things even worse than they are now.

And, I'll admit to my bias as I use I-80 a few times a year and my dad uses it frequently while we rarely use the PTC and NEVER any transit services.  And, with the latest PTC cash-only increases, the next time I have to go between Bloomsburg and say the Philly airport, I plan on shunpiking.  Instead of I-476 to I-80, I'll likely take I-476 to US 422 (via I-76 and US 202) to Reading, take one of the Reading bypasses and PA 61 and PA 42 to Bloomsburg.

EDIT:
What about kicking out the idiots who passed Act 44?  Since they are most likely from Philly or Pittsburgh, it should be relatively easy to do.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 06, 2012, 06:15:18 PM
The standard solutions are already being thrown about:  raise gas tax, raise registration, raise driver license fees, etc.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on January 06, 2012, 09:43:51 PM
The bottom line here is that in Pennsylvania, as in most other states, politics trumps common sense!  :banghead:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: yakra on January 07, 2012, 10:17:39 AM
And, with the latest PTC cash-only increases, the next time I have to go between Bloomsburg and say the Philly airport, I plan on shunpiking.  Instead of I-476 to I-80, I'll likely take I-476 to US 422 (via I-76 and US 202) to Reading, take one of the Reading bypasses and PA 61 and PA 42 to Bloomsburg.
Careful your tires don't melt! ;) :D

I've wanted to give that a try, but despite being thru that corridor 3 times, I've only done PA662 &  PA73
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on January 07, 2012, 02:27:34 PM
In general, I am skeptical of pretty much ANY report that a partisan state auditor releases, mainly because elected auditors can and do use their offices and positions for political purposes. (It happened with Kentucky's elected Auditor of Public Accounts many times during her recently-concluded eight-year tenure).

But it looks to me like this report is more critical of Act 44 than the PTC itself. Sounds to me like the PA auditor general is trying to score political points by pushing for the repeal of Act 44, and pandering to the public sentiment opposing the toll increases.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on January 07, 2012, 05:13:39 PM
How about what the Lincoln Tunnel does, 2-2-2? The center tube would normally operate 1/1, but can be converted to 2/0 if one of the other tubes closes.

Does the Lincoln Tunnel operate that way?

I thought that the center tube runs with both lanes in the direction of peak traffic.

Off-peak and on the weekend the Lincoln Tunnel and NJ 495 leading up to it operates with three lanes in each direction. During rush hours, one lane of the reverse-peak roadway is cannibalized for a contraflow bus lane, and this operation continues into the tunnel. So, you have the two outer tubes carrying two lanes of general traffic in their respective direction, and the center tube carrying a lane of general traffic plus a bus lane in the peak direction.

The Turnpike tunnels don't have directional peaking issues, nor is the Turnpike likely to be designed to have the contraflow setup NJ 495 has - so a three tube system would likely operate 2-1/1-2 all the time, with the option to close one tube at a time for maintenance or in case of emergency.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: goobnav on January 07, 2012, 07:25:04 PM
Yakra,

Thank you for pointing out Centralia but, as a native of NE PA, please don't make light of it. 

Yes, the mine fire is still burning and PA 61 goes through there but, it's not funny.  I suggest you take that drive there and you'll see it.

Non-toll alternates to Philly International not worth the extra gas and time spent.  Yeah, the tolls are high but, take into account the extra gas alone and it's not worth it.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on January 07, 2012, 08:04:54 PM
Yakra,

Thank you for pointing out Centralia but, as a native of NE PA, please don't make light of it. 
Where there's heat there's light...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: J N Winkler on January 07, 2012, 09:48:42 PM
The standard solutions are already being thrown about:  raise gas tax, raise registration, raise driver license fees, etc.

I have had a look at some of the recommendations from the governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.  It does not state whether the fuel tax is protected from diversion (only that the Pennsylvania constitution prohibits use of the fuel tax for mass transit), or go into details on any state/local split that may be involved.  Pennsylvania however has a fairly high marginal fuel tax (32c/gallon, variously described as 13th or 14th highest in the US).  A graph on page 11 of the report suggests that about $5 billion is spent annually on transportation needs in Pennsylvania, broken up among various agencies.  A table on page 12 says that PennDOT's current funding from the Motor License Fund (its only funding source?) is $2.3 billion.  The Pennsylvania State Police gets $556 million from the same source.  (Why so much on law enforcement?)

The report presents a bottom-line scenario in which funding gaps are met at an added cost to the typical driver (from uncapping of the oil franchise tax, slightly higher annual cost to keep a valid driver's license, etc.) of 70c per week.  It does not, however, address the question of whether PennDOT (and other transportation providers in Pennsylvania) spend perhaps too much on lightly used roads and bridges which should be downgraded, load-posted, or abandoned.  It also evades the explosive question of PennDOT's total factor productivity compared to peer state DOTs.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 07, 2012, 10:18:40 PM
Off-peak and on the weekend the Lincoln Tunnel and NJ 495 leading up to it operates with three lanes in each direction. During rush hours, one lane of the reverse-peak roadway is cannibalized for a contraflow bus lane, and this operation continues into the tunnel. So, you have the two outer tubes carrying two lanes of general traffic in their respective direction, and the center tube carrying a lane of general traffic plus a bus lane in the peak direction.

The Turnpike tunnels don't have directional peaking issues, nor is the Turnpike likely to be designed to have the contraflow setup NJ 495 has - so a three tube system would likely operate 2-1/1-2 all the time, with the option to close one tube at a time for maintenance or in case of emergency.

Routine 2-way traffic in a tube on an Interstate highway, would not meet Interstate standards, though.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on January 08, 2012, 11:10:18 AM
Routine 2-way traffic in a tube on an Interstate highway, would not meet Interstate standards, though.

Why not?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on January 08, 2012, 03:41:53 PM
Yakra,

Thank you for pointing out Centralia but, as a native of NE PA, please don't make light of it. 

Yes, the mine fire is still burning and PA 61 goes through there but, it's not funny.  I suggest you take that drive there and you'll see it.

Might be something worthy of a meet sometime.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2012, 09:50:22 PM
Routine 2-way traffic in a tube on an Interstate highway, would not meet Interstate standards, though.

Why not?

Interstate standards include having opposing traffic divided by a median, and with at least 2 lanes each way.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 08, 2012, 11:25:35 PM
Yakra,

Thank you for pointing out Centralia but, as a native of NE PA, please don't make light of it. 

Yes, the mine fire is still burning and PA 61 goes through there but, it's not funny.  I suggest you take that drive there and you'll see it.

Might be something worthy of a meet sometime.

It was back in 2003 and 2004.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on January 09, 2012, 10:25:17 AM

Might be something worthy of a meet sometime.

It was back in 2003 and 2004.

Darn, hate I missed those.

Interstate standards include having opposing traffic divided by a median, and with at least 2 lanes each way.

The Thousand Islands Bridge begs to differ...

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6161/6173316660_435cafcb3e.jpg)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: goobnav on January 09, 2012, 11:58:10 AM
hb,

Pahighways has great pictures on that site from that meet.  I highly recommend checking them out.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 09, 2012, 12:38:53 PM
Interstate standards include having opposing traffic divided by a median, and with at least 2 lanes each way.

The Thousand Islands Bridge begs to differ...

It's not built to Interstate standards.

Given that the bridges and approaches include 2-lane segments in Canada, it could be argued that the U.S. segment is not really part of the U.S. Interstate system.

In any event, posting an Interstate shield on it does not mean that it's built to Interstate standards.  Using it as an example here is using the "argument by exception" logical fallacy.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on January 09, 2012, 03:20:24 PM
Are tunnels banned from having medians in them?  I see no reason why the center tube couldn't have a jersey barrier in the center.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 09, 2012, 04:51:50 PM
Debt Demands of Act 44 Could Hamper Turnpike (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12009/1202310-147-0.stm) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 09, 2012, 05:37:49 PM
Are tunnels banned from having medians in them?  I see no reason why the center tube couldn't have a jersey barrier in the center.

I doubt there is room in the tubes for wide enough lanes AND a median.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 09, 2012, 05:46:45 PM
Are tunnels banned from having medians in them?  I see no reason why the center tube couldn't have a jersey barrier in the center.

I doubt there is room in the tubes for wide enough lanes AND a median.

The concrete median barrier is 24 inches wide at the base.  A Lincoln Tunnel tube could ill afford to lose 2 feet of roadway.  The barrier would also prevent traffic from moving around a blocked lane.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 09, 2012, 08:07:01 PM
Are tunnels banned from having medians in them?  I see no reason why the center tube couldn't have a jersey barrier in the center.
You'd want to make sure to have what one might call "passing roadway width" on either side of the median barrier. Based on NYSDOT standards that would be about 21' or 22' - you can get it down to 19' if you ban trucks, but then you have trouble if one of the other tubes gets shut down. Not that it's a dealbreaker, but it makes it a lot costlier to construct, and might even be more than two smaller tubes. Quick math:
2 x 2-lane tunnels vs. 1 x 2-lane with median
Roadway box 24 x 16 vs. roadway box 45 x 16
Radii to box corners are roughly 14.4 vs. 27.6
Allow some tunnel wall thickness (say 2.5') to bring it up to R=17' vs. R=30'
Therefore bored areas would be 289 x 2 vs. 900...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 10, 2012, 08:46:57 AM
Perhaps it's time to end the generous subsidies that the PTC passes along to PennDOT (and I understand that much of the money ends up going to urban transit agencies like SEPTA and the Port Authority of Allegheny County)?

I agree.  Though I do believe the only way to to get that done is to repeal Act 44.
Ironically, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) components of Act 44, tolling I-80, was rejected because it would fund stuff other than I-80.  Instead, the Turnpike, which was self-sufficient, now has to give the state (via higher tolls from TPK users) money (a generous amount, as you put it) for stuff other than the Turnpike.

The plan by Pennsylvania's politicians to toll I-80 was never going to meet with federal government approval (and it was properly rejected, first by the Bush (43) Administration, then by the Obama Administration) given the wording of the federal statute that establishes the authority to toll existing "free" Interstates. 

Some (including, in particular, the unions that represent at least some urban transit workers in Pennsylvania) thought that the Obama Administration would approve tolling I-80 even though it had been rejected by the previous administration.  They were wrong.

The toll revenues have to stay in the corridor where they were collected and benefit the users of the highway being tolled - and clearly that was not what Act 44 envisioned - as best as I could tell, Act 44 envisioned I-80 as a cash cow, with most of the revenues diverted to transit subsidies and highway projects having little or nothing to do with I-80.

What nobody in in power Pennsylvania seems to understand is this - tolling I-80 and keeping the toll revenues to maintain, repair (and even upgrade!) I-80 would free up at least some PennDOT dollars which could be spent elsewhere.  Maybe not as much as the endless flow of cash that Act 44 assumed, but it would save PennDOT some dollars.

And from a crassly political perspective, tolling I-80 makes plenty of sense, because so little of Pennsylvania's population lives near I-80.  In that way, it's much like I-95 in North and South Carolina. 

Quote
I get that the way things are let that happen, as I-80 was built with federal money, and federal rules apply to it that do not with the Turnpike.... But I have to say that this current situation -- and I'll admit to bias since I use the TPK frequently and I-80 rarely -- right now is BULLSHIT.

Agreed.

I have driven on I-80 in Pennsylvania maybe once or twice - in my life.  I drive parts of the Pennsylvania Turnpike system more frequently.  <smile>

However, I agree with you that the current situation in Pennsylvania is profoundly unfair to patrons of the existing Turnpike.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on January 10, 2012, 12:14:24 PM
^^^
I wonder why that situation has been allowed to continue.  As in earlier rants on the tolling debate, the political power in the state rests where most of the people are.   That is in the Philly and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas.  And, to a lesser degree (ABE, WB/Scranton, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster, Erie, etc.)

So, in theory, there is enough voter influence to do what the voters want especially compared to the sparse northern PA population.

My guess is that the Turnpike generates too much money to de-toll it.  So, I think that was part of the 80 tolling legislation, flawed though it was.

IMO, what should be done is that ALL interstates and other freeway grade highways in the state should be tolled and tolled at the same per mile rate.  Plus, tolls on any given segment could only be used on that segment.

Of course, at the present time, any tolling of a "free" highway in PA or pretty much anywhere is a dead issue unless new legislation is passed on the Federal level as IIRC, the pilot legislation slots are now filled.
__________________________________________________________________

On a different vein, the tolled turnpike vs "free" I-80 may not be fair.  But, there aren't many jobs in the I-80 corridor either.  Or, for that matter, in the rural areas along the turnpike between Philly, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.  Which is not "fair" either.

But, hey, life isn't fair!  And, no amount of legislation can fix more that a fraction of that.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: surferdude on January 10, 2012, 05:49:33 PM
Let us not forget that I-80 through Pennsylvania has the highest amount of truck traffic on any of the Interstates in PA.  Many private truck operators will drive around the turnpike since I-80 is free.  At most interchanges they would have to retool the ramps for toll booths and also staff toll collectors as well.  Start up cost would be tremendous and costly.  In the long run it would generate money for roads, which what they want, but at what cost.  I know when they changed PA 60 to I-376, the toll remained at Beaver Falls (Chippewa) to New Castle.  But in tolling I-80 there would be no major route that travels East to West that would be free.  Once they put the tolls on they are not going to take it off, and to me it seems once they get one interstate on there that that would grab the rest of the roads because people will drive around tolls.  Which there are major Routes to the South (I-68 and I-70) in Maryland and West Virgina and I-86 in Pennsylvania and New York.  To me this will take away from monies that the state will need, the traffic can and will go else where and with them people will travel around it.  I also remember they also wanted to introduce legislation to disband the Turnpike and have it absorbed into PennDOT, problem is with that is some of the Districts do not even have a part of the Turnpike in it.  They also where thinking of Privatizing the Turnpike, a lot of money up front but, that would only be a band-aid for the present and 10 years down the road there would they would need more.  Pennsylvania has a lot of bridges from the rivers, creeks, lakes, and streams that the road has to cross, unfortunately here we own a lot of the bridges, there are a few here and there that are owned by the county and even fewer at the municipal level. They are not cheap to fix and also maintain.  It is a quandry that many states are in because the cost of the economy has been horrible what is worse that many of the states rely on the gas tax, which because of the price of gas less people have money to go places.  I am not happy with the oil companies. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on January 10, 2012, 07:55:25 PM
At most interchanges they would have to retool the ramps for toll booths and also staff toll collectors as well.  Start up cost would be tremendous and costly.  In the long run it would generate money for roads, which what they want, but at what cost.

Didn't the I-80 tolling proposal involve only open-road tolling (ORT)?

…what is worse that many of the states rely on the gas tax, which because of the price of gas less people have money to go places.  I am not happy with the oil companies. 

Actually, the price per gallon of gasoline is lower today in terms of consumer purchasing power (IOW, as compared to pay scales) than it was in the 1950s.

Pennsylvania has a lot of bridges from the rivers, creeks, lakes, and streams that the road has to cross, unfortunately here we own a lot of the bridges, there are a few here and there that are owned by the county and even fewer at the municipal level. They are not cheap to fix and also maintain.

As a recent former PennDOT employee (District 6), I can vouch for that. If I recall correctly, PennDOT is responsible for more miles of local road than any other state DOT (as a percentage of total state road miles or whichever way one wishes to measure it). It's a crushing, both from a cost and a man-hours standpoint. I worked closely with the PennDOT maintenance units in each county. There isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done that they have responsibility for. I don't know how they accomplish as much as they do. (Contrary to the old days—and the old jokes—they actually work extremely hard.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 10, 2012, 08:08:34 PM
At most interchanges they would have to retool the ramps for toll booths and also staff toll collectors as well.  Start up cost would be tremendous and costly.  In the long run it would generate money for roads, which what they want, but at what cost.

Didn't the I-80 tolling proposal involve only open-road tolling (ORT)?

It would have been ORT (10 E-ZPass gantries at 30 mile intervals).

There were maps and an illustration on the PTC's page about tolling 80 before it was deleted.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on January 10, 2012, 09:29:18 PM
Let us not forget that I-80 through Pennsylvania has the highest amount of truck traffic on any of the Interstates in PA.  Many private truck operators will drive around the turnpike since I-80 is free.

Given the cost of fuel and time, is it really possible that any money could be saved by driving that far north out of the way to use I-80 for any destination that would be served by I-76?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 10, 2012, 09:33:40 PM
PennDOT employee (District 6), I can vouch for that. If I recall correctly, PennDOT is responsible for more miles of local road than any other state DOT (as a percentage of total state road miles or whichever way one wishes to measure it). It's a crushing, both from a cost and a man-hours standpoint. I worked closely with the PennDOT maintenance units in each county. There isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done that they have responsibility for. I don't know how they accomplish as much as they do. (Contrary to the old days—and the old jokes—they actually work extremely hard.)

There are 3 state DOTs that are responsible for more miles of local road than PennDOT -- TxDOT, NCDOT and VDOT.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: goobnav on January 11, 2012, 09:41:55 AM
On the road tolling is working, they just implemented it here in NC.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on January 11, 2012, 10:35:32 AM
There are 3 state DOTs that are responsible for more miles of local road than PennDOT -- TxDOT, NCDOT and VDOT.

Thanks for the correction/clarification. I knew PennDOT was at least near the top in that metric.

Question: For the three states you list, is that in terms of absolute number of miles of state DOT-maintained local road, or state DOT-maintained local road miles as a percentage of total road miles in the state? IOW, is that an absolute number or a percentage number? I can certainly see TxDOT being responsible for more absolute local road miles than PennDOT, but as a percentage of total road miles, not so sure.

Anyway, I don't want to get to far in the weeds (and I certainly don't want to imply a my-Pop-can-beat-up-their-Pop attitude). Jes' wonderin'.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on January 11, 2012, 10:56:29 AM
The other potential advantage to the multiple-tube configuration is that it allows for shutting down one tube in the event of an accident or other problem. You still get traffic problems, but it's not as bad as when something happens halfway through a single-tube tunnel. If you've ever been stuck in the Allegheny Tunnel because someone has a flat tire (happened the last time I went through there), you know what I mean, but I'm thinking in terms of more severe stuff like crashes or an incident where the tunnel might be damaged. The extra tube allows them to maintain tunnel operations even if they have to shut down the affected tube. (I suppose again the Fort McHenry Tunnel is a fine example in that its opening allowed them to shut down portions of the Harbor Tunnel for extended periods for rehabilitation, and I suspect a 2-2-2-2 setup might allow the PTC to do the same thing with their existing tunnels.)

Twin tube tunnels have the provision for temporarily closing a tube and maintaining 2-way traffic.  The approach roadways have median crossovers so that 2-way traffic can be handled in one of the tubes.

I experienced this once in the original Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, back in the 1970s.  It was late evening and it seemed odd, but with no real congestion.  FYI, that was before the I-95 tunnel existed.

I will grant that closing a tube on a 2-2-2-2 tunnel would not be nearly as impacting to traffic as closing a tube on a 2-2 tunnel.

You're correct, although the point I was getting at was the one in your final sentence. Among other reasons, stopping the traffic in both directions in order to clear the lane that has to be reversed and to ensure that nobody drives into the other lane is a major hassle and causes massive delays. Being able to close one tube on a 2-2-2-2 (or similar design) at least eliminates the need to stop the traffic going the other way.


There are 3 state DOTs that are responsible for more miles of local road than PennDOT -- TxDOT, NCDOT and VDOT.

Thanks for the correction/clarification. I knew PennDOT was at least near the top in that metric.

Question: For the three states you list, is that in terms of absolute number of miles of state DOT-maintained local road, or state DOT-maintained local road miles as a percentage of total road miles in the state? IOW, is that an absolute number or a percentage number? I can certainly see TxDOT being responsible for more absolute local road miles than PennDOT, but as a percentage of total road miles, not so sure.

Anyway, I don't want to get to far in the weeds (and I certainly don't want to imply a my-Pop-can-beat-up-their-Pop attitude). Jes' wonderin'.

I'd be willing to make an educated guess that in Virginia's case it's both raw miles and percentage-wise. Virginia has a tad under 58,000 miles of state-maintained highways, and those include many roads that in other states might be considered "local." Two counties maintain their own roads (except Interstates) for historical reasons, and the independent cities all maintain their own roads. There are also some other roads that are not the responsibility of any governmental entity; most often those are the responsibility of homeowners' associations and the like. At least here in Fairfax County, often when a planned community is built the street that leads in and out will become part of the "VDOT system" while the streets on which people live (which are often, though certainly not always, cul-de-sacs) are left to the HOA. My street is maintained by the HOA and gets paved more frequently, and to a higher standard, than the VDOT-maintained street that connects my street to the primary grid.

On the whole, I wouldn't be surprised to find that over 90% of the roads in Virginia are part of the "VDOT system," though I do not know the exact figure. I base this estimate on the fact that the independent cities are generally relatively small geographically, although I suppose it's fair to note that they often have fairly dense street systems, as do the two counties that maintain their own roads. froggie could probably quote a more exact percentage.


Edited to add: Found the numbers on VDOT's site. The VDOT system includes 57,867 miles of state-maintained roads: 1,118 of Interstates, 8,111 of primary highways, 48,305 of secondary highways, and 333 of frontage roads. There are another 10,561 miles of roads maintained by cities and towns, plus 1,279 miles maintained by Henrico County, 359 miles maintained by Arlington County, and 39 miles of privately-maintained toll roads. Total mileage, then, is 70,105, and the "VDOT system" represents 82.54% of that. So my estimate was a little bit high.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: dfilpus on January 11, 2012, 01:11:14 PM
North Carolina DOT maintains about 78000 miles of state-owned and maintained highways out of about 100000 miles of roads total, for a percentage of 78%. The rest are maintained either by municipalities or federal agencies, such as the National Park Service (the Blue Ridge Parkway) and the US Forest Service.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: J N Winkler on January 11, 2012, 06:34:44 PM
I can certainly see TxDOT being responsible for more absolute local road miles than PennDOT, but as a percentage of total road miles, not so sure.

I think TxDOT is responsible for about 77,000 miles out of 350,000 total in Texas.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 11, 2012, 09:43:31 PM
Twin tube tunnels have the provision for temporarily closing a tube and maintaining 2-way traffic.  The approach roadways have median crossovers so that 2-way traffic can be handled in one of the tubes.

I experienced this once in the original Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, back in the 1970s.  It was late evening and it seemed odd, but with no real congestion.  FYI, that was before the I-95 tunnel existed.

I will grant that closing a tube on a 2-2-2-2 tunnel would not be nearly as impacting to traffic as closing a tube on a 2-2 tunnel.

You're correct, although the point I was getting at was the one in your final sentence. Among other reasons, stopping the traffic in both directions in order to clear the lane that has to be reversed and to ensure that nobody drives into the other lane is a major hassle and causes massive delays. Being able to close one tube on a 2-2-2-2 (or similar design) at least eliminates the need to stop the traffic going the other way.

It's a lot simpler than that ... while traffic operates continually in the right lane, change the signals for the left lane to RED, wait for the lane to empty, then direct the opposing traffic to that lane.  Each direction sees GREEN signals for the right lane and RED signals for the left lane.



Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 12, 2012, 10:02:21 PM
On the road tolling is working, they just implemented it here in NC.

We got there a few months before you here in Maryland. <smile>

And north  of the border, Ontario got there with Highway 407 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Highway_407) as far back as 1997 (the provincial government sold it off to the private sector in 1999 (details here (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/2228)) under a long-term (99 year) concession).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 14, 2012, 01:53:40 PM
The other potential advantage to the multiple-tube configuration is that it allows for shutting down one tube in the event of an accident or other problem. You still get traffic problems, but it's not as bad as when something happens halfway through a single-tube tunnel. If you've ever been stuck in the Allegheny Tunnel because someone has a flat tire (happened the last time I went through there), you know what I mean, but I'm thinking in terms of more severe stuff like crashes or an incident where the tunnel might be damaged. The extra tube allows them to maintain tunnel operations even if they have to shut down the affected tube. (I suppose again the Fort McHenry Tunnel is a fine example in that its opening allowed them to shut down portions of the Harbor Tunnel for extended periods for rehabilitation, and I suspect a 2-2-2-2 setup might allow the PTC to do the same thing with their existing tunnels.)

Twin tube tunnels have the provision for temporarily closing a tube and maintaining 2-way traffic.  The approach roadways have median crossovers so that 2-way traffic can be handled in one of the tubes.

I experienced this once in the original Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, back in the 1970s.  It was late evening and it seemed odd, but with no real congestion.  FYI, that was before the I-95 tunnel existed.

I will grant that closing a tube on a 2-2-2-2 tunnel would not be nearly as impacting to traffic as closing a tube on a 2-2 tunnel.

You're correct, although the point I was getting at was the one in your final sentence. Among other reasons, stopping the traffic in both directions in order to clear the lane that has to be reversed and to ensure that nobody drives into the other lane is a major hassle and causes massive delays. Being able to close one tube on a 2-2-2-2 (or similar design) at least eliminates the need to stop the traffic going the other way.
What? You're not stopping any traffic if you need to reverse a lane. You close the third lane in the unaffected direction, then run a maintenance or police car through as the last car. Once you've verified the lane is clear, flip directions and open it to the affected traffic. That's really not a hassle.

EDIT: Yeah, what he said, but still run your own car through first.
It's a lot simpler than that ... while traffic operates continually in the right lane, change the signals for the left lane to RED, wait for the lane to empty, then direct the opposing traffic to that lane.  Each direction sees GREEN signals for the right lane and RED signals for the left lane.
Title: MOVED: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 14, 2012, 01:59:14 PM
As requested (or even before I saw the request), I split off the VA SR 7100 discussion to the appropriate Mid-Atlantic (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?board=4) board.

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5948.0 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5948.0)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on January 14, 2012, 07:40:54 PM
I will grant that closing a tube on a 2-2-2-2 tunnel would not be nearly as impacting to traffic as closing a tube on a 2-2 tunnel.

You're correct, although the point I was getting at was the one in your final sentence. Among other reasons, stopping the traffic in both directions in order to clear the lane that has to be reversed and to ensure that nobody drives into the other lane is a major hassle and causes massive delays. Being able to close one tube on a 2-2-2-2 (or similar design) at least eliminates the need to stop the traffic going the other way.
What? You're not stopping any traffic if you need to reverse a lane. You close the third lane in the unaffected direction, then run a maintenance or police car through as the last car. Once you've verified the lane is clear, flip directions and open it to the affected traffic. That's really not a hassle.

EDIT: Yeah, what he said, but still run your own car through first.
It's a lot simpler than that ... while traffic operates continually in the right lane, change the signals for the left lane to RED, wait for the lane to empty, then direct the opposing traffic to that lane.  Each direction sees GREEN signals for the right lane and RED signals for the left lane.

I assumed that a tunnel today would have enough CCTV cameras to view the entire tunnel area, and provide the ability to verify that the lane was clear.

The original surveilance method was to have patrol officers stationed throughout the tunnel, at least enough to visually cover the tunnel area, and the ability to report what they see by telephone or radio.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 25, 2012, 08:33:05 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5715)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on January 25, 2012, 09:44:25 AM
I assumed that a tunnel today would have enough CCTV cameras to view the entire tunnel area, and provide the ability to verify that the lane was clear.

The original surveilance method was to have patrol officers stationed throughout the tunnel, at least enough to visually cover the tunnel area, and the ability to report what they see by telephone or radio.

I don't know what they do in Pennsylvania, but my assumption—which is based on my experiences the last several times through the Allegheny Tunnel—is that at least some of the tunnels on the Turnpike don't have CCTV cameras, or don't have full coverage with such a system. I've gotten stuck a couple of times in backups due to breakdowns and the like where it seemed like the authorities must have had no idea what was going on due to the length of the backup. (The most recent was on the way home from the 2011 Winter Classic when some woman in a #87 Pittsburgh t-shirt was attempting to change a flat in the right lane. I restrained myself from being the asshole opposing fan who would heckle as I drove past.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 25, 2012, 11:05:41 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5715)

least useful news article ever.

what's next? "EVENT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE OCCURRED." ?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 25, 2012, 01:40:18 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5715)

That's news to me as I haven't heard anything in the news about any crackdown, unless they are sweeping from east to west.

Quote
No confirmation yet, or official comment.

If the writer is typing this (and obviously thinking this), then the article should not be posted otherwise it isn't news, it is hearsay.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 25, 2012, 06:36:41 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5715)

That's news to me as I haven't heard anything in the news about any crackdown, unless they are sweeping from east to west.

Quote
No confirmation yet, or official comment.

If the writer is typing this (and obviously thinking this), then the article should not be posted otherwise it isn't news, it is hearsay.
Tollroadsblog.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 06, 2012, 05:26:11 PM
Pa. Turnpike Announces Completion of All-Electronic Tolling Feasibility Report (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2012/20120306101700.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 07, 2012, 04:46:53 PM
Pa. Turnpike Announces Completion of All-Electronic Tolling Feasibility Report (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2012/20120306101700.htm)

Peter Samuel is (in general) a fan of all-electronic tolling. His thoughts:

Pennsylvania Turnpike report on all-electronic tolling (AET) is favorable - proceeding with more detailed work before 'go' decision (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5796)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 07, 2012, 07:15:29 PM
Pa. Turnpike Announces Completion of All-Electronic Tolling Feasibility Report (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2012/20120306101700.htm)

Interesting comment in the AET report (linked from the press release you linked above) on physical page 39 (with emphasis added):

Quote
Additional interchanges would be much more feasible with AET due to the lower costs and reduced right-of-way requirements. New interchanges could be constructed to provide Turnpike access at interstates and other major highways which now lack a direct connection.

So AET on the Pennsylvania Turnpike would (potentially) anger the toll collector's union and property owners near the Turnpike's non-interchanges at Breezewood (!), Carlisle, Bedford, Somerset and Pocono.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on March 08, 2012, 11:53:58 AM
Not breezewood; the right of way was set aside when I-70 was constructed.  If it weren't for crybaby businesses, there would be a direct connection there.  The others, don't hold your breath.  The PTC moves at a glacial pace when it comes to roadway and interchange improvements.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on March 08, 2012, 02:06:41 PM
If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 08, 2012, 03:13:08 PM
If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

eh, this is the state where Bud Shuster can rewrite the interstate numbering scheme.  I wouldn't put anything past anyone.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: bsmart on March 08, 2012, 07:49:03 PM
If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

As a driver who has to navigate Breezewood on a regular basis I've always been interested in it.  I was told years ago that it was written into the Defense Highway act that a direct connection there was forbidden.  Maybe it is just an urban legend.

By the way when I was through there last week it wassurprising how deteriorated and run down the Breezewood area is.  many of the longtime 'fueling stops' appear to be closed, some even abandoned
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 08, 2012, 08:34:24 PM
If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

As a driver who has to navigate Breezewood on a regular basis I've always been interested in it.  I was told years ago that it was written into the Defense Highway act that a direct connection there was forbidden.  Maybe it is just an urban legend.

No, the original Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 (a/k/a National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627)) did not fund "direct" connections between already-built toll roads like the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the then-new "free" Interstates like I-70 east (really south) of Breezewood.  That is  why there were breezewoods along many of the toll roads in the East and Midwest, including the N.Y. State Thruway (a breezewood at I-84/Newburgh was only recently remediated), the N.J. Turnpike (there's a breezewood between Turnpike Exits 2 and 3 where there is no connection to I-76/N.J. 42 (and the ACE)) and the Ohio Turnpike (several breezewoods along the Ohio Turnpike were remediated over the past 10 or 20 years).

Quote
By the way when I was through there last week it wassurprising how deteriorated and run down the Breezewood area is.  many of the longtime 'fueling stops' appear to be closed, some even abandoned

Last time I was through there, I noticed that as well.  Maybe more people have decided to not patronize businesses at Breezewood?  I never, ever stop to patronize any businesses there - instead, I stop on the Turnpike or, even better, in Hancock, Maryland, so Pennsylvania gets less of my dollars.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on March 09, 2012, 09:07:15 AM
If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

As a driver who has to navigate Breezewood on a regular basis I've always been interested in it.  I was told years ago that it was written into the Defense Highway act that a direct connection there was forbidden.  Maybe it is just an urban legend.

No, the original Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 (a/k/a National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627)) did not fund "direct" connections between already-built toll roads like the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the then-new "free" Interstates like I-70 east (really south) of Breezewood.  That is  why there were breezewoods along many of the toll roads in the East and Midwest, including the N.Y. State Thruway (a breezewood at I-84/Newburgh was only recently remediated), the N.J. Turnpike (there's a breezewood between Turnpike Exits 2 and 3 where there is no connection to I-76/N.J. 42 (and the ACE)) and the Ohio Turnpike (several breezewoods along the Ohio Turnpike were remediated over the past 10 or 20 years).

....

From what I read, it was a little more complicated than "not funding direct connections." The original statute said that federal funding could be used to build a direct connection "to a point where such project will have some use irrespective of its use for such toll road, bridge, or tunnel." Apparently the FHWA interpreted this as meaning that if federal dollars had been used to bypass Breezewood, the PTC would have had to agree to stop collecting tolls once the bonds were retired, and the PTC refused. The PTC could have paid for a direct connection itself, of course, but didn't. The law has since been amended.

The only time I've ever stopped in Breezewood was at the McDonald's on top of the hill there on Boy Scout trips to Seven Springs when I was a kid, and that was a function of (a) I wasn't driving and the adults decided to stop there; and (b) when there were seven or eight cars full of Boy Scouts making the trip from the DC area, Breezewood WAS a logical place to stop to regroup to confirm nobody got lost or anything like that. Nowadays if I'm coming back down the Turnpike from the west my inclination is to exit at Bedford and take either US-220 to the Cumberland area (I-68) or US-30 east to I-70, simply because the Breezewood toll plaza can be a bottleneck. The one exception to that was last year on the way home from the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. While we sat in a 15- to 20-minute backup due to the toll plaza, the number of cars flying Capitals flags and stuff and beeping horns in celebration of the win made it fun.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: stridentweasel on March 25, 2012, 01:13:34 PM
Quote
By the way when I was through there last week it wassurprising how deteriorated and run down the Breezewood area is.  many of the longtime 'fueling stops' appear to be closed, some even abandoned

Last time I was through there, I noticed that as well.  Maybe more people have decided to not patronize businesses at Breezewood?  I never, ever stop to patronize any businesses there - instead, I stop on the Turnpike or, even better, in Hancock, Maryland, so Pennsylvania gets less of my dollars.

I patronize businesses in Breezewood every time I go through there, because it's an Interstate oddity.  Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near there, so I've only been able to do this three times thus far.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on March 25, 2012, 06:59:24 PM

I patronize businesses in Breezewood every time I go through there, because it's an Interstate oddity.  Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near there, so I've only been able to do this three times thus far.
Your username is very apt.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on May 04, 2012, 10:01:39 PM
I happened to notice a bill in PA's legislative system that would permit the PA Turnpike to increase its speed limit to 70 MPH.  No action on it yet.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2119&pn=2949
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on May 04, 2012, 11:47:55 PM
Another PA Turnpike note:  The website for the reconstruction/widening from PA 8 to PA 28 is now up, the work is scheduled over 6 years, with many bridge replacements required for advance work.  It looks like because of all the bridge work, that the mainline widening will be split in half with one half done about 2-3 years before the other half.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on May 05, 2012, 09:25:24 AM
What this proves is that the standards a road was built to have nothing to do with what speed limit the state decides to set it to.
I happened to notice a bill in PA's legislative system that would permit the PA Turnpike to increase its speed limit to 70 MPH.  No action on it yet.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2119&pn=2949
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on May 08, 2012, 11:12:37 PM
Update on the 70 MPH bill.  It has passed the House Transportation Committee.  AAA supports the bill and the Turnpike Commission is neutral.

http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2012/05/bill-boosting-turnpike-speed-limit-to-70-mph-advances.html

Quote
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Joseph Preston, D-Allegheny, said that he wanted to give authorities an option to raise the speed limit in certain areas, should they choose. He pointed to similar systems in Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Preston said that vehicles and turnpike facilities had improved since the legislature raised the speed limit to 65 miles an hour in 1995, and a further increase could only be a benefit.
Transportation Committee Chairman Richard Geist, R-Blair, said that though three legislators on the committee voted against it, the bill will likely pass.
He also said the increased speed limit might make the roadway more attractive to motorists. As it stands, he said, there is little difference now compared with the increased limit.
“If you go 65 on the turnpike, you’ll get run over,” Geist said.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on May 09, 2012, 12:08:40 AM
Update on the 70 MPH bill.  It has passed the House Transportation Committee.  AAA supports the bill and the Turnpike Commission is neutral.

http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2012/05/bill-boosting-turnpike-speed-limit-to-70-mph-advances.html

Quote
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Joseph Preston, D-Allegheny, said that he wanted to give authorities an option to raise the speed limit in certain areas, should they choose. He pointed to similar systems in Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Preston said that vehicles and turnpike facilities had improved since the legislature raised the speed limit to 65 miles an hour in 1995, and a further increase could only be a benefit.
Transportation Committee Chairman Richard Geist, R-Blair, said that though three legislators on the committee voted against it, the bill will likely pass.
He also said the increased speed limit might make the roadway more attractive to motorists. As it stands, he said, there is little difference now compared with the increased limit.
“If you go 65 on the turnpike, you’ll get run over,” Geist said.
All that, and one more note on "little difference" - compare time across the state on 76 versus 80.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on May 09, 2012, 08:56:23 AM
Quote
If you go 65 on the turnpike, you'll get run over, Geist said.

Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 09, 2012, 11:37:40 AM
Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

in my experience, that is the prevailing speed only on the highly substandard sections of I-70.  on I-76, it is more like 72-75mph.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on May 09, 2012, 04:49:15 PM
Update on the 70 MPH bill.  It has passed the House Transportation Committee.  AAA supports the bill and the Turnpike Commission is neutral.

Hope it makes it out of committee. I've got a letter to my state representative ready and waiting to ask for his support should it make it before the full House. I agree, kinda, with Rep. Geist's comments, given I drive the eastern part of the Turnpike quite often. In my opinion, this probably won't raise the speeds the fastest people drive (assuming the Troopers keep enforcing at the same speed), but should give the slower people a bit more of a kick in the butt to drive faster. I'm not a highway engineer, but shouldn't everyone driving closer in speed be safer?

Edit: Err... okay, article said it cleared the committee. I was going by the current status on the PA Legislature website, which said it was still in committee. Guess I should send that letter.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 09, 2012, 04:58:08 PM
shouldn't everyone driving closer in speed be safer?


to an extent, yes, but at some point you'll run into waves of traffic with little room to maneuver.  (try getting around three cars, one per lane, each doing 55mph)

I don't know how close the speeds have to be before this behavior starts appearing.  

I don't think raising the speed limit will even achieve this.  I get the idea that the slow people will drive slow because they're oblivious and the quick people will be happy to receive fewer speeding tickets.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on May 09, 2012, 05:20:57 PM
The PTC doesn't need to waste money on new speed limit signs.  People already go that and then some, including our former governor and the trooper that was behind the wheel.

John Bowman, Communications Director of the National Motorists Association was on the Mike Pintek show on KDKA-AM (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/05/09/what-does-raising-the-turnpike-speed-mean-to-motorists/) discussing the possible increase.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mightyace on May 09, 2012, 09:31:54 PM
What this proves is that the standards a road was built to have nothing to do with what speed limit the state decides to set it to.

Agreed, most of the "free" interstates are built to much better standards than the turnpike yet will still be 65.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on May 09, 2012, 09:47:54 PM
Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

in my experience, that is the prevailing speed only on the highly substandard sections of I-70.  on I-76, it is more like 72-75mph.

In my experience, few vehicles travel over 70 mph on the east-west Turnpike or the NE Extension.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: signalman on May 10, 2012, 03:46:49 AM
Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

in my experience, that is the prevailing speed only on the highly substandard sections of I-70.  on I-76, it is more like 72-75mph.

In my experience, few vehicles travel over 70 mph on the east-west Turnpike or the NE Extension.

I'd agree that along the east-west Mainline most are traveling 70-75.  On the NE Extension, however, it's been my experience that people move.  I've had my doors blown off many times on the NE Extension while I was going 80.  Was even passed once near the Lehighton exit when I was going 95.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on May 10, 2012, 08:38:24 AM
I travel both the mainline and NE extension frequently. I set my cruise control at 73 or 74 (because it's unofficial state police policy to only ticket over 75 unless conditions are bad) and regularly see vehicles pass me on both highways.

On the 3-lane portion of the mainline (between the Valley Forge and Bensalem interchanges) I regularly travel 80+, sometimes 85+ (although I would officially deny that!). I commuted for 10 years on that stretch, regularly seeing traffic fields travelling at 80+ even during the rush. During the rushes, the traffic alternately files and crawls. Off the rushes, many drivers travel at over 85.

On the NE extension, traffic is generally too congested from the mainline to the first exit (Lansdale) to travel very fast. And there's a long-term widening project along that stretch that has a temporary speed limit reduction which contributes to the congestion. Above Allentown (where I-78 crosses), especially, actual speeds are higher.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mgk920 on May 10, 2012, 11:51:22 AM
Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

in my experience, that is the prevailing speed only on the highly substandard sections of I-70.  on I-76, it is more like 72-75mph.

In my experience, few vehicles travel over 70 mph on the east-west Turnpike or the NE Extension.

I'd agree that along the east-west Mainline most are traveling 70-75.  On the NE Extension, however, it's been my experience that people move.  I've had my doors blown off many times on the NE Extension while I was going 80.  Was even passed once near the Lehighton exit when I was going 95.

That was my experience on the Turnpike section of I-476 during a roadtrip a few years back, too.  It was the fastest sustained speed that I have ever driven.

Mike
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on May 10, 2012, 03:41:01 PM
I agree with qguy...the E-W Turnpike east of Harrisburg, I can set my cruise at 79, and there are several cars that are still passing me.  On the NE Extension, north of Lansdale Exit 31 and south of Lehigh Valley Exit 56, same thing.

South of Lansdale is too congested, and north of Lehigh Valley I seem to fit in with the cruise set at 74.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on May 10, 2012, 03:50:13 PM
On my last couple of trips on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I've felt like traffic isn't as fast as it was 20 years ago. But I also don't think that's unique to that road, either; the New Jersey Turnpike is another where traffic seems to have slowed (and not due to the roadwork, either, as I haven't used it since they began the widening project). I think I-95 in Virginia has slowed considerably, as the drive between the Beltway and Richmond used to be a raceway in the 1990s. No doubt part of it is due to ever-increasing volumes of traffic. On the Jersey Turnpike I think increased enforcement is part of it, as I almost never saw a cop on there until the mid-1990s (and I made it from Fairfax, VA, to Brooklyn in under 3.5 hours a couple of times in the early 1990s).

The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.

(My comments refer to the mainline, BTW. I've never driven on the Northeast Extension, although I've been a passenger over a short segment near the southern end. Other than roadgeeking I can't see a lot of reason why I'd ever be likely to use that road.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: signalman on May 10, 2012, 04:22:30 PM
I should have noted earlier that I've only traveled the NE Extension from US 22 to the northern terminus.  I still need to drive 22 south to Valley Forge to finish the PA Turnpike.  I'm not surprised congestion is an issue as you head closer to Philly, and thus speeds are slower.  That's one reason I have yet to drive it and my travels never take me down that way.
 
The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.
Pennsylvania interstates are generally well disciplined in that regard.  There's left lane bandits from every state, but Pennsylvanians aren't too bad in this dept.  Of course, I drive mostly in NJ and so Pennsylvania seems like a breeze to me compared to what I'm used to.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on May 10, 2012, 07:44:26 PM
Agreed, most of the "free" interstates are built to much better standards than the turnpike yet will still be 65.
Or worse... 55, like I-95. Seriously, the road is significantly higher grade than US-1 and US-13 (or hell, the Newtown Bypass, which has traffic lights!), yet all are 55? Thankfully, it's been my experience that the Troopers treat it like a 65 zone in their enforcement. I've had a radar gun pointed at me doing 75+ and haven't been bothered (at least north of 413, which I drive every day).

Oh, and I wouldn't exactly say the mainline Turnpike isn't worthy of a 70mph speed limit, at least in some areas. Yeah, it's not up to modern Interstate standards, but with relatively light traffic and extremely long sight lines, I think you can safely do the speeds people were doing before there were even speed limits on the road. Especially now that there's at least a jersey barrier in the median instead of nothing. :)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on May 10, 2012, 07:49:14 PM
I'd agree that along the east-west Mainline most are traveling 70-75.  On the NE Extension, however, it's been my experience that people move.  I've had my doors blown off many times on the NE Extension while I was going 80.  Was even passed once near the Lehighton exit when I was going 95.

Agreed. I've seen some extremely aggressive driving on the Turnpike (especially between Bensalem and the NE Extension). I don't drive the Extension very often, but I also see it in the more northerly sections when I do. I'm more than happy to let someone else be the canon fodder for any troopers who might want something to do, since I normally have lead foot anyway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on May 10, 2012, 08:37:53 PM
This is silly. Why is the Turnpike special? Other roads in the state can handle it.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on May 12, 2012, 07:26:11 PM
Snipped and quarantined all of the ranting about left lane driving. Let's get back on topic here.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on May 12, 2012, 08:09:46 PM
Snipped and quarantined all of the ranting about left lane driving. Let's get back on topic here.

While I agree that we got a bit far afield, how were my earlier posts about the PA keep-right-pass-left law, signing of such on the Turnpike, and the MIT web page with a state-by-state comparison off-topic? Did they not directly relate to the PA Turnpike?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on May 12, 2012, 10:06:46 PM
Snipped and quarantined all of the ranting about left lane driving. Let's get back on topic here.

While I agree that we got a bit far afield, how were my earlier posts about the PA keep-right-pass-left law, signing of such on the Turnpike, and the MIT web page with a state-by-state comparison off-topic? Did they not directly relate to the PA Turnpike?

That directly relates to "left lane driving" and driver behavior in general. Let it go ...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on May 12, 2012, 10:54:47 PM
The state by state comparison definitely got far afield. None of it is "news" either.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 14, 2012, 12:34:36 PM
On my last couple of trips on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I've felt like traffic isn't as fast as it was 20 years ago. But I also don't think that's unique to that road, either; the New Jersey Turnpike is another where traffic seems to have slowed (and not due to the roadwork, either, as I haven't used it since they began the widening project). I think I-95 in Virginia has slowed considerably, as the drive between the Beltway and Richmond used to be a raceway in the 1990s. No doubt part of it is due to ever-increasing volumes of traffic. On the Jersey Turnpike I think increased enforcement is part of it, as I almost never saw a cop on there until the mid-1990s (and I made it from Fairfax, VA, to Brooklyn in under 3.5 hours a couple of times in the early 1990s).

I-95 in Virginia between Springfield and I-295 north of Richmond has gotten worse for several reasons:

(1) The bottleneck at the Wilson Bridge is gone (yes, there is a temporary six-lane segment at Va. 241 Telegraph Road, but the WWB bottleneck is largely gone, which served as a "ramp meter" for southbound I-95 traffic);

(2) Growth in employment along I-95 between Springfield and Stafford County;

(3) A lot of N-S traffic funnels down to the six-lane segment of I-95 between Dumfries (south  end of the Express Lanes) and I-295.  At I-295, traffic spreads out to I-95 through Richmond to I-85 and I-95, and I-295 carries traffic to I-64 and I-95.

All of the above makes I-95 traffic terrible southbound on "getaway" days at the start of a holiday and some weekends, and bad northbound on "going home" days.

Quote
The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.

Or I-95 in North Carolina.

Agreed regarding the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  May be due in  part to the relatively steep grades on the Turnpike East-West mainline, though the really curving and steep grades east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel are all relatively straightened now.

Quote
(My comments refer to the mainline, BTW. I've never driven on the Northeast Extension, although I've been a passenger over a short segment near the southern end. Other than roadgeeking I can't see a lot of reason why I'd ever be likely to use that road.)

I-476 has some steep grades, but not as long or curving (remember the "CAUTION CURVES" signs on the Turnpike?) as the East-West mainline.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on May 14, 2012, 01:14:02 PM
Quote
The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.

Or I-95 in North Carolina.

Agreed regarding the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  May be due in  part to the relatively steep grades on the Turnpike East-West mainline, though the really curving and steep grades east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel are all relatively straightened now.

This may due to a small effect resulting from new keep-right-pass-left signage posted on the PA Turnpike (and throughout PA) about 10 years ago.

PA had a keep-right-pass-left law for a long time but repealed it (sometime 80s perhaps?). Sometime in the early 00s, I believe it was, PA enacted a new keep-right-pass-left law. The PTC posted keep-right-pass-left signs throughout the Turnpike system (and PennDOT did likewise on other PA freeways).

The PA State Police don't typically directly enforce the law since it's extremely difficult, but simply having new signage appear probably had some effect on those driving at the time they appeared; some residual effect may still be seen, I suppose. It's been a long while since I used to drive extensively in other-than-NE states, so I'll take the word of other observers.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on May 14, 2012, 02:41:35 PM
Quote
The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.

Or I-95 in North Carolina.

Agreed regarding the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  May be due in  part to the relatively steep grades on the Turnpike East-West mainline, though the really curving and steep grades east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel are all relatively straightened now.

This may due to a small effect resulting from new keep-right-pass-left signage posted on the PA Turnpike (and throughout PA) about 10 years ago.

PA had a keep-right-pass-left law for a long time but repealed it (sometime 80s perhaps?). Sometime in the early 00s, I believe it was, PA enacted a new keep-right-pass-left law. The PTC posted keep-right-pass-left signs throughout the Turnpike system (and PennDOT did likewise on other PA freeways).

The PA State Police don't typically directly enforce the law since it's extremely difficult, but simply having new signage appear probably had some effect on those driving at the time they appeared; some residual effect may still be seen, I suppose. It's been a long while since I used to drive extensively in other-than-NE states, so I'll take the word of other observers.

A moderator told us to cease talking about "left lane driving".
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on May 14, 2012, 06:24:56 PM
Quote
The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.

Or I-95 in North Carolina.

Agreed regarding the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  May be due in  part to the relatively steep grades on the Turnpike East-West mainline, though the really curving and steep grades east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel are all relatively straightened now.

This may due to a small effect resulting from new keep-right-pass-left signage posted on the PA Turnpike (and throughout PA) about 10 years ago.

PA had a keep-right-pass-left law for a long time but repealed it (sometime 80s perhaps?). Sometime in the early 00s, I believe it was, PA enacted a new keep-right-pass-left law. The PTC posted keep-right-pass-left signs throughout the Turnpike system (and PennDOT did likewise on other PA freeways).

The PA State Police don't typically directly enforce the law since it's extremely difficult, but simply having new signage appear probably had some effect on those driving at the time they appeared; some residual effect may still be seen, I suppose. It's been a long while since I used to drive extensively in other-than-NE states, so I'll take the word of other observers.

A moderator told us to cease talking about "left lane driving".

I'm definitely not going all the way down that road this time, BW, but at least this part is news, if a bit dated. Law repealed, law returned after big delay, signs went up, resulting effect claimed to be seen by some. "News," at least by the standard of many of the previous posts on this thread.

But not to worry, Steve, that's as far as I'm a-goin'. :biggrin:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on May 14, 2012, 07:14:00 PM
Hey, as long as it's relevant to the PA Turnpike, fine by me. Pennsylvania's KRETP law and its enforcement on the Turnpike are fine.

P.S. Your prior discussions are saved, and mods are inclined to bring them back as a separate thread elsewhere. Keep an eye peeled.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on May 15, 2012, 11:00:19 PM
Hey, as long as it's relevant to the PA Turnpike, fine by me. Pennsylvania's KRETP law and its enforcement on the Turnpike are fine.

P.S. Your prior discussions are saved, and mods are inclined to bring them back as a separate thread elsewhere. Keep an eye peeled.
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6692.0
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on May 24, 2012, 10:24:26 PM
http://triblive.com/home/1858727-74/bridge-trail-state-laurel-highlands-hiking-trails-beautiful-county-pennsylvania (http://triblive.com/home/1858727-74/bridge-trail-state-laurel-highlands-hiking-trails-beautiful-county-pennsylvania)

It's by no means any major news, as the bridge has been open for 5 months now, but they had an official ribbon cutting for the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail bridge over the TPK.  Only one picture, but it looks nice to use.  I'm hoping to use it sometime in the not-TOO-distant future.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on June 11, 2012, 02:28:54 PM
 Pennsylvania Turnpike getting less beautiful every day  (http://triblive.com/home/1899789-74/turnpike-rest-pennsylvania-ohio-plaza-stops-style-architecture-beautiful-building)

Not really "news"... Just an article lamenting certain aspects rebuilt sections of highway, and criticizing the service plazas.  All from an aesthetic point of view.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: BigRedDog on June 11, 2012, 03:26:13 PM
Drove to Somerset yesterday and noticed some road work going on and did some research. PTC is redesigning the access road at the Somerset interchange. I would say this is something that needed done as the area in front of the toll plazas near Waterworks and Laurel Crest Roads was not the safest intersection.

Apparently, this is somewhat old news, but it was new to me and I didn't see anything on the forum about it.

More information from the (Somerset) Daily American: http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2012-04-10/news/31321550_1_turnpike-traffic-turnpike-access-road-somerset-turnpike-interchange (http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2012-04-10/news/31321550_1_turnpike-traffic-turnpike-access-road-somerset-turnpike-interchange)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on June 11, 2012, 03:28:58 PM
I agree with most of that article. It seems no elements of PA's highway system, by either PennDOT or the PTC, are designed with aesthetic considerations in minde. Bridge piers, parapets, and railings (or lack thereof) are especially numbing.

One of the things I really despise is driving over some high bridge, with what should be a great view of the surrounding countryside (or uban landscape), and not being able to see any of it due to a high solid parapet wall instead of a parapet with railing.

The biggest contrast between the old and new service plaza buildings are that the new ones are a lot more spacious than the old ones. Some of the old ones were downright claustrophobia-inducing. But the new ones don't have much charm, that's for sure. They look nice from the outside, but kind of clunky from the inside.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on June 11, 2012, 03:32:35 PM
Drove to Somerset yesterday and noticed some road work going on and did some research. PTC is redesigning the access road at the Somerset interchange. I would say this is something that needed done as the area in front of the toll plazas near Waterworks and Laurel Crest Roads was not the safest intersection.

Apparently, this is somewhat old news, but it was new to me and I didn't see anything on the forum about it.

More information from the (Somerset) Daily American: http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2012-04-10/news/31321550_1_turnpike-traffic-turnpike-access-road-somerset-turnpike-interchange (http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2012-04-10/news/31321550_1_turnpike-traffic-turnpike-access-road-somerset-turnpike-interchange)


The term "free-for-all" used in the article describes the old configuation perfectly. It always reminded me of those large concourses you see in old photos or engravings, with traffic able to go every which way and usually doing so.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 11, 2012, 07:31:58 PM
Turnpike Crews Use Magnet Truck to Clear Nails from Road (http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/penndot-uses-magnet-truck-clear-nails-pa-turnpike/nPQtr/)

Just another unusual incident along this section of the Turnpike over the past year.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on June 11, 2012, 09:13:17 PM
Just another unusual incident along this section of the Turnpike over the past year.

From my experience working with PennDOT maintenance employees, they and PTC maintenance crews don't need to be on the job very long to have seen it all. And just when they think they've seen it all, something beyond even their wacko previous experience comes along to prove them wrong.

I've seen more disbelieving headshaking…
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on June 13, 2012, 02:17:35 PM
http://triblive.com/home/1987360-74/turnpike-route-traffic-bridge-130-detour-east-fox-irwin-lane (http://triblive.com/home/1987360-74/turnpike-route-traffic-bridge-130-detour-east-fox-irwin-lane)

While an overnight closure isn't something I'd usually bother to post... I am intrigued at who came up with their official detour:
Quote
The Turnpike recommends the following detour for eastbound traffic exiting at Pittsburgh, exit 57: Route 22 east to Turnpike 66 south to Route 30 west. Drivers can re-enter the Turnpike at the Irwin interchange and follow signs for Harrisburg and east.
Westbound is just the reverse of that

Except for the drivers heading to the Irwin exit itself, It seems to be pretty dumb to drive all the way back west to Irwin on US-30 (and it's traffic signals), instead of just taking TPK-66 the whole way to New Stanton.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 13, 2012, 06:10:39 PM
I'm at Greater Pitt, GATe C-51 reading that now, thought the same thing
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MrDisco99 on June 13, 2012, 11:12:41 PM
The biggest contrast between the old and new service plaza buildings are that the new ones are a lot more spacious than the old ones. Some of the old ones were downright claustrophobia-inducing. But the new ones don't have much charm, that's for sure. They look nice from the outside, but kind of clunky from the inside.

I kinda hope they leave the Midway south service plaza building alone.  When it first opened, it was pretty special, but now it's just another crowded service area.  I realize it's slated to be renovated soon and could easily be torn down and replaced with a bigger building with a proper food court and cheesy postmodern accents.  Would be nice if they kept the building, though, as something historic from the original turnpike... maybe put a little turnpike history museum in it, or even bring back a sit down restaurant... something quaint for the road trippers.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on June 14, 2012, 05:26:22 PM
I kinda hope they leave the Midway south service plaza building alone.

I believe they are keeping the original building at Midway South. And rightfully so. I think it's on the historic register. (Can anyone confirm this?)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 14, 2012, 07:56:09 PM
Driver Still Feeling Turnpike Tar Headache Months Later (http://www.wtae.com/news/local/allegheny/Driver-still-feeling-turnpike-tar-headache-months-later/-/10927008/14863440/-/tb7o9yz/-/index.html) - WTAE-TV Pittsburgh
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on June 25, 2012, 05:47:42 PM
Police: Truck Driver Hid License Plate to Avoid Turnpike Tolls (http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/2077910-74/caughey-police-license-plate-steffy-truck-driver-tolls-turnpike-ezpass) - Greensburg Tribune-Review
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on June 26, 2012, 11:40:43 AM
^^^

I wonder if this sort of thing is going to become more commonplace as AET is implemented on the Turnpike (and other toll roads/bridges such as Scudder Falls). Maybe they should start doing what speed cameras do and take picture of the driver's seat of a violating vehicle. It might not necessarily help you identify the violator, but you could file it away should the violator ever get caught (and allow you to amend many counts of violations). I don't like tolls as much as the next guy, but damnit, if I have to pay them, you do too!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on June 26, 2012, 01:16:14 PM
Exerpt from PAHighway's posted link:
Caughey reported in court documents that when he touched the plate after it suddenly appeared, he noticed it could retract up behind the bumper. The device also was affixed on the trailer, police said.

Sounds like something out of the James Bond film Goldfinger.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on June 26, 2012, 02:25:07 PM
Did he find bulletproof glass, missile launchers, and eject-able seats too?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on June 29, 2012, 11:05:04 AM
 I see all the bridges over the NE Extension are being either rehabilitated or replaced using nice stone work on the retaining walls for the finishing touch.  I was on it two weeks ago and   saw all of it including the widening from Exits 20 to 31.  I am amazed at how many vehicles use the road  at first when you enter it from 276 and then when you finally get past Wilkes- Barre you have the road completely to yourself almost. Each of the exits along the extension take vehicles away from the flow making it that way, so it is apparent that this widening is mandatory.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on June 29, 2012, 01:25:05 PM
Widening the NE Extension was needed 20 years ago. It's long past needing it. The PTC is so far behind the power curve on adding capacity there (especially from Mid-County to I-78) that it's practically a crime. And at the current pace, it's not getting ahead of the curve, that's fur shur.

I drove the entire Extension (including the segment from Wilkes-Barre to Clarks Summit) last Saturday. Northbound in the morning and southbound in the early evening. It was choked to I-78, OK from I-78 to I-81 (at W-B), and virtually empty from I-81 to I-81 (uh, W-B to Clarks Summit). I don't drive the Extension north of W-B very often, but when I do I'm always shocked anew to see how devoid of traffic that stretch is.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2012, 07:05:09 PM
Widening the NE Extension was needed 20 years ago. It's long past needing it. The PTC is so far behind the power curve on adding capacity there (especially from Mid-County to I-78) that it's practically a crime. And at the current pace, it's not getting ahead of the curve, that's fur shur.

Why isn't this an issue in elections for Governor of Pennsylvania and in the legislative districts along the N.E. Extension from I-276 up to U.S. 22 (since the PTC doesn't see fit to provide a direct connection from the Turnpike to I-78)?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2012, 07:07:11 PM
Speaking of the Northeast Extension, there's this about Exit 31 (Lansdale).

TOLLROADSnews: IC sign name in contention in PA (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6050)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on July 12, 2012, 08:23:55 PM
TOLLROADSnews: IC sign name in contention in PA (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6050)

I could actually see them changing the name of the interchange, though I think Lansdale should remain as the control city. It's not like they haven't done this before... the current Bensalem interchange was once the Philadelphia interchange.


Post Merge: July 12, 2012, 09:11:37 PM
Edit: Or the turnpike could just get rid of the interchange names entirely... which would drive my girlfriend insane. I'll say something about the 611 or 309 interchange and she's like huh? Hasn't a clue unless I say Willow Grove or Fort Washington.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on July 12, 2012, 09:20:13 PM
Quick note about this interchange...this was Exit 31 back when PA exit numbers were sequential, and this happens to be MP 31 on I-476, so the number didn't change.  When the exit numbers changed, the added signs stating OLD EXIT ##. 

They actually created and installed an OLD EXIT 31 sign at EXIT 31.  One of the BGS to the south may still have one...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 13, 2012, 12:23:16 PM
Edit: Or the turnpike could just get rid of the interchange names entirely... which would drive my girlfriend insane. I'll say something about the 611 or 309 interchange and she's like huh? Hasn't a clue unless I say Willow Grove or Fort Washington.

I hope not. 

There are many things about the Pennsylvania Turnpike that are deficient, but naming of interchanges is one thing that I like and respect about the (mainline) Turnpike system (I don't think that interchanges on the PTC's branches and spurs in Southwest Pennsylvania have names).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on July 13, 2012, 02:05:15 PM
Edit: Or the turnpike could just get rid of the interchange names entirely... which would drive my girlfriend insane. I'll say something about the 611 or 309 interchange and she's like huh? Hasn't a clue unless I say Willow Grove or Fort Washington.

I hope not. 

There are many things about the Pennsylvania Turnpike that are deficient, but naming of interchanges is one thing that I like and respect about the (mainline) Turnpike system
I agree.

Quote
(I don't think that interchanges on the PTC's branches and spurs in Southwest Pennsylvania have names).

Correct.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alex on July 14, 2012, 03:15:00 AM
Quick note about this interchange...this was Exit 31 back when PA exit numbers were sequential, and this happens to be MP 31 on I-476, so the number didn't change.  When the exit numbers changed, the added signs stating OLD EXIT ##. 

They actually created and installed an OLD EXIT 31 sign at EXIT 31.  One of the BGS to the south may still have one...

Reading this, I had to go back and look at my 2004/2005 photos of I-476 and sure enough, I found one with what you remembered.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-476_nb_exit_031_01.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-476_nb_exit_031_01.jpg)

Sign posted along I-476 northbound, photo taken May 7, 2005.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on July 14, 2012, 05:03:05 AM
Nice. Double redundancy.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on July 14, 2012, 08:59:04 AM
That's the one!  AND...They have replaced some of the BGSs of that exit with Clearview.  I don't remember if they've replaced that one and/or removed the OLD EXIT 31 sign below.

But this reminds me of another question - that sign has always left a blank space for another destination.  I know that decades ago, there was a proposed North Penn Expwy that was either going to be part of a US 202 expressway, or just an expressway connecting the NE Ext to PA 309 towards the northwest. 

They are now building a couple of short two-lane roads, and rebuilding a couple of others, to build a connection from PA 309 near Souderton to PA 63 just west of this exit.  http://www.pa309connector.com/ (http://www.pa309connector.com/)

Anyone know what the blank destination was supposed to be?  Souderton?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 14, 2012, 09:31:22 AM
It's not like they haven't done this before... the current Bensalem interchange was once the Philadelphia interchange.
Guess on my part; the reasoning behind that renaming is probably in anticipation of the I-95 interchange being called the Philadelphia interchange when it's completed.

That's the one!  AND...They have replaced some of the BGSs of that exit with Clearview.  I don't remember if they've replaced that one and/or removed the OLD EXIT 31 sign below.
I believe one of the BGS' still has the Old Exit tab; meaning that any the BGS panel was replaced and not its supports.  Similar was done at the with PA 72 interchange (Exit 266) BGS' w/its OLD EXIT 20 signs left on.

As far as the redunant new/old Exit 31 is concerned; my guess is that Lansdale was originally planned to be redesignated as Exit 30 (the Mile 30 marker is located just south of the northbound exit ramp) but later reconsidered but the plans weren't updated to delete the erection of the OLD EXIT XX signs and/or the panels were already fabricated.

But this reminds me of another question - that sign has always left a blank space for another destination.  I know that decades ago, there was a proposed North Penn Expwy that was either going to be part of a US 202 expressway, or just an expressway connecting the NE Ext to PA 309 towards the northwest.
 
They are now building a couple of short two-lane roads, and rebuilding a couple of others, to build a connection from PA 309 near Souderton to PA 63 just west of this exit.  http://www.pa309connector.com/ (http://www.pa309connector.com/)

Anyone know what the blank destination was supposed to be?  Souderton?
My thinking is that it might've been Green Lane, PA 63's western terminus at PA 29.  If that was the case, the lettering should have been placed on the BGS from the get-go and if a new highwway link warranted a control destination change, do it then.  With the old 60s(?) era porcelain BGS' w/button-copy lettering (which also spoted a blank space above the Lansdale listing); it would've been an easy fix.

This also brings up another bone of contention: why is PTC replacing essentially perfectly good (condition-wise) signs (both at Lansdale and Lebanon-Lancaster as examples) that were erected in the 90s and possibly early 2000s w/new ones?  The older porcelain signs that those replaced lasted for 3, maybe even 4 decades in some instances.  The only difference I see with the new ones is just the use (both legitimate and non-legitimate) of the Clearview font.  An absolute waste of money IMHO

 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 14, 2012, 10:25:20 AM
Maybe they should make it Kulpsville to appease the town.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on July 14, 2012, 10:27:16 AM
What are the proper interchange names in the Harrisburg area?  I noticed that the I-83 interchange is Harrisburg Westshore, but the I-283 interchange is Harrisburg East.  Someone want to clarify why there is inconsistency with I-283 not being Harrisburg Eastshore or from the other standpoint why the I-83 interchange is not called Harrisburg West? 

I'm thinking that maybe they are both the same (either E & W or both shores),  but common usage has come into play and one is still called by the original name spite that the toll tickets say Harrisburg E and Harrisburg W. and if I am not mistaken the guide signs for I-83 read below the exit number as Harrisburg West.

Also the usage of Gettysburg Pike seems to only be used on PA Turnpike signs and not seen anywhere else along US 15 in the area.   I am aware that long before route designations were used, that might of been the original name for US 15's roadway, but what in modern times other than the PTC is concerned is that name used?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on July 14, 2012, 11:21:03 AM
Quick note about this interchange...this was Exit 31 back when PA exit numbers were sequential, and this happens to be MP 31 on I-476, so the number didn't change.  When the exit numbers changed, the added signs stating OLD EXIT ##. 

They actually created and installed an OLD EXIT 31 sign at EXIT 31.  One of the BGS to the south may still have one...

Reading this, I had to go back and look at my 2004/2005 photos of I-476 and sure enough, I found one with what you remembered.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-476_nb_exit_031_01.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-476_nb_exit_031_01.jpg)

Sign posted along I-476 northbound, photo taken May 7, 2005.

You took all the fun out of my going out today to check this out :) . . . It is about an hour's ride from my house.

I can at least ride through the construction (which I have never done) and get an update photo if it is still there!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alex on July 14, 2012, 11:40:23 AM
Quick note about this interchange...this was Exit 31 back when PA exit numbers were sequential, and this happens to be MP 31 on I-476, so the number didn't change.  When the exit numbers changed, the added signs stating OLD EXIT ##. 

They actually created and installed an OLD EXIT 31 sign at EXIT 31.  One of the BGS to the south may still have one...

Reading this, I had to go back and look at my 2004/2005 photos of I-476 and sure enough, I found one with what you remembered.

Sign posted along I-476 northbound, photo taken May 7, 2005.

You took all the fun out of my going out today to check this out :) . . . It is about an hour's ride from my house.

I can at least ride through the construction (which I have never done) and get an update photo if it is still there!

Heh, sorry about that.  :-P I photographed northbound twice in 2005 and had not looked at those photos in years. PA-9 was a regular ride to visit family in Upstate NY when I was growing up, and I remember well those old button copy signs that PHLBOS referenced at Exit 31, and the one of the old Norristown Exit reference in the other thread with the removed US 422 shield and the "slapped-on" I-476 shield.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on July 14, 2012, 12:32:41 PM
Nice. Double redundancy.

I was thinking about it, but I actually think the double redundancy makes sense in a strange way. If you've got an old map (or just know the old exit numbers) and you assume that every exit should have an "Old Exit" sign, if you don't see the sign, you might get confused... even though the exit number is the same.
I have to believe that in some office somewhere, probably in a meeting room, a group of PTC employees had this same discussion :)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 14, 2012, 05:35:17 PM
What are the proper interchange names in the Harrisburg area?  I noticed that the I-83 interchange is Harrisburg Westshore, but the I-283 interchange is Harrisburg East.  Someone want to clarify why there is inconsistency with I-283 not being Harrisburg Eastshore or from the other standpoint why the I-83 interchange is not called Harrisburg West? 

I'm thinking that maybe they are both the same (either E & W or both shores),  but common usage has come into play and one is still called by the original name spite that the toll tickets say Harrisburg E and Harrisburg W. and if I am not mistaken the guide signs for I-83 read below the exit number as Harrisburg West.  Personally, I've never heard of those Eastshore/Westshore terms for those interchanges unless it's term used by the locals.

Also the usage of Gettysburg Pike seems to only be used on PA Turnpike signs and not seen anywhere else along US 15 in the area.   I am aware that long before route designations were used, that might of been the original name for US 15's roadway, but what in modern times other than the PTC is concerned is that name used?
With regards to the interchange names for I-83 and I-283/PA 283; they're signed as Harrisburg West and Harrisburg East respectively and have been signed as such for as long as I've been on that stretch of the PA Turnpike (my first trip on that stretch was on April of 1992).

US 15 (the Gettysburg interchange of the Turnpike): according to the PennDOT road map, the street name for US 15 is the "Marine Corps League Memorial Highway".  I'm assuming the original name may have been something along the lines of "Gettysburg-Harrisburg Pike" or similar.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on July 14, 2012, 06:18:16 PM
^^It seems to have been common practice (and it makes perfect sense...), pre-route numbers, to name roads after where they were going to.  Look at a map of the Gettysburg area that's detailed enough to show street and road names and you'll see York Road, Baltimore Pike, Taneytown Road, Emmitsburg Road, and so on - US 15 (or the business route) towards Harrisburg is, unsurprisingly, Harrisburg Pike.  Closer to Harrisburg, "Gettysburg Pike" would make more sense.  (Even in the town of Gettysburg, you'll find York Street, Baltimore Street, etc., on the streets that become those main roads.)  Gettysburg's just one example of this; it's just an area I know relatively well.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on July 14, 2012, 06:20:36 PM
It's not like they haven't done this before... the current Bensalem interchange was once the Philadelphia interchange.
Guess on my part; the reasoning behind that renaming is probably in anticipation of the I-95 interchange being called the Philadelphia interchange when it's completed.

....

Although anyone heading to Philadelphia from the west who stays on the Turnpike all the way to Bensalem ought to be recognized by the PTC as a donor....
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on July 14, 2012, 07:17:50 PM
Quick note about this interchange...this was Exit 31 back when PA exit numbers were sequential, and this happens to be MP 31 on I-476, so the number didn't change.  When the exit numbers changed, the added signs stating OLD EXIT ##. 

They actually created and installed an OLD EXIT 31 sign at EXIT 31.  One of the BGS to the south may still have one...

Reading this, I had to go back and look at my 2004/2005 photos of I-476 and sure enough, I found one with what you remembered.

Sign posted along I-476 northbound, photo taken May 7, 2005.

You took all the fun out of my going out today to check this out :) . . . It is about an hour's ride from my house.

I can at least ride through the construction (which I have never done) and get an update photo if it is still there!

Heh, sorry about that.  :-P I photographed northbound twice in 2005 and had not looked at those photos in years. PA-9 was a regular ride to visit family in Upstate NY when I was growing up, and I remember well those old button copy signs that PHLBOS referenced at Exit 31, and the one of the old Norristown Exit reference in the other thread with the removed US 422 shield and the "slapped-on" I-476 shield.
Alas . . . they are no more.  Must have disappeared with the sign replacement.  Not affected by current construction. 

I also recall the Norristown sign you are referring to -- that was on the eastbound side, if memory serves.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on July 14, 2012, 07:42:25 PM
Although anyone heading to Philadelphia from the west who stays on the Turnpike all the way to Bensalem ought to be recognized by the PTC as a donor....

I live just off the Woodhaven Road Expressway [freeway] (PA 63) in Northeast Philadelphia. Whenever I drive eastbound on the PA Turnpike (say, from Harrisburg), I always stay on all the way to the Bensalem exit. Nothing else make sense from a time standpoint. It's quicker by far than any other way to get across the city on the northern side of the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Michael in Philly on July 14, 2012, 08:22:46 PM
^^The center of the city (I mean, the business district and so on, but this is true of the geographical center of the city as well) - the place most people would take a reference to "Philadelphia" as referring to - is considerably to the southwest of Woodhaven Road.

Seriously, anyone getting onto the Turnpike in Pittsburgh or Harrisburg wanting to see the LIberty Bell or do business at Comcast headquarters who looks at his toll ticket - if anyone does that anymore - and figures the "Philadelphia" exit is where he wants to get off is going to be going well out of his way.  That's all I'm saying.  Call the US 1 or (when it's built) I-95 interchange it "Philadelphia-Northeast" and Valley Forge "Philadelphia-King of Prussia" or something.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: njroadhorse on July 14, 2012, 09:15:34 PM
Regarding Exit 31, I think they could actually do one more thing to those BGSes. They could rename it to Kulpsville (which I dunno is a good idea or not), but they could also put another control destination on the sign as well. Every other interchange on the PA Turnpike mainline and NE Extension has two control points, yet this one doesn't. I propose that Montgomeryville be added as the 2nd control point. It is also a commercial center in Montgomery County, and the intersection of an important US highway in the area (202).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on July 14, 2012, 11:05:44 PM
Although anyone heading to Philadelphia from the west who stays on the Turnpike all the way to Bensalem ought to be recognized by the PTC as a donor....

Unless they're trying to avoid the Surekill...   :ded:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Roadsguy on July 15, 2012, 03:57:22 PM
Seriously, anyone getting onto the Turnpike in Pittsburgh or Harrisburg wanting to see the LIberty Bell or do business at Comcast headquarters who looks at his toll ticket - if anyone does that anymore - and figures the "Philadelphia" exit is where he wants to get off is going to be going well out of his way.  That's all I'm saying.  Call the US 1 or (when it's built) I-95 interchange it "Philadelphia-Northeast" and Valley Forge "Philadelphia-King of Prussia" or something.

Well, there is a nice little button copy sign eastbound at Valley Forge that says

Philadelphia
NEXT 5 EXITS

Of course, nothing on the ticket says that, though plan-changing is possible...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on July 15, 2012, 04:38:05 PM
Seriously, anyone getting onto the Turnpike in Pittsburgh or Harrisburg wanting to see the LIberty Bell or do business at Comcast headquarters who looks at his toll ticket - if anyone does that anymore - and figures the "Philadelphia" exit is where he wants to get off is going to be going well out of his way.  That's all I'm saying.  Call the US 1 or (when it's built) I-95 interchange it "Philadelphia-Northeast" and Valley Forge "Philadelphia-King of Prussia" or something.

Yep.

I've always wondered why the Valley Forge interchange wasn't named the Philadelphia interchange from the start. Especially considering that when the Turnpike was first extended to the area, it terminated temporarily at Valley Forge. From 1950 to 1954, it wasn't one of the Philadelphia exits, it was the only Philadelphia exit.

Actually I think the entire idea of giving the interchanges separate names is just silly. It might've served a purpose in 1940 but it's just confusing today. They should simply eliminate them. (The names, of course, not the interchanges. The Turnpike needs more, not fewer, of those. :-D)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on July 17, 2012, 12:02:43 AM
Ohio Turnpike used to (still does?) have names for its exits. Did the Indiana Toll-Road or New York Thruway name their exits?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 17, 2012, 01:53:26 PM
The Thruway does not officially name exits but the toll tickets use one of the control cities with the number (and highway, for major exits like I-81).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on July 17, 2012, 11:29:56 PM
Ohio Turnpike used to (still does?) have names for its exits.

I was just on the Ohio Turnpike recently.  Don't recall any names except on the ticket in the fashion of the PA Turnpike.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 20, 2012, 09:22:03 PM
Bad news: tolls will increase again in January.  This time, E-ZPass users will pay 2% more, while cash customers will pay 10% more.

On the bright side, however, the annual E-ZPass fee will revert back to $3 per transponder.  The higher annual fee didn't stick for long I guess.

http://www.paturnpike.com/press/2012/20120720164641.htm
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: machias on July 20, 2012, 10:31:30 PM
Ohio Turnpike used to (still does?) have names for its exits. Did the Indiana Toll-Road or New York Thruway name their exits?

The Thruway exits are officially named but they are not shown on any public facing signs or documents.  I believe Exit 26 is "Schenectady West" and Exit 25 is "Schenectady East". Exit 34A is "Collamer".  Exit 39 is "State Fair".  Exit 38 is "Electronics Park".  I believe many of the others are named by control destination.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on July 20, 2012, 10:44:11 PM
Almost $40 in car toll on the full east-west turnpike ??  Back in the 1970s it was about $6.

Toll-free alternate, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, not that much longer, nearly all 4 lanes.

Toll -- I-76 --
305 mi, 5 hours 25 mins

No toll -- US-202, US-30, PA-283, I-283, I-83, I-81, US-322, I-99, US-22
334 mi, 6 hours 16 mins

[per Google Maps]
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 20, 2012, 11:21:37 PM
Almost $40 in car toll on the full east-west turnpike ??  Back in the 1970s it was about $6.

Toll-free alternate, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, not that much longer, nearly all 4 lanes.

Toll -- I-76 --
305 mi, 5 hours 25 mins

No toll -- US-202, US-30, PA-283, I-283, I-83, I-81, US-322, I-99, US-22
334 mi, 6 hours 16 mins

[per Google Maps]

Yes it is frustrating to have one of the most expensive long-distance roads in the nation and not much to show for it right now.  If not for the proliferation of speed cameras on I-70 (and I would expect I-68, as there will be a project in Cumberland coming soon) in Maryland, I would say that would be the perfect way to save $10 each way.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on July 21, 2012, 02:22:58 AM
Almost $40 in car toll on the full east-west turnpike ??  Back in the 1970s it was about $6.

Toll-free alternate, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, not that much longer, nearly all 4 lanes.

Toll -- I-76 --
305 mi, 5 hours 25 mins

No toll -- US-202, US-30, PA-283, I-283, I-83, I-81, US-322, I-99, US-22
334 mi, 6 hours 16 mins

[per Google Maps]
Not to mention that I would probably just use US 22 from I-81 rather than up to State College and back. 22 is a pretty good road nowadays. Also, US 30 can get hairy - ignore the time that Google Maps gives you, it's often faster (and never much slower) to take PA 10 to 340. The only slowdown is in Intercourse, vs. the constant slowness of 30. (At least on weekends.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 21, 2012, 12:04:43 PM
Ohio Turnpike used to (still does?) have names for its exits. Did the Indiana Toll-Road or New York Thruway name their exits?

The Thruway exits are officially named but they are not shown on any public facing signs or documents.  I believe Exit 26 is "Schenectady West" and Exit 25 is "Schenectady East". Exit 34A is "Collamer".  Exit 39 is "State Fair".  Exit 38 is "Electronics Park".  I believe many of the others are named by control destination.
Any idea where these are listed?  Even the toll tickets don't use those!
I would have also thought that Electronics Park would be exit 37.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mgk920 on July 21, 2012, 12:05:42 PM
Almost $40 in car toll on the full east-west turnpike ??  Back in the 1970s it was about $6.

That is fairly close to even with inflation over that time.  $6 end-to-end in 1973 or 1974 was likely looked upon the same way then that we look upon that $40 now.

 :-o

Mike
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on July 21, 2012, 12:24:14 PM
Almost $40 in car toll on the full east-west turnpike ??  Back in the 1970s it was about $6.

That is fairly close to even with inflation over that time.  $6 end-to-end in 1973 or 1974 was likely looked upon the same way then that we look upon that $40 now.

 :-o

Mike

Yeahbut the level of investment in upgrades to the east-west turnpike don't really justify any increase at all, given that the original toll revenue bonds were long since paid off, and the new bonds for the east-west turnpike upgrades don't justify it.  The problem is that the bulk of the toll receipts are spent elsewhere from the east-west turnpike.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on July 21, 2012, 04:41:06 PM
Almost $40 in car toll on the full east-west turnpike ??  Back in the 1970s it was about $6.

That is fairly close to even with inflation over that time.  $6 end-to-end in 1973 or 1974 was likely looked upon the same way then that we look upon that $40 now.

 :-o

Mike

Yeahbut the level of investment in upgrades to the east-west turnpike don't really justify any increase at all, given that the original toll revenue bonds were long since paid off, and the new bonds for the east-west turnpike upgrades don't justify it.  The problem is that the bulk of the toll receipts are spent elsewhere from the east-west turnpike.


Truth. The 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, all seem to be solutions to a non-existent problem. The Turnpike should have been widened to 6 lanes entirely by now, and I-476/PA 9 should have been four lanes with full shoulders by now. At that point, tolls should have been retired if that was in the original agreement (this I do not know), and only the new roads should have been tolled. Fun factoid: I bet none of the other roads can support themselves on the tolls they generate.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on July 21, 2012, 04:52:58 PM

Truth. The 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, all seem to be solutions to a non-existent problem. The Turnpike should have been widened to 6 lanes entirely by now, and I-476/PA 9 should have been four lanes with full shoulders by now. At that point, tolls should have been retired if that was in the original agreement (this I do not know), and only the new roads should have been tolled. Fun factoid: I bet none of the other roads can support themselves on the tolls they generate.

IMHO, the 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, were very worthwhile projects, but should not have been funded by revenues from the mainline turnpike (E-W and NE Ext) that should have been spent for upgrades and maintenance on the mainline turnpike. 

Even maintenance is lacking in many places on the mainline turnpike where sections are several years behind needed repaving schedules.  PennDOT's toll-free Interstates generally are much better maintained today than the mainline turnpike!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on July 21, 2012, 07:24:35 PM
At this link

www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/Final%20PTC_CAFR_11-10.pdf

is a PDF of the latest available annual financial report for the Turnpike. The revenues and expenses balance sheet summary is on page 28 of 137 of the PDF (page 22 of the document). It shows that in FY11 the Turnpike operated at a loss of over $523 million. The most galling aspect of that, though, is that $450 million of that is a transfer to PennDOT mandated by so-called Act 44, passed by the PA legislature and signed by then-Gov. Rendell in 2007.

IOW, not only is the E-W mainline possibly supporting the outlying toll roads, but the entire system is definitely supporting the non-toll, non-Turnpike road system Commonwealth-wide.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Beltway on July 21, 2012, 10:32:02 PM
At this link

www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/Final%20PTC_CAFR_11-10.pdf

is a PDF of the latest available annual financial report for the Turnpike. The revenues and expenses balance sheet summary is on page 28 of 137 of the PDF (page 22 of the document). It shows that in FY11 the Turnpike operated at a loss of over $523 million. The most galling aspect of that, though, is that $450 million of that is a transfer to PennDOT mandated by so-called Act 44, passed by the PA legislature and signed by then-Gov. Rendell in 2007.

IOW, not only is the E-W mainline possibly supporting the outlying toll roads, but the entire system is definitely supporting the non-toll, non-Turnpike road system Commonwealth-wide.

"In FY2011 the Penn Pike had revenues (almost entirely tolls) of $759m, operating costs of $360m, depreciation of $281m for an operating income of $117m. However it had interest expenses on borrowings of $333m and legislated payments to the state DOT under Act 44 of $450m. Net losses were $523m, which the state auditor general has said are putting the Commission on the road to certain bankruptcy."

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6076
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Scott5114 on July 22, 2012, 09:55:08 AM

Truth. The 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, all seem to be solutions to a non-existent problem. The Turnpike should have been widened to 6 lanes entirely by now, and I-476/PA 9 should have been four lanes with full shoulders by now. At that point, tolls should have been retired if that was in the original agreement (this I do not know), and only the new roads should have been tolled. Fun factoid: I bet none of the other roads can support themselves on the tolls they generate.

IMHO, the 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, were very worthwhile projects, but should not have been funded by revenues from the mainline turnpike (E-W and NE Ext) that should have been spent for upgrades and maintenance on the mainline turnpike. 

In Oklahoma, OTA calls this practice "cross-pledging". A few of Oklahoma's 10 turnpikes cannot sustain themselves, and instead leach money from the more popular turnpikes (mostly the Will Rogers and the Turner, which both carry I-44). Cross-pledging has come in handy to build badly needed but unprofitable ventures when ODOT was too broke to do it, like the Cherokee Turnpike, which bypasses a dangerous winding section of old SH 33 (this highway is now Scenic US 412). Since it's a rural area that doesn't really have much thru traffic (other than maybe Tulsa–NW AR traffic), the Cherokee probably wouldn't have justified itself on revenue alone. Unfortunately cross-pledging has also led to stupid pork projects like the Chickasaw Turnpike.

So whether cross-pledging is a good idea or not depends on whether you think the means justify the ends of getting some expensive projects done on the toll authority's dime instead of the taxpayer's.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 22, 2012, 01:30:42 PM
Remember that in NJ, the New Jersey Highway Authority (ran Garden State Parkway) couldn't support itself. Not because it didn't have enough volume, but because raising tolls was politically unpopular. So they merged it with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which happened to have a toll road that could subsidize the low Parkway tolls.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2012, 02:44:37 PM

Truth. The 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, all seem to be solutions to a non-existent problem. The Turnpike should have been widened to 6 lanes entirely by now, and I-476/PA 9 should have been four lanes with full shoulders by now. At that point, tolls should have been retired if that was in the original agreement (this I do not know), and only the new roads should have been tolled. Fun factoid: I bet none of the other roads can support themselves on the tolls they generate.

IMHO, the 576, 43, and 66 tollways, and improvements to Turnpike 60, were very worthwhile projects, but should not have been funded by revenues from the mainline turnpike (E-W and NE Ext) that should have been spent for upgrades and maintenance on the mainline turnpike. 

In Oklahoma, OTA calls this practice "cross-pledging". A few of Oklahoma's 10 turnpikes cannot sustain themselves, and instead leach money from the more popular turnpikes (mostly the Will Rogers and the Turner, which both carry I-44). Cross-pledging has come in handy to build badly needed but unprofitable ventures when ODOT was too broke to do it, like the Cherokee Turnpike, which bypasses a dangerous winding section of old SH 33 (this highway is now Scenic US 412). Since it's a rural area that doesn't really have much thru traffic (other than maybe Tulsa–NW AR traffic), the Cherokee probably wouldn't have justified itself on revenue alone. Unfortunately cross-pledging has also led to stupid pork projects like the Chickasaw Turnpike.

So whether cross-pledging is a good idea or not depends on whether you think the means justify the ends of getting some expensive projects done on the toll authority's dime instead of the taxpayer's.

In Maryland, the MdTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland_Transportation_Authority) (the state toll road and toll crossing agency) puts all revenue in one "basket," and the bonds it sells have recourse against that "basket" of tolls.  At least since the MdTA was created in the early 1970's, that's the way that toll road and toll crossing bonds have been pledged (it might have been different in the years prior to that).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2012, 02:47:00 PM
IOW, not only is the E-W mainline possibly supporting the outlying toll roads, but the entire system is definitely supporting the non-toll, non-Turnpike road system Commonwealth-wide.

Don't a lot of those diverted toll revenues end up in the wage and benefit package that is paid to hourly transit workers - in particular the employees of SEPTA and the Port Authority of Allegheny County?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on July 22, 2012, 03:27:19 PM
Remember that in NJ, the New Jersey Highway Authority (ran Garden State Parkway) couldn't support itself. Not because it didn't have enough volume, but because raising tolls was politically unpopular. So they merged it with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which happened to have a toll road that could subsidize the low Parkway tolls.
That explains why the NJHA was so shoddy - the NJTA is still trying to bring the Parkway up to speed with the Turnpike over 10 years later. Anyway, now the NJTA seems to have figured out how to raise Parkway tolls. And if 75-cent directional tolls ($1.50 every other plaza) seems like a jump from 35 cents, well the tolls started at 25 cents in the 50s. Suddenly, not so bad?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on July 22, 2012, 09:24:14 PM
The Thruway exits are officially named but they are not shown on any public facing signs or documents.  I believe Exit 26 is "Schenectady West" and Exit 25 is "Schenectady East". Exit 34A is "Collamer".  Exit 39 is "State Fair".  Exit 38 is "Electronics Park".  I believe many of the others are named by control destination.
Any idea where these are listed?  Even the toll tickets don't use those!
I would have also thought that Electronics Park would be exit 37.

Well, make your own list! What would you name them? I've thought about that before.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: machias on July 22, 2012, 09:45:07 PM
Ohio Turnpike used to (still does?) have names for its exits. Did the Indiana Toll-Road or New York Thruway name their exits?

The Thruway exits are officially named but they are not shown on any public facing signs or documents.  I believe Exit 26 is "Schenectady West" and Exit 25 is "Schenectady East". Exit 34A is "Collamer".  Exit 39 is "State Fair".  Exit 38 is "Electronics Park".  I believe many of the others are named by control destination.
Any idea where these are listed?  Even the toll tickets don't use those!
I would have also thought that Electronics Park would be exit 37.

My bad, Exit 37 is Electronics Park, not Exit 38.   I think Exit 38 is just called Liverpool.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2012, 12:36:40 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike chooses HNTB to manage move to AET/cashless tolling (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6076)

Quote
2012-07-20: The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced today that HNTB had been selected after a competitive procurement to manage conversion of the Turnpike system to all-electronic tolling (AET.)

Quote
The Turnpike in a statement today said that AET "offers numerous advantages to motorists and the agency, including enhanced safety, a cleaner environment, improved customer convenience and operational efficiencies."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2012, 12:38:07 PM

I guess that we can't take that news seriously, then?

 :spin:

OTOH, even a duffer will nail one every now and then.

 :cool:

Mike

Cashless tolling is (finally) starting to catch on in a big way, though it has taken a while.  California has had it for years on I-15 in San Diego County and on Ca. 91 in Orange County; and Ontario has had it from the start on Highway 407. 

But Florida has converted two toll roads in South Florida to cashless; NYMTA Bridge and Tunnel is going in the direction of cashless at the Henry Hudson Bridge; there is at least one cashless toll highway in Texas; the HOV/Toll lanes on I-85 in Georgia are all-electronic toll collection; and now we have the ICC in Maryland and the Tri-Ex in North Carolina open with no cash accepted.

The HOV/Toll lanes on I-495 in Virginia will not be accepting any cash either.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced quite a few months ago that it was going to study a transition to cashless toll collection.

TOLLROADSNews has (accurately) reported about all of the above.  Even if some people at FHWA don't like its editor.  And if he gets something wrong (and sometimes he does), he appreciates corrections.

All-electronic tolls are definitely the future - it is expensive to handle that much cash.  I have watched cash being picked-up at two toll facilities over the years, and it is a labor-intensive and expensive process to collect, count, transport and account for all of that money. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 23, 2012, 01:41:54 PM
Isn't the NJ Turnpike planning to go all-electronic in a decade?

The problem with all-electronic is that non-locals are effectively barred from the toll roads, especially if you're driving a car registered to someone else or don't want to pay the bill-by-plate "fee" (it's high enough to be extortion of non-locals in every jurisdiction that has it).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2012, 03:09:37 PM
Isn't the NJ Turnpike planning to go all-electronic in a decade?

I think the intentions are for the N.J. Turnpike Authority to convert the  Garden State Parkway to cashless first.  Maybe because it handles less out-of-state traffic (and the northern portion does not allow trucks)?

Quote
The problem with all-electronic is that non-locals are effectively barred from the toll roads, especially if you're driving a car registered to someone else or don't want to pay the bill-by-plate "fee" (it's high enough to be extortion of non-locals in every jurisdiction that has it).

Hence E-ZPass, which is issued by a lot of states in the East, and will be expanding south to include North Carolina in the near future.

Rental car companies are now equipping their vehicles with toll transponders (at least in E-ZPass territory) to avoid the high charges associated with toll-by-plate.

But speaking of non-locals, the bigger outrage (in my opinion) is electronic toll discounts granted only to in-state vehicles.  That should be forbidden by federal law.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on July 23, 2012, 06:07:47 PM
Isn't the NJ Turnpike planning to go all-electronic in a decade?

The problem with all-electronic is that non-locals are effectively barred from the toll roads, especially if you're driving a car registered to someone else or don't want to pay the bill-by-plate "fee" (it's high enough to be extortion of non-locals in every jurisdiction that has it).

Also, for a truly all-electronic toll system, you'd have to actually prevent cash payers from using the road. As we know, cash is legal tender for all debts; anyone who finds his way onto the toll road thereby incurs a debt to the tolling authority, and therefore has the option to satisfy that debt with cash. But if there were, say, a gate that only opens upon receipt of an electronic payment, you would prevent cash payers from getting onto the road in the first place and prevent that debt from being incurred.

(It's the same as buying something from a web site that only accepts credit cards. If you don't have a credit card, you don't get to have the item, and therefore you have no debt. But on the other hand—and this has happened to a friend of mine—say you try to check out of a hotel and are told they don't accept cash. They would thus waive their right to collect on the debt, because you have already used the service and can expect to pay for it using cash.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on July 23, 2012, 08:04:52 PM
Isn't the NJ Turnpike planning to go all-electronic in a decade?

The problem with all-electronic is that non-locals are effectively barred from the toll roads, especially if you're driving a car registered to someone else or don't want to pay the bill-by-plate "fee" (it's high enough to be extortion of non-locals in every jurisdiction that has it).

* The NJ Turnpike is planning to do just that, but of course the toll union will continue to have a say. Part of the plan may be to move toll takers into other positions as they become available, but I can't see that as a workable process due to the timeframe involved.
* I would imagine the Parkway would go AET first because it can be done on a plaza-specific basis. In fact, it may go one interchange at a time. Interchange "6A" (US 130) is another low-hanging fruit on the Turnpike system. Otherwise, the rest of the Turnpike probably goes at the same time.
* Chicago area has the highest non-tag AET fees I've seen - double the toll rate for billing. Other agencies have the fee as low as 25% to 30% above the tag rate. Right now E-ZPass discounts are in the 20% to 25% range, so this certainly doesn't seem onerous like you imply.
* Regarding the owner being billed regardless of who drives - the same thing happens with photo enforcement of speed and red lights. Up to the owner to collect from the driver. That's established enough now that I don't think it will pose a stumbling block.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 24, 2012, 10:23:09 AM
Isn't the NJ Turnpike planning to go all-electronic in a decade?

The problem with all-electronic is that non-locals are effectively barred from the toll roads, especially if you're driving a car registered to someone else or don't want to pay the bill-by-plate "fee" (it's high enough to be extortion of non-locals in every jurisdiction that has it).

Also, for a truly all-electronic toll system, you'd have to actually prevent cash payers from using the road. As we know, cash is legal tender for all debts; anyone who finds his way onto the toll road thereby incurs a debt to the tolling authority, and therefore has the option to satisfy that debt with cash. But if there were, say, a gate that only opens upon receipt of an electronic payment, you would prevent cash payers from getting onto the road in the first place and prevent that debt from being incurred.

(It's the same as buying something from a web site that only accepts credit cards. If you don't have a credit card, you don't get to have the item, and therefore you have no debt. But on the other hand—and this has happened to a friend of mine—say you try to check out of a hotel and are told they don't accept cash. They would thus waive their right to collect on the debt, because you have already used the service and can expect to pay for it using cash.

You are certainly permitted to pay your toll with cash.  When you receive your bill, you can go to the authority's headquarters and pay with cash at that time.  You are also not required to use the toll way.  If you don't want to pay the toll, you are welcome to find another route.  It may not be as fast, and it may take you 3 times as long, but no one is forcing you to use a toll road.

As for open-road tolling, my first experience with it without the proper tag was in South Florida.  I went thru 3 toll points.  About 45 days later, I was sent the bill showing one of the pictures, 3 tolls for $1.00 each, and a $2.50 service charge.  All in all, I paid $5.50 for 3 tolls, which from the area where I live, seems like a bargain!

On the website that I was provided to view the images, they were amazingly clear.  2 of the pics were the front of the vehicle (since NJ has front tags). I could easily see inside the vehicle.  It makes me wonder what people see going on in the vehicles!!!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 24, 2012, 11:28:30 AM
Hence E-ZPass, which is issued by a lot of states in the East, and will be expanding south to include North Carolina in the near future.
E-ZPass wouldn't help me in Texas, Kansas, California, Ontario, Quebec, or anywhere else outside of the E-ZPass system.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on July 24, 2012, 12:12:28 PM
Hence E-ZPass, which is issued by a lot of states in the East, and will be expanding south to include North Carolina in the near future.
E-ZPass wouldn't help me in Texas, Kansas, California, Ontario, Quebec, or anywhere else outside of the E-ZPass system.

Wasn't there some talk about using high speed cameras and some sort of cross-collection system to allow for interoperability? That is, you don't need to be able to use the same tag everywhere; instead, there'd be a centralized db which would send the charge back to the home agency for payment. Yes, I do realize this means trying to get very political agencies to work together, but seeing how this would (could?) be a mutually beneficial arrangement, I think it'd be best. Beats having to track down and collect cash tolls from vehicles not in the system (and ideally, would allow the agencies to avoid a service fee).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on July 24, 2012, 05:35:46 PM
Isn't the NJ Turnpike planning to go all-electronic in a decade?

The problem with all-electronic is that non-locals are effectively barred from the toll roads, especially if you're driving a car registered to someone else or don't want to pay the bill-by-plate "fee" (it's high enough to be extortion of non-locals in every jurisdiction that has it).

Also, for a truly all-electronic toll system, you'd have to actually prevent cash payers from using the road. As we know, cash is legal tender for all debts; anyone who finds his way onto the toll road thereby incurs a debt to the tolling authority, and therefore has the option to satisfy that debt with cash. But if there were, say, a gate that only opens upon receipt of an electronic payment, you would prevent cash payers from getting onto the road in the first place and prevent that debt from being incurred.

(It's the same as buying something from a web site that only accepts credit cards. If you don't have a credit card, you don't get to have the item, and therefore you have no debt. But on the other hand—and this has happened to a friend of mine—say you try to check out of a hotel and are told they don't accept cash. They would thus waive their right to collect on the debt, because you have already used the service and can expect to pay for it using cash.

You are certainly permitted to pay your toll with cash.  When you receive your bill, you can go to the authority's headquarters and pay with cash at that time.  You are also not required to use the toll way.  If you don't want to pay the toll, you are welcome to find another route.  It may not be as fast, and it may take you 3 times as long, but no one is forcing you to use a toll road.

....

You can also mail in a cash payment if you wish. I think most people would agree that it's foolish to do that, but nothing's stopping anyone from paying that way. The "NO CASH" signs simply mean that there are no tollbooths anywhere along the route accepting cash payments (compare to some toll roads where the booths are unmanned at certain hours such that an E-ZPass, exact coins, or a credit card is required).


Hence E-ZPass, which is issued by a lot of states in the East, and will be expanding south to include North Carolina in the near future.
E-ZPass wouldn't help me in Texas, Kansas, California, Ontario, Quebec, or anywhere else outside of the E-ZPass system.

Wasn't there some talk about using high speed cameras and some sort of cross-collection system to allow for interoperability? That is, you don't need to be able to use the same tag everywhere; instead, there'd be a centralized db which would send the charge back to the home agency for payment. Yes, I do realize this means trying to get very political agencies to work together, but seeing how this would (could?) be a mutually beneficial arrangement, I think it'd be best. Beats having to track down and collect cash tolls from vehicles not in the system (and ideally, would allow the agencies to avoid a service fee).

"mtantillo" of this forum mentioned a couple of months ago that Florida was ready to allow E-ZPass users to use the SunPass lanes via an arrangement where the SunPass video enforcement would read your license plate number and then before the "toll-by-plate" bill goes out it would query the E-ZPass database for that plate number, find that you have an E-ZPass, and bill your account (meaning you wouldn't even need to have your E-ZPass transponder with you). The problem is that it's not as easy for the E-ZPass agencies to turn around and do the same thing. The issue is that some of the E-ZPass members—the one that comes to my mind immediately is the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (or whatever its new name is)—persist in using the old toll machine gates in the "E-ZPass Only" lanes, such that when you go through those lanes you have to come to a crawl until the arm goes up to clear the way. The arm won't go up if you don't have an E-ZPass. I know this is not totally unique to those facilities in New York City, as last summer (2011) the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami had a similar setup on their "C-Pass Only" lane ("C-Pass" being their proprietary transponder that was being phased out this year in favor of SunPass). So because SunPass, for example, is not compatible with E-ZPass, the SunPass won't activate the arm in the E-ZPass lane and you get a tailback, which is precisely what automated toll collection is supposed to eliminate.

I have no idea whether this problem can be overcome in a way that allows those agencies to maintain the old toll machine arms if they insist on doing so as a means of fighting against toll cheats. Obviously the better solution is to remove the arms and use video enforcement in the same manner Florida proposes to do, but perhaps some of the agencies feel that they'd wind up dealing with non-transponder drivers going through those lanes (which is exactly why they persist in using the annoying arms) and I guess they don't want to go to the expense of sending bills to one-time users and the like.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on July 24, 2012, 08:34:08 PM
"mtantillo" of this forum mentioned a couple of months ago that Florida was ready to allow E-ZPass users to use the SunPass lanes via an arrangement where the SunPass video enforcement would read your license plate number and then before the "toll-by-plate" bill goes out it would query the E-ZPass database for that plate number, find that you have an E-ZPass, and bill your account (meaning you wouldn't even need to have your E-ZPass transponder with you). The problem is that it's not as easy for the E-ZPass agencies to turn around and do the same thing. The issue is that some of the E-ZPass members—the one that comes to my mind immediately is the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (or whatever its new name is)—persist in using the old toll machine gates in the "E-ZPass Only" lanes, such that when you go through those lanes you have to come to a crawl until the arm goes up to clear the way. The arm won't go up if you don't have an E-ZPass. I know this is not totally unique to those facilities in New York City, as last summer (2011) the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami had a similar setup on their "C-Pass Only" lane ("C-Pass" being their proprietary transponder that was being phased out this year in favor of SunPass). So because SunPass, for example, is not compatible with E-ZPass, the SunPass won't activate the arm in the E-ZPass lane and you get a tailback, which is precisely what automated toll collection is supposed to eliminate.

I have no idea whether this problem can be overcome in a way that allows those agencies to maintain the old toll machine arms if they insist on doing so as a means of fighting against toll cheats. Obviously the better solution is to remove the arms and use video enforcement in the same manner Florida proposes to do, but perhaps some of the agencies feel that they'd wind up dealing with non-transponder drivers going through those lanes (which is exactly why they persist in using the annoying arms) and I guess they don't want to go to the expense of sending bills to one-time users and the like.

Those arms need to go the hell away. DRJTBC got rid of their gates in 2010 because they now have high speed cameras to catch violators. (Reference: http://www.drjtbc.org/default.aspx?pageid=1697 ). Why can't other agencies follow suit? I'm looking at you Burlington County Bridge Commission!  :no:
Does anyone have any numbers on the effectiveness of a gate (which, at least in the BCBC and DRJTBC lanes, you were able to bump out of the way) vs. collections after the fact using video tolling? I know the NJTA has had some collection issues from their top offenders, but what % of violations end up getting collected in the end? A criminal is a criminal... no point in holding back innovation if only some are abusing the system.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on July 25, 2012, 12:54:06 AM
You are certainly permitted to pay your toll with cash.  When you receive your bill, you can go to the authority's headquarters and pay with cash at that time.  You are also not required to use the toll way.  If you don't want to pay the toll, you are welcome to find another route.  It may not be as fast, and it may take you 3 times as long, but no one is forcing you to use a toll road.

....

You can also mail in a cash payment if you wish. I think most people would agree that it's foolish to do that, but nothing's stopping anyone from paying that way. The "NO CASH" signs simply mean that there are no tollbooths anywhere along the route accepting cash payments (compare to some toll roads where the booths are unmanned at certain hours such that an E-ZPass, exact coins, or a credit card is required).

That's all quite true, but it raises a couple of issues:

-I agree that nobody is forced to use a toll road, but the issue isn't that, but rather than nobody's preventing you from using it either (and thereby incurring a debt).
-Taking, for example, the CA 91 toll lanes, they seem to consider any use of the facility without an electronic payment method as a "violation"; i.e., a toll evasion. If I have only cash, and have every intention of paying my debt, how have I committed a violation by using the road, if I haven't been prevented from doing so? Yet they charge a fee for this "violation"; I'm a bit curious about the legality of this, and I suspect that under some amount of scrutiny it might be found improper to charge a fee or penalty for selecting a perfectly permissible means of settling a debt.
-There is the argument that motorists are indeed prevented from using the road by the erection of signs, i.e., official traffic control devices. Only problem there is that if I violate an official traffic sign, my debt then is with law enforcement, on behalf of the state, not the tolling agency, which me be a quasi-public non-governmental organization, or even a private entity. I wonder if they funnel the violation fees to the appropriate governmental agencies in those cases? The line has always been fuzzy between governmental units and public authorities.
-All of this is mostly a theoretical exercise; I'm not suggesting that cashless systems can't exist (after all, they're already all around us). I'm just saying that it would involve a level of complexity slightly beyond your typical "all-electronic" system as they exist now.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 25, 2012, 07:47:20 AM
-I agree that nobody is forced to use a toll road, but the issue isn't that, but rather than nobody's preventing you from using it either (and thereby incurring a debt).
-Taking, for example, the CA 91 toll lanes, they seem to consider any use of the facility without an electronic payment method as a "violation"; i.e., a toll evasion. If I have only cash, and have every intention of paying my debt, how have I committed a violation by using the road, if I haven't been prevented from doing so? Yet they charge a fee for this "violation"; I'm a bit curious about the legality of this, and I suspect that under some amount of scrutiny it might be found improper to charge a fee or penalty for selecting a perfectly permissible means of settling a debt.
-There is the argument that motorists are indeed prevented from using the road by the erection of signs, i.e., official traffic control devices. Only problem there is that if I violate an official traffic sign, my debt then is with law enforcement, on behalf of the state, not the tolling agency, which me be a quasi-public non-governmental organization, or even a private entity. I wonder if they funnel the violation fees to the appropriate governmental agencies in those cases? The line has always been fuzzy between governmental units and public authorities.
-All of this is mostly a theoretical exercise; I'm not suggesting that cashless systems can't exist (after all, they're already all around us). I'm just saying that it would involve a level of complexity slightly beyond your typical "all-electronic" system as they exist now.

I think the legality of this is settled by the fact that the road gives you ample warning that you cannot pay by cash, usually even announcing that there will be a fee if you don't have a transponder. If there's a sign that says you need a transponder or you will be charged a fee, then that's the case and you know if you don't have a transponder not to take the road.

I'm sure there are examples of the same situation in other places besides roads (I was thinking split cash/credit pricing at gas stations, but they usually charge more for credit, not cash).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on July 25, 2012, 09:29:29 AM
The United States Treasury disagrees with those of you who argue that anyone is REQUIRED to accept cash in payment of a debt (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pages/legal-tender.aspx):

Quote
(Question:) I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?

(Answer:) The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 25, 2012, 11:35:07 AM
nobody is forced to use a toll road

certainly not forced, but it is a hell of a lot more ornery to get from, say, Oakland to San Mateo, without a toll than with one. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on July 25, 2012, 06:51:48 PM
The United States Treasury disagrees with those of you who argue that anyone is REQUIRED to accept cash in payment of a debt (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pages/legal-tender.aspx):

Quote
(Question:) I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?

(Answer:) The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

Actually, I believe that supports the position when read carefully: "legal tender for all debts" does mean that cash, when offered as settlement of a debt, does legally and unequivocally extinguish that debt.

It's also correct to note that accepting cash is not required. A hotel patron cannot say, for example, "I am going to sleep in one of your rooms, and you will accept my cash as payment." In parallel, the hotel owner may say "I have a room available, but I will not let you have it if you are only offering cash as tender." In other words, the hotel owner has the right to decline to create a debt with the customer. But at the same time, if the patron has already slept in the room, and learns upon checking out that cash isn't accepted, he still has the right to offer cash as payment. Presumably, the owner can still refuse to accept it, and I guess that results in him waiving his right to collect on the debt, though I'm not certain how that's legally resolved. (The quote in this case being "I have slept in your room and am therefore in your debt; my cash, which you have the right to decline, does by my offering it nevertheless satisfy that debt."

Which brings up this question:

I think the legality of this is settled by the fact that the road gives you ample warning that you cannot pay by cash, usually even announcing that there will be a fee if you don't have a transponder. If there's a sign that says you need a transponder or you will be charged a fee, then that's the case and you know if you don't have a transponder not to take the road.

I do wonder whether simple notification is sufficient? For example, if the hotel has a sign posted that cash isn't accepted, but it has fallen down, or the patron otherwise doesn't notice it, and has no criminal intent, can the owner still refuse cash at checkout, while still expecting the debt to be satisfied? Is the burden on the owner to prevent the patron from using the service? I'd think so, because there are various ways in which a person can consume a product or service before paying for it, even in violation of a merchant's policy, without any ill intent.

I'm sure there's plenty of case law on this, and we're probably due for a thread split here.  :D But it's interesting, a sort of chicken-and-egg question, and I do wonder how all-electronic tolling gets around the problem (if it truly does).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on July 26, 2012, 09:01:57 AM
^ I am not a lawyer, but I'm under the impression that what the law says is less important than what you (and your adversary) think a judge or jury would accept should the matter end up in court.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 26, 2012, 11:29:45 AM
Sad but true.  For example, EULAs are technically illegal under current contract law (there's not negotiation or meeting of the minds, which contracts require, just "agree to use the service or don't and we keep your money anyways!  And we can change the terms at any time for any reason with little or no notice!  And there's nothing you can do about it!  HA HA HA!), but judges have ruled otherwise.  Ditto for everything in the bill of rights except for the third amendment.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 26, 2012, 01:10:20 PM
nobody is forced to use a toll road

certainly not forced, but it is a hell of a lot more ornery to get from, say, Oakland to San Mateo, without a toll than with one. 

Imagine if that toll road wasn't there.  In fact, it wasn't before the road was built.  So that other road was the only option.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on July 26, 2012, 08:48:57 PM
nobody is forced to use a toll road

certainly not forced, but it is a hell of a lot more ornery to get from, say, Oakland to San Mateo, without a toll than with one. 

Imagine if that toll road wasn't there.  In fact, it wasn't before the road was built.  So that other road was the only option.


The toll bridge replaced a toll ferry...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 29, 2012, 04:26:12 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike debt soaring on Act 44 payouts for transit/free roads - tripled in 5 years (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6153)

Quote
2012-08-28: Preliminary $-numbers for fiscal year 2012 show the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's (PTC) debt now standing at close to $8 billion, a near threefold increase over the past five years. In FY2007 total debt was $2.71b, while at end FY2012 it was $7.95b - 2.95-fold higher.

Quote
In that time toll revenues - the commission's major source of revenue - went from $593m to $779m, a 31% increase. These are unaudited numbers that the commission says should be regarded as preliminary.

Quote
The good news seems to be that America's oldest automobile era pike has  managed to cut operating expenses considerably - from $363m in FY2007 to $303m in FY2012.

Quote
Tolls minus op exp then go from $230m in FY2007 to $476m in FY2012, a better than two fold increase. In our extremely simplified version of the Penn Pike's accounts their net - before debt service, depreciation and capital spending - was improved substantially by strong toll increases on the one hand and and economies in operation costs on the other.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 26, 2012, 11:18:09 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Pennsylvania auditor general tells legislators state Turnpike will face bankruptcy within "no more than a couple of years" (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6202)

Quote
2012-09-25: The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will face bankruptcy in "no more than a couple of years" according to the state's Auditor General Jack Wagner speaking to a joint hearing of the transportation committees of the state legislature in Harrisburg Tuesday. Wagner called for an immediate repeal of Act 44 - the 2007 law that committed the Turnpike to $450m/year payments to the state department of transportation, PennDOT.

Quote
Following Wagner the Turnpike's CEO Roger Nutt said the Turnpike faced no crisis and has a sound financial plan for funding the $450m/year payments over the 50 years to 2057 as provided by Act 44. Rating agencies had not downrated the Turnpike's bonds in three years.

Quote
The state auditor general Wagner began by calling the Turnpike Commission's approach to paying $450m/year to the state DOT "film flam financing."

Quote
Without the toll revenues from I-80 envisaged by its primary sponsor state senate leader Vincent Fumo the Turnpike was only managing to make the PennDOT payouts by adding substantially to debt each year. With the addition of its own debt financing this was adding a "crushing debt" burden on the Turnpike books, Wagner insisted.

Quote
He drew an analogy with a householder who was able to meet his own mortgage payments on his house but is suddenly required to take on servicing his his neighbor's mortgage as well. And only does so by taking out new loans each year.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 26, 2012, 07:18:47 PM
Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. Turnpike using ‘flim-flam’ financing: auditor-gen. (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20120925_Pa__Turnpike_using_flim-flam_financing__auditor-gen_.html)

Quote
Pennsylvania Turnpike officials are using "flim-flam finance" to cover the turnpike's increasing debt, and the toll road could be bankrupt in "a couple of years," state auditor general Jack Wagner told legislators Tuesday.

Quote
But turnpike chief executive Roger Nutt said toll increases on motorists and truckers every year will provide enough money to prevent financial calamity.

Quote
State lawmakers are considering whether to rewrite a 2007 law that requires the turnpike to provide $450 million a year for public transit and road and bridge projects around Pennsylvania, in addition to paying for the costs of operating the 545-mile turnpike system.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 26, 2012, 09:44:01 PM
Is there a total that the PTC has paid via act44 and what fraction of PTC debt does that represent?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 26, 2012, 10:31:43 PM
Is there a total that the PTC has paid via act44 and what fraction of PTC debt does that represent?

I understand that it's $450 million per year, even though the PTC is not collecting a dime from I-80 motorists (the $450 million assumed that the PTC was going to be collecting a lot of revenue from I-80 tolls).

The TOLLROADSnews article above also said:

Quote
In five years of Act 44 payouts to PennDOT by the Turnpike its debt has risen from $2.6 billion to $7.3b. And it has gone from having a balance sheet of net assets of $156m to having negative net worth of $1.4b.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 28, 2012, 04:56:15 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Pennsylvania sec trans Schoch: "safer" to lift burden of debt on Penn Pike by repeal of Act 44 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6206)

Quote
2012-09-26: Barry Schoch the Pennsylvania secretary of transportation said toward the end of a long hearing in the state legislature this week that it would be the "safer" course to repeal Act 44 and lift the burden of debt on the Turnpike and get alternative funding for PennDOT. Schoch disagreed with Jack Wagner the state auditor-general who said the Turnpike's use of new debt to fund the legislated payments of $450m/ year could cause a financial crisis within as little as "a couple of years."

Quote
Wagner urged the immediate repeal of the law requiring the $450m/year payments. We reported yesterday Turnpike CEO Roger Nutt's all-out defense of Act 44 and his complete rejection of the Auditor General's alarms.

Quote
By contrast with Nutt, secretary Schoch made a point of saying "I am not opposed to repeal of Act 44."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 04, 2012, 01:05:57 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike ops chief says ticket system replacement difficult decision with AET committed (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6214[/url)

Quote
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is spending about $8 million to replace its ticket dispensers and readers. 119 entry lanes are getting a new automatic ticket issuing machine (ATIM) cabinet. 148 exit lanes at toll collector booths are getting new ticket readers and receipt printers.

Quote
The new equipment will be in use less than five years because the need for tickets will end with the conversion to all electronic tolling scheduled for mid-2017. Craig Shuey, chief operating officer tells us they considered trying to keep the old equipment going, but decided the risks of the old ticket system collapsing before mid-2017 were too great.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on October 07, 2012, 06:01:07 PM
I noticed that is some ramps on the PA Turnpike between it and PA 132 in Bensalem where the old Neshaminy Plaza used to be.  I am guessing that is part of the new I-95 and PA Turnpike project, but I see it has not made it to street view yet.

I see it on google satelite, but when you move down to street view status there is just woods there.  Is this going to be a relocated US 1 interchange, a new EZ Pass only interchange, or another exit to relieve traffic in that area.

Also, I noticed that there is no ramp from EB PA 132 to SB US 1 at the nearby cloverleaf.  How does EB to SB make it movements being that there is no sign at Old Lincoln Highway that would be the only way this missing movement could be made.   Is this lack of signage a mistake or has it been removed and never replaced as this would not be the first time a sign vanished and never replaced?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on October 07, 2012, 06:25:05 PM
I noticed that is some ramps on the PA Turnpike between it and PA 132 in Bensalem where the old Neshaminy Plaza used to be.  I am guessing that is part of the new I-95 and PA Turnpike project, but I see it has not made it to street view yet.

I see it on google satelite, but when you move down to street view status there is just woods there.  Is this going to be a relocated US 1 interchange, a new EZ Pass only interchange, or another exit to relieve traffic in that area.

Also, I noticed that there is no ramp from EB PA 132 to SB US 1 at the nearby cloverleaf.  How does EB to SB make it movements being that there is no sign at Old Lincoln Highway that would be the only way this missing movement could be made.   Is this lack of signage a mistake or has it been removed and never replaced as this would not be the first time a sign vanished and never replaced?
The new interchange is an E-ZPass only exit and entrance for eastbound Turnpike traffic, which has nothing to do with the I-95 project.  This is before where the new mainline toll plaza will be located.

Last time I was down there, there was signing (trailblazers) on eastbound Street Road at the Old Lincoln Highway intersection directing traffic to U.S. 1 SB to turn right.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Roadsguy on October 08, 2012, 02:48:20 PM
Yeah, Old Lincoln Highway is a corner-cutter for both directions. It's also choked sometimes. PennDOT does have ROW to make it four lanes, though.

The new ramps are just slip ramps to Street Road, primarily built because of nearby Parx Casino, as akotchi said. The new plaza will be east of there between the Galloway and Richlieu Road bridges.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on October 09, 2012, 05:17:26 PM
I noticed that the two Harrisburg Interchanges are Harrisburg Westshore and Harrisburg East.  I was wondering why the I-283 interchange is not Harrisburg Eastshore?  I noticed to the the ticket says Harrisburg W. to fit it in the same as its counterpart having Harrisburg E.  The signs for I-83, the last I have seen, did not say Westshore but West as well.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on October 09, 2012, 06:49:23 PM
I noticed that the two Harrisburg Interchanges are Harrisburg Westshore and Harrisburg East.  I was wondering why the I-283 interchange is not Harrisburg Eastshore?  I noticed to the the ticket says Harrisburg W. to fit it in the same as its counterpart having Harrisburg E.  The signs for I-83, the last I have seen, did not say Westshore but West as well.
In the 22 years I've been in PA, the I-83/I-76-PA Turnpike interchange has always been known as Harrisburg West.  Which matches all the signs, toll tickets, maps etc.  Out of curiousity, when was it referred to or called Harrisburg Westshore?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on October 09, 2012, 10:06:55 PM
Philly.com: PA Turnpike Chief Resigns
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121009_Pa__Turnpike_chief_resigns.html (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121009_Pa__Turnpike_chief_resigns.html)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 10, 2012, 12:28:12 AM
Philly.com: PA Turnpike Chief Resigns
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121009_Pa__Turnpike_chief_resigns.html (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121009_Pa__Turnpike_chief_resigns.html)

Wonder if he got tired of being asked all of those questions about Act 44 and the huge amounts of cash that the PTC has been sending over to PennDOT, SEPTA and the Port Authority of Allegheny County?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 10, 2012, 08:36:42 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike CEO Roger Nutt retires after 19 months because of heart problems, he says (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6223)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 14, 2012, 02:20:36 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike's debt-to-fund-handouts model continues to be issue in state legislature - 3 years of insolvency (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6274)

Quote
2012-11-13: State auditor general Jack Wagner said again today in a legislative hearing that the Pennsylvania Turnpike "will go over a financial cliff at some point" unless it is relieved of the obligation to hand over $450 million each year to the state DOT for free roads and transit subsidies. He called the mid-2007 law (Act 44) requiring the payments "a financial noose" around the neck of the Turnpike.

Quote
The Turnpike "faces bankruptcy" the auditor general said if it has to keep borrowing more to make the handouts. It was "not a sustainable business model." Wagner alluded to the top of the toll rates/revenue curve where losses of traffic equal the percentage by which toll rates are raised and no more revenue can be extracted from the Turnpike.

Quote
He called this a "tipping point" at which the financial model could be overturned.

Quote
Turnpike officials say this isn't a present threat, that it has a sound longterm financial plan, that the Turnpike bonds are still highly rated and the management of the Turnpike is aggressively cutting costs to produce an operating surplus that can help pay for its interest and state-handout obligations.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on November 15, 2012, 01:58:17 PM
The Post-Gazette had a story (concerning trans. funding) that refrenced this stuff as well....

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/road-to-transportation-policy-detoured-662006/ (http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/road-to-transportation-policy-detoured-662006/)

Quote
He recommended lawmakers repeal a 2007 law that requires the commission to provide $450 million each year for improvements to roads, bridges and public transportation in the state.

Representatives of the turnpike testified the commission could meet its obligations by increasing tolls about 3 percent each year. A financial adviser told lawmakers there is strong demand for bonds issued by the turnpike.

"The issue here is a choice of how do you finance it," Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch said after the hearing. "His feeling is that running into debt on the turnpike is not a good choice, and I respect that opinion. I think from our perspective though, as we said today, we can manage it at the turnpike."

So they can meet their "obligations" by raising tolls 3% each year? Nifty.
The problem is the notion of raising tolls 3% EVERY year should not be acceptable to anyone associated with making transportation policy. 
Obviously, toll rates do need to increase every so often, what with inflation and all (and, as much as I'd hate seeing gas prices rise, the gas tax should too), but 3% annually seems excessive and unsustainable in the long run.

The bottom line is Act 44 is complete, total, and utter BULLSHIT!  And I don't have any faith in Harrisburg to do anything about anytime soon.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on November 20, 2012, 08:29:51 AM
So they can meet their "obligations" by raising tolls 3% each year? Nifty.
The problem is the notion of raising tolls 3% EVERY year should not be acceptable to anyone associated with making transportation policy. 
Obviously, toll rates do need to increase every so often, what with inflation and all (and, as much as I'd hate seeing gas prices rise, the gas tax should too), but 3% annually seems excessive and unsustainable in the long run.

The bottom line is Act 44 is complete, total, and utter BULLSHIT!  And I don't have any faith in Harrisburg to do anything about anytime soon.

Agreed. Now that the election season is over, I need to bug my state reps again about repealing that POS. I don't have a problem with tolls. I do have a problem with tolls being used to fund shortfalls in the general transportation budget. Why tax just the turnpike users for general funding for mass transit and other roads in PA? If PA needs transportation money, then PA needs to raise taxes. How long do they think they can keep raising tolls until it starts cutting into their usage? Or maybe they figure with the number of commuters who have no practical alternatives, they'd be set.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on November 20, 2012, 09:09:19 AM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on November 20, 2012, 09:34:36 AM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

This is the same model that ADOT uses to fund the freeway system around Phoenix. I think it's a great idea, given that most of the traffic on these roads is probably all within the metro area (so you're generally taxing the people who benefit the most from the system). It comes as close as possible to a usage-based system as you can get without implementing tolls.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on December 03, 2012, 05:09:17 PM
Pa. turnpike had early impact on nation’s motoring history (http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x942840567/Pa-turnpike-had-early-impact-on-nation-s-motoring-history) - Johnstown Tribune-Review

Just a "Cliff Notes" version of its history.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2012, 06:54:39 PM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

Isn't there some sort of funding mechanism like the above in Orange County (Calif.) that is limited to that county? 

And might explain why I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) is in dramatically better condition in Orange County than it is in Los Angeles County?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 03, 2012, 10:19:45 PM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

Isn't there some sort of funding mechanism like the above in Orange County (Calif.) that is limited to that county? 

And might explain why I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) is in dramatically better condition in Orange County than it is in Los Angeles County?

Yes, IIRC all of the peripheral counties in metro LA have this mechanism in place, I believe LA County does as well, but they blow it all on the LA Metro, now in San Diego, prior to both the 1984 vote and the 2004 renewal, specified the allocation breakdown for mass transit, local roads and freeways.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: BigRedDog on December 03, 2012, 10:42:01 PM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

One problem: the voters did not pass a 1% sales tax for stadiums in Pittsburgh. In fact, the plan was to increase the sales tax .5% in 11 counties in the Pittsburgh Metro area to pay for two new stadiums and a convention center in Pittsburgh as well as building road, bridge, sewer, water and industrial park projects in all 11 counties. That referendum was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in all 11 counties in of November 1997. (To be fair, I don't know the history behind the Philadelphia stadiums.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 03, 2012, 11:32:31 PM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

One problem: the voters did not pass a 1% sales tax for stadiums in Pittsburgh. In fact, the plan was to increase the sales tax .5% in 11 counties in the Pittsburgh Metro area to pay for two new stadiums and a convention center in Pittsburgh as well as building road, bridge, sewer, water and industrial park projects in all 11 counties. That referendum was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in all 11 counties in of November 1997. (To be fair, I don't know the history behind the Philadelphia stadiums.)

I left PA in 1985, I am glad to see the attempt was at least made in 1997 for SW PA, I was worried that a mechanism like that may have been prohibited by PA's constitution.  But it has been 14 years, maybe it should be attempted again, when does the Heinz Field tax end?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: BigRedDog on December 03, 2012, 11:46:28 PM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

One problem: the voters did not pass a 1% sales tax for stadiums in Pittsburgh. In fact, the plan was to increase the sales tax .5% in 11 counties in the Pittsburgh Metro area to pay for two new stadiums and a convention center in Pittsburgh as well as building road, bridge, sewer, water and industrial park projects in all 11 counties. That referendum was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in all 11 counties in of November 1997. (To be fair, I don't know the history behind the Philadelphia stadiums.)

I left PA in 1985, I am glad to see the attempt was at least made in 1997 for SW PA, I was worried that a mechanism like that may have been prohibited by PA's constitution.  But it has been 14 years, maybe it should be attempted again, when does the Heinz Field tax end?

There is no tax. That's what I'm saying. The proposal to add .5% to the sales tax was defeated, rejected, shot down, kaput. It didn't happen. Heinz Field (and PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center) were paid for with money given by the city, the county and the commonwealth from existing sources. Granted, the taxpayers are footing the bill, but not because they chose to do so, but because the politicians decided to ignore the will of the people.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 04, 2012, 12:31:54 AM
I guess that's where I got confused:  My folks still live in Allegheny County (McCandless) and they always told me that the 1% sales tax for stadiums only had been approved by the voters.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: BigRedDog on December 04, 2012, 12:46:06 AM
I guess that's where I got confused:  My folks still live in Allegheny County (McCandless) and they always told me that the 1% sales tax for stadiums only had been approved by the voters.

The sales tax in PA is 6%. Passed in 1994, Allegheny County started imposing an extra 1% that is split between reducing local taxes and for funding of regional assets (museums, parks, libraries, cultural groups, et. al.) Part of that money did go to funding the two Pittsburgh stadiums, but the 1% sales tax increase of 1994 was enacted by political leaders and is not the "Plan A" .5% sales tax referendum that was soundly rejected in 1997.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: KEVIN_224 on December 04, 2012, 01:14:47 AM
I seem to remember the sales tax showing as 7% whenever I bought something in Philadelphia.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on December 04, 2012, 08:41:42 AM
I seem to remember the sales tax showing as 7% whenever I bought something in Philadelphia.
Philly's sales tax was bumped up to 7% in 1991 and was later increased to 8% just a few years ago.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on December 04, 2012, 11:01:55 AM
There is no tax. That's what I'm saying. The proposal to add .5% to the sales tax was defeated, rejected, shot down, kaput. It didn't happen. Heinz Field (and PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center) were paid for with money given by the city, the county and the commonwealth from existing sources. Granted, the taxpayers are footing the bill, but not because they chose to do so, but because the politicians decided to ignore the will of the people.
The vote was only for the additional .5% sales tax, not the stadium.  Plus "your money" ceases to be yours the moment it's paid in taxes.  Once that happens, it's the government's money (refunds are not "giving back your money" but rather paying a debt they incurred when you overpaid).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: BigRedDog on December 04, 2012, 11:12:34 AM
There is no tax. That's what I'm saying. The proposal to add .5% to the sales tax was defeated, rejected, shot down, kaput. It didn't happen. Heinz Field (and PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center) were paid for with money given by the city, the county and the commonwealth from existing sources. Granted, the taxpayers are footing the bill, but not because they chose to do so, but because the politicians decided to ignore the will of the people.
The vote was only for the additional .5% sales tax, not the stadium.  Plus "your money" ceases to be yours the moment it's paid in taxes.  Once that happens, it's the government's money (refunds are not "giving back your money" but rather paying a debt they incurred when you overpaid).

You're right that the vote was "only for the additional .5% sales tax" and was not directly a vote for against building the new stadiums. However, it was a vote on how to fund the projects with the proposed .5% increase going directly to fund the stadiums, the convention center and road, bridge, sewer, water and industrial park projects in all 11 counties.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mc78andrew on December 04, 2012, 08:48:33 PM
I seem to remember the sales tax showing as 7% whenever I bought something in Philadelphia.
Philly's sales tax was bumped up to 7% in 1991 and was later increased to 8% just a few years ago.

Philly also has a wage tax.  Tough place to make a living. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: kendancy66 on December 04, 2012, 11:28:07 PM
Even though I no longer live in PA, I have written representtives there to promote the SoCal model:  Giving an MPO the ability to go to the ballot box to raise a 1/4% sales tax for transportation.  In San Diego, there is a predetermined split 35% freeways. 35% mass transit, 30% local roads.  It raises a sh**load of $$, If the voters passsed a 1% sales tax for stadiums in PItts and Philly, this should be at least presented tot hem as well.

Isn't there some sort of funding mechanism like the above in Orange County (Calif.) that is limited to that county?

You are thinking of Measure M.  I think it adds 1/2% to the sales tax
Quote
And might explain why I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) is in dramatically better condition in Orange County than it is in Los Angeles County?

I think that I-5 is one of first projects that got Measure M money, but I am not sure.  I am sure that SR-22 was rebuilt with Measure M money.  Pretty much every freeway in Orange County has had a measure M project performed on it.

PLEASE use quote tags properly
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 05, 2012, 01:08:35 AM
Now that work is wrapping up on 3 laning/reconstruction from PA8 to Warrendale and commencing from PA 8 to PA 28, what, if any will be the next Pittsburgh segment to be widened?  I am having difficulty gleaning that info from the Capital Improvement Plan
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on December 05, 2012, 01:04:09 PM
Now that work is wrapping up on 3 laning/reconstruction from PA8 to Warrendale and commencing from PA 8 to PA 28, what, if any will be the next Pittsburgh segment to be widened?  I am having difficulty gleaning that info from the Capital Improvement Plan

Yeah... their website doesn't do so well in spelling out their long-range plans anymore.

I know they are planning on replacing the Beaver River Bridge, and maybe doing some of the Beaver Valley to Cranberry section.  No longer sure what the timetables are for any of that though.

Eventually, I'm sure they want to get the rest widened/reconstructed between Irwin (US-30) & Allegheny Valley (PA-28).... Though they might (at least, I'm guessing) be trying to squeeze more life out of some fairly major (4-lane) structures in that area (One near the Irwin interchange, One just about right in the middle of Monroeville <-> Alleg. Valley).  I'm also guessing that's the reason the 6-laning & reconstruction ended about 1-1/2 mile west of the PA-8 exit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 04, 2013, 08:22:09 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Snow and ice policy changes generate angst at Penn Pike sheds (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6339)

Quote
Pennsylvania Turnpike employees have always been proud of the work they do to keep their roadways clear and safe through the winter. And with some justification. The Turnpike's east-west mainline mostly I-76 and the north-south I-476 NE Extension both have the reputation for being the best ways to travel in ice and snow. Whereas Penn DOT has a reputation for struggling to avert ice or clear snow properly the Turnpike has been pretty consistent in delivering a safe roadway with a "bare pavement" policy based on spreading large quantities of salt ahead, and then deploying large fleets of plows to move snow off the travel lanes.

Quote
In the north the local wisdom in wintry weather is "forget 80, go down to the Turnpike" and in the east it's "forget 81, go with the (NE) Extension" - because the Turnpike's handling of ice and snow is superior to that of the state DOT on the untolled interstates. Presumably the same is true with the north-south routes in the west.

Quote
Early in the winter a guy in one of the maintenance sheds - we'll call him Murphy - told us the Turnpike's superior performance in winter is being put in jeopardy by a new set of PennDOT managers taking over "the third floor" in the Turnpike's central office.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 04, 2013, 08:45:19 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Snow and ice policy changes generate angst at Penn Pike sheds (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6339)
Quote
Early in the winter a guy in one of the maintenance sheds - we'll call him Murphy - told us the Turnpike's superior performance in winter is being put in jeopardy by a new set of PennDOT managers taking over "the third floor" in the Turnpike's central office.

From my experences salting roadways, no matter what policies are created internally regarding how much salt to put on the roads, the plow/salt truck operator just has to use judgement on how much needs to be applied and where. 

Before a storm, putting salt out is senseless.  Just like a candy wrapper flying around from passing vehicles, most of the salt on a dry road has nothing to stick to, and will mostly be breezed over to the shoulders.  Sure, some salt gets crushed by passing vehicles, but compared to what is being spread on the roads, the benefits are minute.

That's why brine is preferred before a storm. But even then, after the storm intensifies, there's not much that can be done to keep the roads cleared until after the storm is over, or the road temp rises to about 32 degrees.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Roadsguy on January 04, 2013, 09:05:15 AM
Quote
Penn DOT

That'd better just be a typo. :pan:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 04, 2013, 11:33:31 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Snow and ice policy changes generate angst at Penn Pike sheds (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6339)
Quote
Early in the winter a guy in one of the maintenance sheds - we'll call him Murphy - told us the Turnpike's superior performance in winter is being put in jeopardy by a new set of PennDOT managers taking over "the third floor" in the Turnpike's central office.

From my experences salting roadways, no matter what policies are created internally regarding how much salt to put on the roads, the plow/salt truck operator just has to use judgement on how much needs to be applied and where.

I agree.  This is why simple-sounding "dump truck drivers" with experience doing this sort of work need to be well-compensated.  And why dump truck drivers that have knowledge of the highways they are treating are an important asset.

Before a storm, putting salt out is senseless.  Just like a candy wrapper flying around from passing vehicles, most of the salt on a dry road has nothing to stick to, and will mostly be breezed over to the shoulders.  Sure, some salt gets crushed by passing vehicles, but compared to what is being spread on the roads, the benefits are minute.

I agree.

That's why brine is preferred before a storm. But even then, after the storm intensifies, there's not much that can be done to keep the roads cleared until after the storm is over, or the road temp rises to about 32 degrees.

There are places where temperatures can stay below freezing for many, many days, yet snow and ice must be dealt with anyway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 04, 2013, 03:51:29 PM
That's why brine is preferred before a storm. But even then, after the storm intensifies, there's not much that can be done to keep the roads cleared until after the storm is over, or the road temp rises to about 32 degrees.

There are places where temperatures can stay below freezing for many, many days, yet snow and ice must be dealt with anyway.

Thus, the *or*. :-)

When both factors are at play (storm & cold temps), the best the road crews can do is keep the roads passible. 

When the temps rise, the snow/ice won't stick and/or melt from the roadway, even if it is still snowing. 

When the storm ends, the crews can work on getting the snow and/or ice off the roadways, even if temps are below the freezing point. 

But clearing roads during a storm, below 32 degrees, is simply impossible, no matter how much people think it can magically happen!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 04, 2013, 05:54:20 PM
Now that work is wrapping up on 3 laning/reconstruction from PA8 to Warrendale and commencing from PA 8 to PA 28, what, if any will be the next Pittsburgh segment to be widened?  I am having difficulty gleaning that info from the Capital Improvement Plan

I have the old timetable on my site (http://www.pahighways.com/toll/PATurnpike.html#Chapter13), but that went out the window when Act 44 began eating into their budget.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 09, 2013, 08:19:59 AM
TOLLROADSnews: State auditor-general again clashes with Pennsylvania Turnpike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6346)

Quote
The state's auditor-general (AG) Jack Wagner and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission differ sharply over a review of the Turnpike's management. Most money is at issue in what Wagner says is  $109 million in losses he estimates have been incurred by the Turnpike in interest rate swaps or hedging contracts.

Quote
"The Turnpike Commission’s use of swaps associated with its bond issues, which was a strategy designed to save money, has instead proven to saddle the commonwealth’s taxpayers and the Turnpike’s toll-paying customers with enormous costs," the AG report writes. "Given the Turnpike’s precarious financial position relative to Act 44 payments (to the state DOT), the Turnpike should not use these complicated and risky deals."

Quote
The Turnpike in a lengthy response disputes the AG's accounting methodology. The Turnpike says the termination payments called $59m in losses by the AG in fact allowed the Turnpike to refinance at a lower interest rate and in fact produced present value savings of nearly $11m as a result.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman on January 15, 2013, 01:19:55 PM
Noted this press release regarding the Kittany and Blue Mountain Tunnels.

http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130102170238.htm

Any idea what the "safety reasons" that prompted this restriction are?

Edited to correct the link - RM
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr. Matté on January 15, 2013, 02:01:39 PM
That link doesn't mention the tunnels, this does:
http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130102170238.htm
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman on January 15, 2013, 02:09:21 PM
Sorry about the error, and thanks.  I've corrected the link in my original post.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 15, 2013, 02:42:00 PM
Noted this press release regarding the Kittany and Blue Mountain Tunnels.
http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130102170238.htm

Any idea what the "safety reasons" that prompted this restriction are?

My only guess... and it's just a guess since I haven't personally been on the turnpike in that area (or east of Breezewood, for that matter) in almost 6-1/2 years.....:

There is currently road work between MP 199-202, and by the looks of the traffic camera they have in the area (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/mp199to202/cameras.html (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/mp199to202/cameras.html)), traffic is using the shoulder area as the right lane of each direction....

Anytime you have a fairly long-term situation where the shoulder is used as a regular lane, you'll usually see buses and trucks restricted to the left lane, since the shoulder isn't designed to take all the weight of heavier vehicles. 
As to why this applies to the tunnels, I can only guess that they want the trucks and buses in the left lane a good bit in advance of the construction area... Since there are no lane changes allowed in the tunnels, nor in the short space between the tunnels, they want it (trucks & buses in the left lane) to happen before entering the first tunnel (eastbound), or they want trucks to wait to get out of the left lane till after the tunnels (westbound).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman on January 15, 2013, 02:52:12 PM
Noted this press release regarding the Kittany and Blue Mountain Tunnels.
http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130102170238.htm

Any idea what the "safety reasons" that prompted this restriction are?

My only guess... and it's just a guess since I haven't personally been on the turnpike in that area (or east of Breezewood, for that matter) in almost 6-1/2 years.....:

There is currently road work between MP 199-202, and by the looks of the traffic camera they have in the area (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/mp199to202/cameras.html (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/mp199to202/cameras.html)), traffic is using the shoulder area as the right lane of each direction....

Anytime you have a fairly long-term situation where the shoulder is used as a regular lane, you'll usually see buses and trucks restricted to the left lane, since the shoulder isn't designed to take all the weight of heavier vehicles. 
As to why this applies to the tunnels, I can only guess that they want the trucks and buses in the left lane a good bit in advance of the construction area... Since there are no lane changes allowed in the tunnels, nor in the short space between the tunnels, they want it (trucks & buses in the left lane) to happen before entering the first tunnel (eastbound), or they want trucks to wait to get out of the left lane till after the tunnels (westbound).

Hadn't thought about the adjacent construction area (or that the shoulder is being used as a travel lane), but it seems logical to do so.  Thanks.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 15, 2013, 03:31:28 PM
Acctually the work zone is IMMEDIATELY upon exiting the tunnels.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on January 17, 2013, 06:30:36 PM
Anytime you have a fairly long-term situation where the shoulder is used as a regular lane, you'll usually see buses and trucks restricted to the left lane, since the shoulder isn't designed to take all the weight of heavier vehicles.

The PA Turnpike shoulders are also slightly sloped away from the travel lanes and have drain grates in them. This causes a rolling moment that is very noticeable for large trucks. It makes driving them rather difficult. So controllability is also one of the reasons trucks are kept in the left lane.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on January 17, 2013, 07:00:41 PM
I read somewhere, either on the PA Turnpike website, or in a news article, that one of the main reasons for the Trucks/Buses Left Lane pattern is for the safety of the construction vehicles who have to merge in/out of the right lane into the construction areas.  Because trucks and buses take longer to slow down, and because construction vehicles will be driving much slower entering/exiting the right lane to the construction area, it's safer to keep trucks and buses out of the right lane.

I think the issue of drain gates, and the shoulders not being able to take the weight, were also noted in what I remember reading.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2013, 08:36:23 PM
Anytime you have a fairly long-term situation where the shoulder is used as a regular lane, you'll usually see buses and trucks restricted to the left lane, since the shoulder isn't designed to take all the weight of heavier vehicles. 

I think that is the reason.  I have seen Virginia do this  as well, as far back as the mid-1980's, when VDOT was widening a long section of I-95 (from Richmond to MCB Quantico) from four lanes to six lanes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on January 17, 2013, 09:39:02 PM
I read somewhere, either on the PA Turnpike website, or in a news article, that one of the main reasons for the Trucks/Buses Left Lane pattern is for the safety of the construction vehicles who have to merge in/out of the right lane into the construction areas.  Because trucks and buses take longer to slow down, and because construction vehicles will be driving much slower entering/exiting the right lane to the construction area, it's safer to keep trucks and buses out of the right lane.

I think the issue of drain gates, and the shoulders not being able to take the weight, were also noted in what I remember reading.

It was mentioned recently as well in an article

http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-04/news/mc-road-warrior-trucks-left-20110904_1_mid-county-lanes-work-zone
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on January 17, 2013, 09:52:54 PM
It was mentioned recently as well in an article

http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-04/news/mc-road-warrior-trucks-left-20110904_1_mid-county-lanes-work-zone

That's EXACTLY where I read it - thanks!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 17, 2013, 11:47:59 PM
On a Pittsburgh-centric message board i frequent, a Turnpike employee posted that final design work for PA 28 to I-376 widening/rebuild commenced in August 2012, but the mentioned that the 376 interchage would be vastly reconfigured.  Anyone know anything on this?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on January 18, 2013, 09:16:17 AM
On a Pittsburgh-centric message board i frequent, a Turnpike employee posted that final design work for PA 28 to I-376 widening/rebuild commenced in August 2012, but the mentioned that the 376 interchage would be vastly reconfigured.  Anyone know anything on this?

I haven't heard anything about this, but, with AET coming to the Turnpike in the future, I could see some flyovers @ the I-76/I-376/US-22 interchange get built to eliminate the tight ramps.  Also to eliminate the left exits from I-376 to/from US-22/US-22 Business.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 18, 2013, 11:30:41 AM
I realized this morning that any widening would require the replacement of the trumpet bridge over the turnpike for 376, hence the need to probably build a replacement interchange beforehand.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on January 22, 2013, 06:12:58 PM
Turnpike Planning Called Into Question Over Demolition of Recently Built Bridges (http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3238961-74/turnpike-bridges-bridge) - Tribune-Review
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 22, 2013, 06:17:43 PM
On a Pittsburgh-centric message board i frequent, a Turnpike employee posted that final design work for PA 28 to I-376 widening/rebuild commenced in August 2012, but the mentioned that the 376 interchage would be vastly reconfigured.  Anyone know anything on this?

I haven't heard anything about this, but, with AET coming to the Turnpike in the future, I could see some flyovers @ the I-76/I-376/US-22 interchange get built to eliminate the tight ramps.  Also to eliminate the left exits from I-376 to/from US-22/US-22 Business.

I'll admit this has piqued my interest.  It might be quite some time, probably not until constructions starts, that they'll post any plans on the web (though I hope I'm wrong), but I'm quite curious as to what their plans are.  Since it won't be for a while, I'd also bet that it involves not having a toll plaza.  Not sure what would get reconfigured on the "free" side of things.  PennDOT just rebuilt the EB US-22/End-of-376 bridge over the William Penn Hwy a year ago, and the TPK's bridge (WB) over Bus-22 that becomes I-376 isn't all that old either. 
Certainly curious.


*-EDIT: I was gonna segue my second-to-last sentence into posting the Trib story that PA Highways beat me to by a few minutes about the turnpike replacing bridges that aren't that old yet.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on January 22, 2013, 11:27:36 PM
Turnpike Planning Called Into Question Over Demolition of Recently Built Bridges (http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3238961-74/turnpike-bridges-bridge) - Tribune-Review

I've noticed the same thing: bridges that look rather new that you know will have to be torn down for widening
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: JREwing78 on January 23, 2013, 07:27:39 PM
When I've seen a highway department replace an overpass over a freeway/tollway/expressway, it's almost always rebuilt with room for an extra lane or two in each direction. It's more expensive at first, but it certainly saves you the trouble of rebuilding the bridge 13 years later when "Oh, whoops!", they suddenly decide to widen the highway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on January 24, 2013, 10:58:50 AM
Exactly.  The widening projects may not have been on the horizon when the bridges were built, but that does not excuse the incompetence of building them for the current day and nothing more.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 24, 2013, 12:20:36 PM
When they do any sort of project, they are supposed to plan and forecast for the next 25 years.  Let's see what sort of planning was done, and why that forecast failed.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 24, 2013, 12:42:19 PM
When they do any sort of project, they are supposed to plan and forecast for the next 25 years.  Let's see what sort of planning was done, and why that forecast failed.

The marginal cost of constructing a bridge over a four-lane freeway with shoulders (which is what most of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is) to accommodate a future six-lane freeway with shoulders is not that high in the scheme of things.

Maryland (SHA and MdTA) do this routinely when they re-deck bridges that run over freeways - and they also try to provide an extra lane when  they re-deck a bridge that carries a freeway. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on January 24, 2013, 01:07:18 PM
The marginal cost of constructing a bridge over a four-lane freeway with shoulders (which is what most of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is) to accommodate a future six-lane freeway with shoulders is not that high in the scheme of things.

I recall seeing at least a couple of sections of the Turnpike which have had bridge replacements in the past, where they made the new bridges wide enough to accomodate future widening (along with huge shoulders with striped lines). I'm pretty sure most of these predated the six-lane proclamation by at least a few years. So, it's not like the Turnpike hasn't done it before. I can only assume that whoever did the planning had come to the conclusion that at no point in the next 25 years would that section ever need more than four lanes. While a farmer's observations are far from scientific, I do wonder, did that section actually need widening (based strictly on traffic count)?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 24, 2013, 04:26:54 PM
I have no idea what the traffic count is between Irwin <-> New Stanton, but I certainly appreciate the widening. 
Since they were re-building it from the "Ground up", including a new alignment for part of it, anyway, going ahead and building it 6-lanes made sense.  (Of course, I'm biased for this stretch).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PurdueBill on January 27, 2013, 10:24:12 AM
The PA Turnpike bridges remind me of the bridges at the FL 408/417/Valencia College Lane area, built in 1988 and demolished last year after the toll authority folks decided to redesign things.  24 years isn't as severe as 13 years like the PA bridges, but the conditions in Florida aren't as severe and the bridges were quite sufficient according to their ratings.  A non-toll department of transportation would certainly not be able to go demolishing such recent work because they wouldn't have the money.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: lepidopteran on January 28, 2013, 08:27:54 PM
I've seen the same thing with sound walls.  The new concrete walls are built close to the roadway, just as road widenings are being discussed that would require them to be demolished.

I noticed, over the past 15 years or so, the PA Turnpike built some new bridges that didn't appear to be constructed for the long term.  Their distinctive characteristic is: smooth (steel?) cylindrical support piers.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: CrossCountryRoads on January 29, 2013, 08:59:01 PM
I can't believe they jacked up the rates on the PA Tpke the first of this month, yet again.  It now costs a truck (5 axles, 60,000 or more  GCW) a little over $200 to go from Ohio to New Jersey via the pike without EZ Pass.  That's, for lack of a better word, ridiculous.  Could you imagine handing over that kind of cash at a toll booth?  I don't think the PTC quite understands the Law of Diminishing Returns.  This happened with the Ohio Tpke awhile back.  The speed limit on the OH Tpke at the time was 55 mph for trucks, and they kept jacking up the rates year after year.  Eventually, their revenue went down as more and more trucks avoided the turnpike since they could only go 55 mph on it anyhow.  So what did they do?  They lowered the rates and raised the truck speed limit to get trucks back on it.

I think the PA Turnpike needs to think more about this, since I already know a lot of truck drivers who go out of their way to avoid paying the hefty toll.

PAHighways, you seem to be well-versed on the PA Turnpike, so I'll ask you have you read/heard anything about why they had to raise the rates again the first of this year?  Were there any clear reasons stated?  Oh and by the way I see you're in Unity Twp, is that the one near Latrobe?  If so, we're pretty close to each other.  I'm in Indiana County.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on January 29, 2013, 09:26:43 PM
The PA Turnpike bridges remind me of the bridges at the FL 408/417/Valencia College Lane area, built in 1988 and demolished last year after the toll authority folks decided to redesign things.  24 years isn't as severe as 13 years like the PA bridges, but the conditions in Florida aren't as severe and the bridges were quite sufficient according to their ratings.  A non-toll department of transportation would certainly not be able to go demolishing such recent work because they wouldn't have the money.
How about the original bridge carrying FL 429 over FL 414 that was torn down last year?, This  one is a better example as it was only a few years old after FL 414 was extended  beyond US 441?  Then FDOT when widening Kirkman Road over the FL Turnpike had its bridge  widened to accommodate a new travel lane and a sidewalk.  The FL Turnpike Enterprise demolished it within 5 years when the FL Turnpike was widened in 08. 

 Someone in FDOT had to know the Turnpike would need widening in the very near future with Orlando's sprawl the way it is.  Also with the former, being that bridge was brand new, another interchange option should have been used as well.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 30, 2013, 01:32:09 PM
I can't believe they jacked up the rates on the PA Tpke the first of this month, yet again. 

Believe it... Only cause it's their plan.  Just like they'll jack 'em up again next January. And then the January after that....
Between the mainline re-builds, and, most egregiously (IMO, anyway) their Act 44 obligations to the state, annual toll increases are part of their "plan".

I also agree that it's not sustainable to keep it up.  I get that any toll agency has to keep pace with inflation at times (and the gas tax probably should as well), but I think most motorists using the PA Turnpike are going to really sour on it.

Also, to just go ahead and answer your question - Unity Township (Westmoreland Co.) is just south of the City of Latrobe
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: olemissfan on February 09, 2013, 11:47:25 AM
...and these recent toll hikes are the reason that its always best to take i-80 across the state and not the penna turnpike
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on February 09, 2013, 12:17:21 PM
...and these recent toll hikes are the reason that its always best to take i-80 across the state and not the penna turnpike

Oh, I don't know about that...if the purpose of your trip is to look at the abandoned tunnels and roadways of the turnpike, it's probably not best to take I-80. :-)

If the purpose of your trip is to get across the state, but you're staring from Pittsburgh, you'll probably be using US 22 at least as much as I-80. If you're heading towards southeastern PA, you likely won't hit I-80 at all.

If minimizing mileage is your priority, you may well find the Turnpike best after all.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on February 09, 2013, 01:50:03 PM
Yeah, if you are in the Cleveland area and your destination is Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC or Philadelphia, it makes little sense to take I-80. What you save in tolls, you'll burn in gas and time.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on February 09, 2013, 03:56:38 PM
I agree with empirestate. To a roadbuff, the Penn. Tpke. is a destination in itself with its interesting history and construction features. And like most toll-roads there is a system in place to assist you if your car breaks down, which happened to me once. And service areas to stop at. I once drove I-80 from New York to State College enroute to Altoona. And the drive from Scranton west was the most boring ride I ever took. Absolutely nothing to see on I-80. I'll stick with the Turnpike.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on February 09, 2013, 05:35:41 PM
I agree with empirestate. To a roadbuff, the Penn. Tpke. is a destination in itself with its interesting history and construction features. And like most toll-roads there is a system in place to assist you if your car breaks down, which happened to me once. And service areas to stop at. I once drove I-80 from New York to State College enroute to Altoona. And the drive from Scranton west was the most boring ride I ever took. Absolutely nothing to see on I-80. I'll stick with the Turnpike.

I disagree. I enjoy the drive on I-80. I"m most familiar with the section between DuBois and I-81, and I think it's very scenic through the mountains. As for the turnpike, I find it to be long and boring. The part I'm most familiar with is between Breezewood and I-76. Once you get east of the mountains, it's dreadful.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on February 09, 2013, 05:55:18 PM
I agree with empirestate. To a roadbuff, the Penn. Tpke. is a destination in itself with its interesting history and construction features. And like most toll-roads there is a system in place to assist you if your car breaks down, which happened to me once. And service areas to stop at. I once drove I-80 from New York to State College enroute to Altoona. And the drive from Scranton west was the most boring ride I ever took. Absolutely nothing to see on I-80. I'll stick with the Turnpike.

I disagree. I enjoy the drive on I-80. I"m most familiar with the section between DuBois and I-81, and I think it's very scenic through the mountains. As for the turnpike, I find it to be long and boring. The part I'm most familiar with is between Breezewood and I-76. Once you get east of the mountains, it's dreadful.

Now of course, I do also feel that the toll rate on the turnpike has become disproportionately and objectionably high, and I do often shunpike it for that reason. But I have never been one to define "best" as "leaving me with the greatest number of dollars". (If that were so, I'd die of starvation since the "best" way to eat would be not at all!)

I also both agree and disagree with each of the above assessments of the two roads' character. I-80 does have some pretty monotonous sections, particularly the further west you go, but H.B.'s right also that there are some strikingly scenic bits as you wend across the ridge-and-valley province. They do tend to come more in spurts than as an overall characteristic, however.

It's also true that the Turnpike east of the mountains loses much of its scenic charm. And while the more interesting topography is in the western half, I'd also argue that the Turnpike doesn't show off its natural setting as well as it could; it doesn't go harmoniously with its landscape the way that the best Pennsylvania roadways do, which is why I'm so fond of them. But what's most interesting to me about the Turnpike are all the little bits of history it has, particularly on this original section. The more familiar one is with those tidbits, the more enjoyable the trip can be.

I actually like I-78 pretty well, even though it isn't superstar scenery, but it's pleasant and confortable. The part I like the least is the seemingly endless run from one end of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metro area to the other, as it always seems so many miles longer than it ought to. Strangely, this stretch is where the most dramatic topography is found.

And for sheer mind-numbing boredom, I-380 tunes me out every single time.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on February 11, 2013, 04:28:17 PM
Yeah, if you are in the Cleveland area and your destination is Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC or Philadelphia, it makes little sense to take I-80. What you save in tolls, you'll burn in gas and time.
On a return trip from Toledo to Greater Philadelphia circa 1995, my brother & I decided to bypass much of the PA Turnpike by using PA 60 (now I-376)/I-79/I-68/I-70/I-81/US 11 (going through WV & MD) and re-connect in Carlisle.  It added about an hour to our overall travel time but saved us bigtime on tolls even back then.

Heck, for Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC; one wouldn't even need to use the PA Turnpike (I-76) east of I-376 at all.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2013, 04:32:55 PM
Yeah, if you are in the Cleveland area and your destination is Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC or Philadelphia, it makes little sense to take I-80. What you save in tolls, you'll burn in gas and time.
On a return trip from Toledo to Greater Philadelphia circa 1995, we decided to bypass much of the PA Turnpike by using PA 60 (now I-376)/I-79/I-68/I-70/I-81/US 11 (going through WV & MD) and re-connect in Carlisle.  It added about an hour to our overall travel time but saved us bigtime on tolls even back then.

Heck, for Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC; one wouldn't even need to use the PA Turnpike (I-76) east of I-376 at all.

A variation on that theme (paying some tolls to the PTC, but not nearly as much as the E-W Mainline, and avoiding Breezewood) is I-70 E to Pa. 43 S to I-68 E.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on February 11, 2013, 10:46:21 PM
Yeah, if you are in the Cleveland area and your destination is Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC or Philadelphia, it makes little sense to take I-80. What you save in tolls, you'll burn in gas and time.
On a return trip from Toledo to Greater Philadelphia circa 1995, my brother & I decided to bypass much of the PA Turnpike by using PA 60 (now I-376)/I-79/I-68/I-70/I-81/US 11 (going through WV & MD) and re-connect in Carlisle.  It added about an hour to our overall travel time but saved us bigtime on tolls even back then.

Heck, for Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC; one wouldn't even need to use the PA Turnpike (I-76) east of I-376 at all.

I've done that going to Philly.  The only trade off is two extra gallons of gas, which offsets half the toll savings.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Revive 755 on February 11, 2013, 11:07:30 PM
Yeah, if you are in the Cleveland area and your destination is Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC or Philadelphia, it makes little sense to take I-80. What you save in tolls, you'll burn in gas and time.

I don't know, I did Harrisburg to Cleveland once via US 322, I-99, and I-80 and it didn't seem that much worse, other than the two lane stretch on US 322.   Google puts this route at 339 miles, while using the Turnpikes is at 330 miles; gas might be a wash over the $25.50 cash/$19.95 transponder toll.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on February 15, 2013, 07:01:10 PM
Turnpike Work to Affect Irwin Interchange (http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yournorwin/yournorwinmore/3472174-74/project-turnpike-bridges)

Preliminary work on the Exit 57 to Exit 67 section is expected to begin in 2015 or 2016 with construction starting on the first five miles in 2018 or 2019.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on February 17, 2013, 12:55:44 AM
Yeah, if you are in the Cleveland area and your destination is Harrisburg, Baltimore/DC or Philadelphia, it makes little sense to take I-80. What you save in tolls, you'll burn in gas and time.
Among my first road memories is my father driving us (mom, me, and eventually one of my younger brothers) from Geauga County (east of Cleveland) to the Philly Main Line (where my mom's family lived [and still do]) via (US 322 E to Oh 11 S to) I-80 and the NE PA Tpk Ext.
It wasn't till after I started school (and started being interested in roads) that he changed the route and picked up the Oh Tpk, near Warren and follow I-80/76 to Valley Forge.
It was 30 miles longer (for us) to follow I-80 and NE Ext from Cleveland to Philly instead of using the mainline turnpikes. Someone else can do the math concerning the differences in fuel and tolls, between 1975-81, for the two routes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on February 17, 2013, 01:44:44 AM
I had many trips from Norfolk to Pittsburgh 1991-1996 and after an insane initial trip using I-64 to US 250 in Staunton to WVA to US 119 to I-79, my next trip was standard DC to Breezwood to Pittsburgh, very stressful and expensive, so I tried Hancock to I-68 to US 40 to Uniontown to Brownsville to I-70 to 79, no stress, no traffic, no tolls, and it took the exact same time and the same gas.  Never used the pike again.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on February 17, 2013, 12:53:41 PM
Turnpike Work to Affect Irwin Interchange (http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yournorwin/yournorwinmore/3472174-74/project-turnpike-bridges)

Preliminary work on the Exit 57 to Exit 67 section is expected to begin in 2015 or 2016 with construction starting on the first five miles in 2018 or 2019.

Good to know, though I was hoping it wasn't going to be quite so far off.  I figured the preliminary work of replacing overpasses wouldn't have taken so long for this stretch, since they just replaced the PA-130 overpass, leaving only 3 more.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 13, 2013, 03:59:32 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike - eight charged with corruption including ex-chair Rubin, ex-CEO Brimmeier, ex-COO Hatalowich (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6461)

Quote
2013-03-13: The state attorney general Kathleen Kane has filed criminal charges against five officers of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, two vendors and a leading Democrat state senator in so-called pay-to-play corruption. This follows a couple of years of a grand jury and police investigations. The attorney general said that a "pay-to-play culture permeated" the turnpike.

Quote
The Grand Jury 'presentment' summarizes: "The Grand Jury finds a prima facie case that these individuals, both individually and in concert with one another, committed and attempted to commit a series of crimes, including illegal bid-rigging, commercial bribery, conflict of interest, theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, criminal conspiracy, and acted as a corrupt organization.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on March 13, 2013, 05:48:39 PM
PA Turnpike CEO Comments on PA Attorney General's News Announcement about Grand Jury Investigation (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130313122449.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 14, 2013, 10:56:58 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Corporate crime - the Turnpike and a personal reminiscence (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6462)

Quote
Of the people charged by PA Attorney General I really only know Joe Brimmeier. I met him quite a number of times when he was CEO and talked on the telephone more. He's intelligent, capable and fun to be with. I liked the guy. He never gave me the impression he was uninterested in the service the Turnpike provided to the public or in improvements to it, and was informed and talked intelligently about the issues of the day - where traffic volumes seemed to be going, moving into electronic toll collection, new projects like the Mon Fayette Expressway, widening, E-ZPass.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 16, 2013, 01:18:58 PM
USA Today: Two dead, 14 injured after tour bus crash in Pa. - Seton Hill University's women's lacrosse team, including 23 players and three coaches, was aboard during the crash. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/16/tour-bus-crashes-in-pa-serious-injuries-reported/1992577/)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2013, 01:00:57 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike Commissioner William Lincoln resigns citing stress of racketeering charges against colleagues (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6476)

Quote
2013-03-22: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission secretary/treasurer J William Lincoln resigned today citing as reason the "additional personal stress over the events of the past two weeks" and unspecified health problems. The past two weeks saw culmination of a nearly four year grand jury investigation into racketeering at the Turnpike, and a heap of criminal charges against several close colleagues.

Quote
Turnpike chairman William Lieberman is quoted: "We respect (Mr) Lincoln’s decision to resign; given the circumstances, he made the right choice."

Quote
Lincoln, 72, was on the 5-person Turnpike Commission for eight years. His testimony to the grand jury was key to building the Attorney General's case against Lincoln's colleagues - Rubin, Hatalowich, Brimmeier. He presented an insider's description of the ring which systematically steered contracts and jobs to politically supportive companies and people in complete contravention of competitive procurement and proper hiring practices.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on March 23, 2013, 07:39:50 PM
What's real bad also is that about a month or so ago, Bland, CEO of PAT (Port Authority Transit, Pittsburgh) was fired by the Allegheny County Commisioners so they (and one commissioner in particular pushed this) could get their buddy Brimmeyer in as PAT CEO, it was a done deal until the indictmnets hit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 25, 2013, 06:51:15 PM
What's real bad also is that about a month or so ago, Bland, CEO of PAT (Port Authority Transit, Pittsburgh) was fired by the Allegheny County Commisioners so they (and one commissioner in particular pushed this) could get their buddy Brimmeyer in as PAT CEO, it was a done deal until the indictmnets hit.

Probably not nearly as easy to run the Port Authority of Allegheny County as it is to run the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, given that the Turnpike collects vast sums of money (and gives a fair amount of it away to PennDOT, SEPTA and the PAT) - but very nearly all transit agencies in the United States are profoundly dependent  on subsidies from non-transit sources. 

I would assume that the union(s) representing  PAT hourly employees are more militant than those that work for the Turnpike (but I am not sure of that).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 25, 2013, 06:53:35 PM
TOLLROADSnews (from one of its correspondents):  Road work signs bonanza on Penn Pike (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6478)

Quote
- from a correspondent:

Quote
The wealthiest entrepreneur in Pennsylvania has to be the producer of “Road Work” signs.  I have just driven from western Maryland to New Jersey – most of this along the Penna turnpike – and there are thousands of them.

Quote
“Roadwork in 2 miles” “Roadwork in 1 mile” “Form One Lane” “Prepare to Stop” “Trucks entering” “Fines doubled in Work Area” and on and on. These are all in an aggressive black sans-serif type on a showy orange background, and some even have little lights flashing on and off.

Quote
Very impressive.

Quote
There were many opportunities to be impressed on the turnpike for no sooner did you leave one Work Zone, than you entered another.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on April 01, 2013, 10:37:01 PM
Maybe this is something I've never noticed, but does anyone know if the E-ZPass lanes on the Turnpike photograph everyone's license plates?  The reason I asked is I used the new PA 29 all-ETC interchange last night.  As I went under the gantry, I noticed the LED floodlights flashed after I went through.  The same thing happened to the car behind me.  I have E-ZPass and know it is in working order.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mtantillo on April 01, 2013, 10:41:16 PM
Maybe this is something I've never noticed, but does anyone know if the E-ZPass lanes on the Turnpike photograph everyone's license plates?  The reason I asked is I used the new PA 29 all-ETC interchange last night.  As I went under the gantry, I noticed the LED floodlights flashed after I went through.  The same thing happened to the car behind me.  I have E-ZPass and know it is in working order.

Yes, they do photograph everyone.  This because if you have a valid E-ZPass tag, the transaction can still fail (if you don't have enough money, etc.).  So they know who to send the bill to if that happens.  Allegedly, toll agencies delete the images after a successful E-ZPass transaction is processed. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 01, 2013, 11:03:20 PM
Yes, they do photograph everyone.  This because if you have a valid E-ZPass tag, the transaction can still fail (if you don't have enough money, etc.).  So they know who to send the bill to if that happens.  Allegedly, toll agencies delete the images after a successful E-ZPass transaction is processed. 

I would think that for PTC-issued E-ZPass transponders, that would presumably be a pretty instant transaction. 

For non-PTC E-ZPass tags, don't they do a "settlement" on a daily basis?  At least that's how I have been told that E-ZPass works when it comes to "foreign" transponders (there are at least two other E-ZPass Group members in Pennsylvania (DRJTBC and DRPA), though I don't know if those issue their own tags (and run their own back office operations) or not).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on April 02, 2013, 10:55:21 AM
Maybe this is something I've never noticed, but does anyone know if the E-ZPass lanes on the Turnpike photograph everyone's license plates?  The reason I asked is I used the new PA 29 all-ETC interchange last night.  As I went under the gantry, I noticed the LED floodlights flashed after I went through.  The same thing happened to the car behind me.  I have E-ZPass and know it is in working order.

Yes, they do photograph everyone.  This because if you have a valid E-ZPass tag, the transaction can still fail (if you don't have enough money, etc.).  So they know who to send the bill to if that happens.  Allegedly, toll agencies delete the images after a successful E-ZPass transaction is processed.

It's been about three years ago, but I had two E-ZPass transactions fail in Pennsylvania. Instead of a bill, I got a threatening letter that I had improperly used an E-ZPass only exit lane. They got my Kentucky registration information off my license plate and tracked me down. I printed out a copy of my West Virginia E-ZPass statement and mailed to them, and that settled the matter.

At the time, I had a standard-issue Kentucky passenger vehicle license plate. Now I have one of the special-issue plates (Spay/Neuter) and I'm not sure how well an out-of-state agency could read and decipher the plate number (since it has small letters stacked on top of one another) to get the information to send out a bill.

And I'm still waiting on my bill from the Bush Turnpike in Texas in from a few years ago.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Flyer78 on April 03, 2013, 07:02:05 PM
Noticed the northbound (original) Lehigh Tunnel Tube has what appear to be four LED fixtures at the mid-point that are replacing the standard (fluorescent?) lighting... I wonder if this is a pilot? The southbound tube has no such change.

There is a noticeable change going through that segment, though it can't represent more than 25-50 feet of length...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on April 08, 2013, 05:40:51 PM
At the time, I had a standard-issue Kentucky passenger vehicle license plate. Now I have one of the special-issue plates (Spay/Neuter) and I'm not sure how well an out-of-state agency could read and decipher the plate number (since it has small letters stacked on top of one another) to get the information to send out a bill.

All 50 states' license plate variations and fonts are kept updated within the system, so it would be able to recognize your Spay/Neuter plate as Kentucky and read the digits accordingly. Because of the small digits, it would probably kick over to a manual operator for verification, who would then zoom in to confirm. Each state's use of O, D, 0; B, 8; I, 1; etc. are all documented, so the manual operator can verify what possible digits are in which position.

(On a side note, if you want to really fuck with toll operators, get a custom license plate that looks like a typical issue from your state, but drop a 0 in a letter spot and an I in a number spot.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on April 08, 2013, 06:07:46 PM
....

(On a side note, if you want to really fuck with toll operators, get a custom license plate that looks like a typical issue from your state, but drop a 0 in a letter spot and an I in a number spot.)

Or do like a high school friend of mine did and get a license-plate frame that obscures part of one digit (in his case, an "E" looked like an "F" unless you saw the unobstructed front plate). The legality of doing that is obviously suspect, but he never complained about getting a ticket (and he was the sort of person who would have complained).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 08, 2013, 06:25:34 PM
TOLLROADSnews: A Penn Pike 'WORKER' is angry with our "road signs bonanza" piece + our response on MPT (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6494)

Quote
An angry Penn Pike worker writes - You have nothing nice to say ever about the PA Turnpike. You didn't find it newsworthy that one of my coworkers was KILLED in the line of duty in October 2012. And you print an article from a motorist who said we stand around and do nothing. You are truly clueless. You didn't think this was newsworthy on your site?

Quote
You sir are a total (profanity.)

Quote
1,000 toll collectors are going to lose their jobs and you are all for it. These are people who have families to support.

Quote
You only publish news that is detrimental to the PA Turnpike. Not that the maintenance WORKERS have a very dangerous job. You just publish that we stand around and do nothing. You have no idea that personnel are NEEDED to provide MPT to our WORKERS. I'll bet you don't know what MPT means. You sit at a desk all day and publish things you know NOTHING about.

Quote
Have you ever worked on a highway? Where people don't abide by the work zone speed limits and put my life in danger every day? Yet you publish an article to make PA Turnpike workers look lazy, standing around doing nothing.

Quote
You are a clueless idiot. You had no rebuttal to this article
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 08, 2013, 06:27:21 PM
(On a side note, if you want to really fuck with toll operators, get a custom license plate that looks like a typical issue from your state, but drop a 0 in a letter spot and an I in a number spot.)

My own experience with  LPR hardware and software leads me to think that swapping a "1" for an "I" (or vice versa - and not every state issues "regular" series of tags with the letter "I") would cause similar problems in some cases.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 12, 2013, 02:28:43 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Moody's follows other raters in downgrading Penn Pike bonds (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6505)

Quote
Moody's is lowering the rating on senior revenue bonds from Aa3 to A1, citing ballooning debt being incurred to subsidize transit and free roads in the state along with traffic and revenue "underperformance" despite higher than assumed toll increases. The Turnpike is required by a state law (Act 44)  it proposed  in 2007 to head off privatization to contribute $450m/year in grants to lossmaking transit and untolled roads. The state's auditor general has said repeatedly that unless Act 44 is  repealed it will force the Turnpike to become insolvent and renege on its debts.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 12, 2013, 03:02:47 PM
(On a side note, if you want to really fuck with toll operators, get a custom license plate that looks like a typical issue from your state, but drop a 0 in a letter spot and an I in a number spot.)

I believe California strictly prohibits this.  if I wanted, say, 6T0C591, where that is a zero instead of the O, then they would note that it too closely resembles an issued, potentially issued, planned to be issued, etc plate.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 12, 2013, 03:05:43 PM
TOLLROADSnews: A Penn Pike 'WORKER' is angry with our "road signs bonanza" piece + our response on MPT (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6494)


what is MPT?  is it a variant of the Pennsylvania Turnpike which has sexual relations with one's immediate female ancestor?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on April 12, 2013, 03:36:56 PM
what is MPT?
Acronym for Maintenance and Protection of Traffic.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 12, 2013, 04:13:25 PM
Quote
You sir are a total (profanity.)

I really wish I weren't a total zounds.  but, some days it's just how it goes.

(that dude really needs to learn how to write.  he reminds me of such erstwhile forum brilliants as Ethan Man and SR-641.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on April 12, 2013, 06:49:06 PM
Quote
You sir are a total (profanity.)

I really wish I weren't a total zounds.  but, some days it's just how it goes.

(that dude really needs to learn how to write.  he reminds me of such erstwhile forum brilliants as Ethan Man and SR-641.)
Some days you feel like an (Almond Joy), some days you (zounds)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: yakra on April 13, 2013, 02:17:53 PM
"A cat can say 'Zounds', or 'Hubba hubba', or 'Veet-o-voutee!'"
 -Geetz Romo (http://howtospeakhip.com/)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 13, 2013, 04:28:19 PM
There is a new widening/reconstruction segment site listing at the PA Pike website.  I am too lazy to post the link, but it is in Harrisburg from I-83 to the Susquehanna Bridge.  When complete, it will give you 6 lanes with widened median from 83 to 283.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 13, 2013, 07:24:48 PM
There is a new widening/reconstruction segment site listing at the PA Pike website.  I am too lazy to post the link, but it is in Harrisburg from I-83 to the Susquehanna Bridge.  When complete, it will give you 6 lanes with widened median from 83 to 283.

This sounds like it: Milepost 242-245: Project Overview (http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/mp242to245/)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on April 17, 2013, 05:32:35 PM
Plan Would Eliminate Pa. Turnpike Commission (http://www.wgal.com/news/susquehanna-valley/state/Plan-would-eliminate-Pa-Turnpike-Commission/-/9758860/19785950/-/eqeifpz/-/index.html?absolute=true)

Governor Thornburgh tried to do just that back in the mid-80s.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on April 17, 2013, 08:51:16 PM
Given all the breezewoods and Act 44, PennDOT controlling the PTC could only be a good thing, even if it is PennDOT.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on April 18, 2013, 11:15:41 AM
I wonder what would happen to ACT44 if they merged operations? Would the fact that there's no more PTC mean that any obligations to the state by the PTC are null and void? My biggest concern would be that they'd be raiding the toll dollars even more heavily than they are now to fund other projects. Toll roads should pay for themselves, not for the entire road system of the state. If you don't have enough money to fund the state's other roads, then you need to raise taxes or find another way (such as a higher gas tax) to pay for it.
Of course this also works under the assumption that there's less corruption in the state government than there is/was in the PTC... an idea I find laughable at best.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on April 18, 2013, 11:24:37 AM
Act 44 would just be a check to themselves, so it would essentially be void (other than the transit subsidies; not sure if those are PennDOT or not); the Turnpike would also get maintenance out of the general fund and not just tolls though.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 18, 2013, 01:15:24 PM
Not that this would be anywhere near a good idea, but would this enable PennDot to toll any limited acccess facilities in PA without fed approval, like say US 219
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2013, 02:43:51 PM
Not that this would be anywhere near a good idea, but would this enable PennDot to toll any limited acccess facilities in PA without fed approval, like say US 219

No, not if PennDOT accepted federal dollars for construction, reconstruction or other activities, then federal approval would still be needed.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2013, 02:59:33 PM
Plan Would Eliminate Pa. Turnpike Commission (http://www.wgal.com/news/susquehanna-valley/state/Plan-would-eliminate-Pa-Turnpike-Commission/-/9758860/19785950/-/eqeifpz/-/index.html?absolute=true)

Governor Thornburgh tried to do just that back in the mid-80s.

TOLLROADSnews: Bill to abolish Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission introduced by Republicans into state legislature (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6514)

Quote
HB1197 introduced in the state legislature today by Republicans would abolish the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission turning its storied turnpike over to the state DOT. The bill's prime sponsor was state Representative and deputy Whip Donna Oberlander from Clarion in the northwest of the state. Taking to a microphone with about a dozen other Republican politicians in the state house she unleashed a scathing attack on the Turnpike saying it was "corruption infested" in a reference to a recent grand jury account of wrongdoing and criminal charges against a politicians two top Turnpike officials, a board member and two contractors.

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Her bill would in its own wording set up a "Bureau of Toll Administration within the Department of Transportation; providing for the assumption by the Department of Transportation of the functions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, for assumption by the Commonwealth of the financing functions of the commission, for transfer to the Department of Transportation and State Treasurer of land, buildings, personal property and employees of the commission, for the abolition of the commission and the offices of Turnpike Commissioner; and making an inconsistent repeal of various acts relating to the Pennsylvania Turnpike."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on April 18, 2013, 03:31:19 PM
Quote
Her bill would in its own wording set up a "Bureau of Toll Administration within the Department of Transportation; providing for the assumption by the Department of Transportation of the functions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, for assumption by the Commonwealth of the financing functions of the commission, for transfer to the Department of Transportation and State Treasurer of land, buildings, personal property and employees of the commission, for the abolition of the commission and the offices of Turnpike Commissioner; and making an inconsistent repeal of various acts relating to the Pennsylvania Turnpike."

In other words, we want to replace one bureaucracy with another one (or expand the powers of an existing one, at any rate). Can't we just repeal ACT 44 without all this shuffling, which will save us absolutely zilch in the long run? It's not like they're going to really eliminate any of the high-paying positions which really cost us money during this process; rather, they'll just be redistributed to other parts of government.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on April 18, 2013, 11:09:11 PM
I would be in favor of eliminating the PTC and merging it with PennDOT. I think having all highways in a state under control of one agency is a good idea. It also might result in some freeway-to-freeway interchanges being built.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on April 19, 2013, 11:40:19 AM
Quote
Her bill would in its own wording set up a "Bureau of Toll Administration within the Department of Transportation; providing for the assumption by the Department of Transportation of the functions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, for assumption by the Commonwealth of the financing functions of the commission, for transfer to the Department of Transportation and State Treasurer of land, buildings, personal property and employees of the commission, for the abolition of the commission and the offices of Turnpike Commissioner; and making an inconsistent repeal of various acts relating to the Pennsylvania Turnpike."

In other words, we want to replace one bureaucracy with another one (or expand the powers of an existing one, at any rate). Can't we just repeal ACT 44 without all this shuffling, which will save us absolutely zilch in the long run? It's not like they're going to really eliminate any of the high-paying positions which really cost us money during this process; rather, they'll just be redistributed to other parts of government.
There's a non-monetary benefit to this too: elimination of all the breezewoods across the state.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on April 19, 2013, 12:38:10 PM
There's a non-monetary benefit to this too: elimination of all the breezewoods across the state.

Doesn't that assume that PennDOT actually has the desire and money to build it? They still won't get federal funding to do it, since I doubt they're going to eliminate the tolls on the Turnpike. If this does happen, I doubt anything is going to change in the short term. At best, they'll keep the status quo; at worst, more toll dollars will get redirected to the state's general fund, which will hurt the Turnpike even more in the end.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on April 19, 2013, 02:24:04 PM
Can't we just repeal ACT 44 without all this shuffling, which will save us absolutely zilch in the long run? It's not like they're going to really eliminate any of the high-paying positions which really cost us money during this process; rather, they'll just be redistributed to other parts of government.

I agree with the repealing Act 44, regardless of how this proposal goes down (and if it does, I hope the line "making an inconsistent repeal of various acts relating to the Pennsylvania Turnpike." includes Act 44. 
That being said, I disagree that this proposal will save "absolutely zilch".  While I'm sure pretty much all aspects/levels/departments of government have inefficiencies and corruption, it really does seem like the PTC takes the cake.  And while merging it with PennDOT won't be some kind of magic bullet, it does seem like it would remove a good bit of redundancy.

Though, to give the PTC a little credit, it does seem they're better with winter maintenance, maintaining 4 lanes of traffic even during pretty massive reconstruction projects, while many PennDOT projects will see freeways down to one lane in each direction sharing a carriageway (The nature of the design of the Turnpike does make it easier, being one "ribbon" of pavement, as opposed to 2 separated by a bunch of grass)... And I'd hate to see the 3-laning projects in jeopardy.

There's a non-monetary benefit to this too: elimination of all the breezewoods across the state.
Doesn't that assume that PennDOT actually has the desire and money to build it? They still won't get federal funding to do it, since I doubt they're going to eliminate the tolls on the Turnpike.

I also wouldn't assume there would be an elimination of all the "Breezewoods" either just because PennDOT starts running the PTC.  It would be nice though.
Actually, not counting local opposition, Breezewood would probably be the easiest.  For sake of federal funding concerns, PennDOT could just transfer the "Original Turnpike" connector route to it's general non-toll supported rolls, with the current toll booths being the line of demarcation, and build the 2 simple ramps from "free" I-70. 

Of course, this is all "cart-before-the-horse" stuff.  There always seems to be some kind of plans to do something drastic with the PTC every couple of years (kind of like attempts to toll I-80), and yet the status quo remains.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on April 20, 2013, 12:05:14 PM
I never said anything about immediacy, but my understanding is that the core reason for the breezewoods (other than, well, breezewood itself) is the inability for PennDOT and the PTC to work together on anything.  I'm surprised the feds haven't started withholding funding for NOT having them fixed, actually.  This doesn't seem to be an issue for any other state that has toll roads.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Flyer78 on April 20, 2013, 12:25:29 PM
All things being equal, in a perfect world, it would be nice to have the Breezewoods fixed. In this state, however, there are more than 4,000 deficient bridges that I would really rather PennDOT prioritize with any funding it has...

I've always heard that Breezewood businesses used their "power" to block the direct connect. Eliminating PTC for PennDOT will hardly change that...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: deathtopumpkins on April 20, 2013, 01:51:03 PM
This doesn't seem to be an issue for any other state that has toll roads.

Oh but it is.

Florida has some pretty egregious examples:

New Jersey has the classic NJTP/NJ 42 crossing, along with I-295 and I-276, but that's not too bad.

New York has only a few that I consider a problem:

Ohio has:

I know there are a fair few more in Illinois, and maybe some others in Texas, Oklahoma, California, and elsewhere, plus many more interchanges that are incredibly screwed up or outdated, and by no means is this a comprehensive list.
But while yes, Pennsylvania takes the cake, there are plenty of other egregious missing interchanges in other states
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on April 20, 2013, 02:13:23 PM
How many are there between non-tolled freeways? Texas probably has a bunch where they haven't yet built flyovers. And don't forget I-40 east to I-27 south.

There's also I-76/I-376, where both roads are PTC-maintained. But it's not a strict 'breezewood' in that there are no businesses on the connection - it's more like a three-level diamond where everything is access-controlled but there's a light along the way.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on April 20, 2013, 02:52:36 PM
There's also I-76/I-376, where both roads are PTC-maintained. But it's not a strict 'breezewood' in that there are no businesses on the connection - it's more like a three-level diamond where everything is access-controlled but there's a light along the way.

Unless they've changed it in the last two years, there's only a STOP sign that traffic from I-76 to WB (actual NB) I-376 has to deal with, no signal.

But that interchange is just an example how the PTC apparently values "local access".  And in the [west] I-76/376 JCT, there was never even any prior access to PA 351.  The "Cranberry Connector" could have been a simple double trumpet between I-76 & I-79, but since they wanted their direct connection to US-19 as well (which is a good idea), the end result is a jumble of ramps in a fairly tight space.  When they rebuilt the interchange with the US-222 freeway, they still maintained a connection with the old road.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on April 21, 2013, 11:00:56 AM
I've always heard that Breezewood businesses used their "power" to block the direct connect. Eliminating PTC for PennDOT will hardly change that...
That is true of the I-70 breezewood that the term comes from, but none of the others.

This doesn't seem to be an issue for any other state that has toll roads.

Oh but it is.

Florida has some pretty egregious examples:
  • Turnpike at 417 has no interchange whatsoever.
  • Turnpike at 528 has 2 direct ramps, but movements such as Turnpike north to 528 west (a very logical route for people to want to take given that SeaWorld and the huge Orange County Convention Center, not to mention an abundance of hotels, are located to the west along 528) requires you to take the loop ramp at the US 17/92/441 end of the double trumpet, then a right turn, then a left turn. 2.4 miles from exiting the Turnpike to merging onto 528.
  • Turnpike at 95 has no direct ramps any of the 3 times they meet except at Golden Glades (connection can be made at Fort Pierce using ¾ mi of FL 70).

New Jersey has the classic NJTP/NJ 42 crossing, along with I-295 and I-276, but that's not too bad.

New York has only a few that I consider a problem:
  • Thruway at US 209 (all movements must be made via NY 28 at the same interchange as I-587, which is a subject of its own.
  • Thruway at NY 23 (not a freeway, but still quite a nuisance of an interchange - all movements must be made via exiting onto a county road)

Ohio has:
  • Turnpike at OH 11
  • Turnpike at I-271
  • Turnpike at I-475

I know there are a fair few more in Illinois, and maybe some others in Texas, Oklahoma, California, and elsewhere, plus many more interchanges that are incredibly screwed up or outdated, and by no means is this a comprehensive list.
But while yes, Pennsylvania takes the cake, there are plenty of other egregious missing interchanges in other states
With the exception of two in Ohio and I-95/295 on the NJ Turnpike Extension, NONE of these are interstate-interstate connections.  Some comments:
-I've never considered either of those Thruway mentions to be a problem.  Neither is a major freeway in any case.  I can think of plenty of examples of getting from a freeway to another state route the exit is for by way of a lower classified road that don't involve toll roads, so it's hardly unique to toll agencies.
-OH Turnpike at I-271 isn't really a major connection with the interstate connections on either side within a couple mines and would be difficult to build due to the terrain
-OH Turnpike at OH 11 is only an issue westbound; eastbound, just hop on I-80.
-NJ Turnpike Extension at I-295 is unfortunate but understandable, and I-195 serves in that capacity anyways
-NJ Turnpike at AC Expressway will be less of an issue when the missing movements are I-295 are built; note that neither of these freeways are interstates.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Sammer on April 23, 2013, 03:05:36 PM
I'm surprised the feds haven't started withholding funding for NOT having them fixed, actually. 
Actually former federal law was the core reason why the "Breezewoods" happened in the first place so the feds wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they tried to withhold PA's highway funds because of them.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 23, 2013, 05:34:56 PM
I'm surprised the feds haven't started withholding funding for NOT having them fixed, actually. 
Actually former federal law was the core reason why the "Breezewoods" happened in the first place so the feds wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they tried to withhold PA's highway funds because of them.

IMO, what Congress should do is:

(1) Deny federal tax advantages to the bonds issued by any state, county or municipal toll road authority that:  (a) fails to remediate all breezewoods; (b) fails to accept the prevailing electronic toll payment method for the state in which it is located; and (c) has a discriminatory toll rate schedule that charges higher tolls for out-of-state or out-of-region transponders (with exceptions for places like Staten Island, N.Y. where drivers must cross a toll bridge to get on  or off their island).

(2) Since the feds are at least in part to blame for breezewoods, Congress should offer 100% federal funding for all breezewood remediation projects.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on April 23, 2013, 05:59:49 PM
(2) Since the feds are at least in part to blame for breezewoods, Congress should offer 100% federal funding for all breezewood remediation projects.

Are the toll facilities still on the hook (by law) for interchanges with federally funded highways? I thought that was the way it currently was. If so, then maybe offering to do the usual 90/10 split for Interstates would be incentive enough.

Speaking of funding, isn't the I-95/Turnpike interchange project being at least partially funded by the feds? I realize that's a special case (the completion of 95 being written into law, I believe), but it's not like it's unprecedented for "free" Interstate tax dollars to be used for toll roads. I suppose you could say they cheated since that interchange will occur in an untolled no-mans-land once they move the barrier tolls further west (the only remaining toll being the one way bridge toll, which has plenty of precedence on the "free" Interstate system).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: deathtopumpkins on April 23, 2013, 07:49:48 PM
With the exception of two in Ohio and I-95/295 on the NJ Turnpike Extension, NONE of these are interstate-interstate connections.

Ah, see, I don't see it as any more egregious for an interstate to have a missing interchange than a state/US/unnumbered freeway. The only difference in the roads is the color of the shield on it.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Sammer on April 23, 2013, 09:17:26 PM
Are the toll facilities still on the hook (by law) for interchanges with federally funded highways? I thought that was the way it currently was. If so, then maybe offering to do the usual 90/10 split for Interstates would be incentive enough.
No the toll facilities aren't necessarily still on the hook anymore (Congress now encourages toll roads) and the usual 90/10 split ended a couple decades ago.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on April 24, 2013, 11:53:54 AM
I'm surprised the feds haven't started withholding funding for NOT having them fixed, actually. 
Actually former federal law was the core reason why the "Breezewoods" happened in the first place so the feds wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they tried to withhold PA's highway funds because of them.
Said "federal law" appears to apply only to PA; in any case, from what I've read about it, that law is possible to comply with without creating a bunch of breezewoods (just look at the I-84/I-87 interchange to see how it's done).  They're just lazy.

With the exception of two in Ohio and I-95/295 on the NJ Turnpike Extension, NONE of these are interstate-interstate connections.

Ah, see, I don't see it as any more egregious for an interstate to have a missing interchange than a state/US/unnumbered freeway. The only difference in the roads is the color of the shield on it.
I tend to think of the interstates as a coherent system rather than just a brand name.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mtantillo on April 24, 2013, 12:28:31 PM
I'm surprised the feds haven't started withholding funding for NOT having them fixed, actually. 
Actually former federal law was the core reason why the "Breezewoods" happened in the first place so the feds wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they tried to withhold PA's highway funds because of them.
Said "federal law" appears to apply only to PA; in any case, from what I've read about it, that law is possible to comply with without creating a bunch of breezewoods (just look at the I-84/I-87 interchange to see how it's done).  They're just lazy.

With the exception of two in Ohio and I-95/295 on the NJ Turnpike Extension, NONE of these are interstate-interstate connections.

Ah, see, I don't see it as any more egregious for an interstate to have a missing interchange than a state/US/unnumbered freeway. The only difference in the roads is the color of the shield on it.
I tend to think of the interstates as a coherent system rather than just a brand name.

Correct, and FHWA wants all movements present at interchanges, even movements that "don't make sense" from the perspective of long distance traffic, but would be used by local traffic. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on April 24, 2013, 01:35:26 PM
I'm surprised the feds haven't started withholding funding for NOT having them fixed, actually. 
Actually former federal law was the core reason why the "Breezewoods" happened in the first place so the feds wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they tried to withhold PA's highway funds because of them.
Said "federal law" appears to apply only to PA; in any case, from what I've read about it, that law is possible to comply with without creating a bunch of breezewoods (just look at the I-84/I-87 interchange to see how it's done).  They're just lazy.

In general, the law is just going to apply to the Northeast.  That area of the country was first with limited access highways, which were in the form of toll roads.  Other than Kansas, the rest of the country didn't have toll roads, so there wasn't an issue of providing an interchange with an existing toll road.

Because of the interstate highway layout, there aren't a whole lot of interstate highways that crossed an existing toll road in the Northeast. (Please don't point out every instance where it does)  PA just happens to be a state where the existing toll road intersected some of the new interstate highways back at the onset of the interstate highway system, and created the few situations where an interstate highway does not have a direct interchange with the toll road, which at the time was proper. 

Besides, the feds are probably not going to want to put themselves in a position where they would withhold money if a direct interchange wasn't provided, because the state would be permitted to ask the feds for money to help pay for the interchange...money which the feds simply don't have available to hand out.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2013, 04:02:15 PM
(2) Since the feds are at least in part to blame for breezewoods, Congress should offer 100% federal funding for all breezewood remediation projects.

Are the toll facilities still on the hook (by law) for interchanges with federally funded highways? I thought that was the way it currently was. If so, then maybe offering to do the usual 90/10 split for Interstates would be incentive enough.

They used to be.  But a law mandating remediation of breezewoods could be written in such a way as to waive most federal requirements associated with federal  funding of highways from applying in the case of closing these gaps in the highway network.

Speaking of funding, isn't the I-95/Turnpike interchange project being at least partially funded by the feds? I realize that's a special case (the completion of 95 being written into law, I believe), but it's not like it's unprecedented for "free" Interstate tax dollars to be used for toll roads. I suppose you could say they cheated since that interchange will occur in an untolled no-mans-land once they move the barrier tolls further west (the only remaining toll being the one way bridge toll, which has plenty of precedence on the "free" Interstate system).

I believe the I-95 to the E-W mainline interchange project is getting some federal dollars.

That is not without precedent either.  The federal government funded most of the cost of building the Fort McHenry Tunnel, yet Maryland is allowed to collect tolls from traffic using it.

The land under the Dulles Toll Road (Va. 267) was purchased by the Federal Aviation Administration in the late 1950's or early 1960's, yet Virginia was allowed to build a toll road on that land.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 27, 2013, 01:06:34 AM
I viewed the PTC Construction Projects page tonight and noted 2 new project sites.  Both are a bit far in the future, with 2017 starts, but at least show they are moving forward.  Both are full rebuilds to 6 lanes with wide median.  They are:

MP 57-76 (Monroeville to Irwin)
MP 149-155 (Looks to be just east of Midway to just south of Everett)

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 27, 2013, 01:08:42 AM
There is also some good progress pics of bridge demolition on the MP 41-48 reconstruction site.
Middle Road (that I drove over frequently last June) and the  PA 910 eastern bridge gone.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on May 09, 2013, 07:29:36 PM
PA Turnpike Will Continue Spending Thousands on Outdated Call Boxes (http://www.wtae.com/news/local/pa-turnpike-will-continue-spending-thousands-on-outdated-call-boxes/-/9681086/20072270/-/1vwdmez/-/index.html)

Not all segments of the Turnpike System have them.  The newest segments, Turnpike 576 and Turnpike 43 from Uniontown to Brownsville, do not have them.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on May 10, 2013, 09:10:37 AM
PA Turnpike Will Continue Spending Thousands on Outdated Call Boxes (http://www.wtae.com/news/local/pa-turnpike-will-continue-spending-thousands-on-outdated-call-boxes/-/9681086/20072270/-/1vwdmez/-/index.html)

Not all segments of the Turnpike System have them.  The newest segments, Turnpike 576 and Turnpike 43 from Uniontown to Brownsville, do not have them.

They're required by law? Did law require any PennDOT freeways to have them? Either way, other states have been phasing them out of late, so I wouldn't be against the PTC following suit, assuming they were allowed to do so.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on May 10, 2013, 01:17:10 PM
They're required by law? Did law require any PennDOT freeways to have them?
The linked-article implies that the law only applied to highways that existed in the PTC system at the time it was enacted.  Such probably explains why Turnpikes 43 & 576 do not have them.  To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen any PennDOT highway w/any call boxes.

That said, I do believe that most of the call boxes could probably be taken down (an amendment/repeal of the original law would need to be enacted).  I agree that having them every mile along the entire stretch is overkill and a waste of money.  OTOH, there are areas where their existence is still warranted.  The ones I would keep would be in areas where there's a very long distance between interchanges or service plazas and in areas known to have either weak cell service or 'dead zones'.  While cell phones have improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade, they're not infallible.

From the linked-article:

"There’s no need for it. Everyone has a cellphone and if you don't certainly someone driving by will have a cellphone,” Lawrence said.

I don't agree 100%.  If one breaks down late at night in the middle of nowhere, not everybody one's flagging for help will necessarily stop.

Maybe it might be cheaper to ditch the call boxes and provide SEND HELP signs at toll & service plazas.  :sombrero:
   
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 10, 2013, 01:33:59 PM
If one breaks down late at night in the middle of nowhere, not everybody one's flagging for help will necessarily stop.

then flag someone else.

I've been in those sorts of situations before, from Norway to Mexico to Colorado to everywhere in between... my average is about 3 cars before someone stops.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on May 10, 2013, 05:59:41 PM
To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen any PennDOT highway w/any call boxes.

Interstate 80 had them in the late 60s between Milton and Stroudsburg with plans to expand the system to all Interstates, especially in rural areas.  Interstate 81 had them from mile markers 108 to 158 in Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in the early part of the last decade.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 10, 2013, 07:44:20 PM
To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen any PennDOT highway w/any call boxes.

Interstate 80 had them in the late 60s between Milton and Stroudsburg with plans to expand the system to all Interstates, especially in rural areas.

Last time I was on I-80 in Pennsylvania was in the early 1970's (!) [I was not driving], and there were indeed call boxes - at least between I-81 near Hazelton and U.S. 209 (north) in Stroudsburg.

The call box units caught my attention because the Maryland part of the Capital Beltway had similar units from the 1960's through the 1980's. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on May 16, 2013, 11:12:39 PM
Just noticed a bill to raise Turnpike speeds to 70 MPH has been re-introduced in the PA House

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2013&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=932
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2013, 11:16:54 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike's deal to borrow low from EB-5 visa-seeking investors - a second look (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6550)

Quote
The extraordinary deal the Penn Pike has done with a couple of Philadelphia brokers to borrow up to $250m from foreign investors seeking US residency visas (known as the EB-5 program) is both better and worse on a second look. The Turnpike has been quite forthcoming with information, so a reporter can't validly complain that any element of 'cover up' surrounds the affair. They are not acting as if they have anything to hide.

Quote
The good news seems to be that the Turnpike has NOT got itself "on the hook" for anything much beyond money to hire an 'economist' to work up numbers on 'job creation' likely to result from the I-95 interchange project. That's $50,000 for PR. (Such exercises estimate immediate job creation and gross spending effects, and never look at offsetting effects of finance denied to other projects, and workers not hired there.)

Quote
But such claims of jobs created are standard fare for promoting new projects. And so the object of the financing, I-95/Turnpike interchange, will be analysed for the immediate jobs it creates and other spending it produces in construction
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 03, 2013, 01:44:24 PM
According to a recent post over at the generic "Pennsylvania" forum at City -Data, the PTC has advertised Requests for Qualifications for future design/build bidding on these Turnpike segments (the city data post had these segments as an active link taking you to the actual PTC advertisement) [comments inside these brackets are mine]


MM 13 to MM 14
 (To be widened to six lanes, and includes a reconfiguration of Exit 13 and new pair of bridges over the Beaver River.)
 
MM 28 to MM 31
 (To be widened to six lanes)

[The Cranberry Interchange to Warrendale toll plaza]
 
MM 49 to MM 53
 (To be widened to six lanes.)
[Northern half from Monroeville to the new Allegheny River Bridge]
 
MM 53 to MM 57
 (To be widened to six lanes, and includes a reconfiguration of Exit 57.)
[Southern half from new Allegheny River Bridge to Monroeville including the Monroeville interchange]
 
MM 298 to MM 312
 (To be widened to six lanes.)
 
MM 333 to MM 351
 (Possible reconstruction and design updates to a segment widened in 1987.)
 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: BrianP on June 03, 2013, 02:07:48 PM
Quote
MM 298 to MM 312
 (To be widened to six lanes.)
That seems odd.  Neither adjacent segment is six lanes.  Wouldn't you think the best place to start would be at MP 312 where I-76 leaves the turnpike?  Or does much of the truck traffic skip that section via US 202 US 30 and PA 100?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on June 03, 2013, 02:23:54 PM
Quote
MM 298 to MM 312
 (To be widened to six lanes.)
That seems odd.  Neither adjacent segment is six lanes.  Wouldn't you think the best place to start would be at MP 312 where I-76 leaves the turnpike?  Or does much of the truck traffic skip that section via US 202 US 30 and PA 100?
Don't you mean MP 326?  That's the Valley Forge (I-76 East) exit and where it widens to 6-lanes (via I-276).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 03, 2013, 02:38:34 PM
The list in my post were for "request for Qualificatios", an extremely early step.   IIRC 320-326 and 312-320 are already further along in the pipeline.  By the time 298-312 breaks ground, the pike will allready have been widened to west to 312.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on June 19, 2013, 01:38:04 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/Cross-state_PA_turnpike_toll_could_rise_to_50.html

An article stating tolls could rise to $50 to go from Ohio to New Jersey on the PA Turnpike by 2021 due to the Act 44 obligations.

My only real comment is in response to this:
Quote
"If we don’t do something about this by the year 2021, it will cost $50 for the average working Pennsylvanian just to travel across our state,” said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. “That is just unsustainable. There is no way that we can ask the average Pennsylvanian to pay that.”

Why would the average Pennsylvanian go all the way across the state?  Wouldn't the average state resident live somewhere along the Turnpike and only need to tranverse part of the state?  It'll still be a very high toll, of course.  And how many average working Pennsylvanians are required to travel the entire turnpike as well? 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 19, 2013, 01:49:13 PM
What would be the legality of a traveler getting say a 20% discount using the cash lanes or an automatic 20% discount if they can show an ID indicating PA residency.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on June 19, 2013, 01:49:40 PM
Why would the average Pennsylvanian go all the way across the state?  Wouldn't the average state resident live somewhere along the Turnpike and only need to tranverse part of the state?  It'll still be a very high toll, of course.  And how many average working Pennsylvanians are required to travel the entire turnpike as well? 

Maybe I'm not average, but I used to live in Bristol, so I used to do that occasionally, since my fiancee has family out in Ohio. More to the point of the original quote, I'm assuming he means tolls *overall* would skyrocket, hitting those folks who commute within the state on the Turnpike. I don't know about other parts of the state, but there's a *lot* of people in and around Philly who drive the Turnpike daily (like my fiancee). Every time tolls go up, that hits her directly ($toll_hike * days_commuted).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on June 19, 2013, 01:53:56 PM
What would be the legality of a traveler getting say a 20% discount using the cash lanes or an automatic 20% discount if they can show an ID indicating PA residency.

They could implement some sort of EZPass frequent traveler program like the DRJTBC has for people who cross their bridges at least 20 days a month. I also recall there being some sort of discount on the NJTP for people who live in Florence and use the Turnpike bridge to cross over the Delaware, but I could be completely wrong.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 19, 2013, 06:32:19 PM
TOLLROADSnews: New Pennsylvania Auditor General reasserts criticism - Penn Pike debt "unsustainable" (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6595)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Interstatefan78 on June 19, 2013, 06:47:15 PM
Saw the linked video and it says that the call boxes are written into a law and also they say that there is a cost to pull all call boxes of the PA turnpike system and it's up to each ptc member to make the decision to pull them out. A better solution in my opinion is to put small #11 signs on the fmr call box locations on  the PA turnpike system that includes I-476,I-76,I-276,I-376, and PA-43 :D
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on June 20, 2013, 09:37:00 AM
Why would the average Pennsylvanian go all the way across the state?  Wouldn't the average state resident live somewhere along the Turnpike and only need to tranverse part of the state?  It'll still be a very high toll, of course.  And how many average working Pennsylvanians are required to travel the entire turnpike as well? 

Maybe I'm not average, but I used to live in Bristol, so I used to do that occasionally, since my fiancee has family out in Ohio. More to the point of the original quote, I'm assuming he means tolls *overall* would skyrocket, hitting those folks who commute within the state on the Turnpike. I don't know about other parts of the state, but there's a *lot* of people in and around Philly who drive the Turnpike daily (like my fiancee). Every time tolls go up, that hits her directly ($toll_hike * days_commuted).


Nope, you're not average. :-P

And as far as daily commuting goes, that is something the turnpike can control.  Instead of a uniform 10% increase, the turnpike could say "Ok, interchange to interchange driving in the area between I-476 and US 13 (where most of the daily commuters live) won't see an increase, or just a minor increase.  Toll fares would increase 15% for other distances".

But...the turnpike won't do this.  If anything, they'll say the opposite - fares need to be higher for these commuters because they are the ones requiring the road to be widened.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on June 20, 2013, 01:07:06 PM

And as far as daily commuting goes, that is something the turnpike can control.  Instead of a uniform 10% increase, the turnpike could say "Ok, interchange to interchange driving in the area between I-476 and US 13 (where most of the daily commuters live) won't see an increase, or just a minor increase.  Toll fares would increase 15% for other distances".

But...the turnpike won't do this.  If anything, they'll say the opposite - fares need to be higher for these commuters because they are the ones requiring the road to be widened.

And you know, I'm okay with that so long as the tolls are being used for the Turnpike. It would effectively be a use-based tax on maintaining and expanding the highway, and since that section would be the most expensive to maintain and expand, charging more makes sense. The problem I have with the last few years of tax toll hikes is that it's essentially a tax on the folks who use the Turnpike in order to fund the whole state's transportation infrastructure. It would make more sense to fund that out of a larger base of taxpayers, such as a gas tax or from sales/use or income taxes, not the relatively small % of drivers who use the Turnpike.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 01, 2013, 01:14:16 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike pay-to-play corruption trial has a weeklong preliminary hearing (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6613)

Quote
Witnesses favorable to Pennsylvania Turnpike defendants charged with corruption said repeatedly in the first court hearing last week that gifts they received from vendors who got contracts with the Turnpike were friendly expressions of gratitude not bribes or payoffs. And they maintained political activity organized by top Turnpike officials didn't involve improper pressure on vendors. Special favors sought by politicians at the Turnpike were merely innocent 'constituent service.'

Quote
We rely for the summary that follows on extensive local reports - especially Jeff Frantz at the Harrisburg Patriot News (pennlive.com) and Brad Bumstead Pittsburgh Tribune Review who reported morning and afternoon Monday through Friday last week  from the Harrisburg courtroom of state district judge William Wenner. 19 witnesses were heard in five days of a hearing to decide whether the case by state attorney general Kathleen Kane should go to trial before a judge and jury.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 09, 2013, 12:10:11 PM
Update on the Turnpike/I-95 interchange project:

Project is entering into another construction phase.

http://bensalem.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/turnpike-i95-connection-begins-next-phase (http://bensalem.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/turnpike-i95-connection-begins-next-phase)

Excerpt:

...until mid-July, little impact is anticipated for motorists traveling through the project area on Interstate 276 between the Bensalem Exit (#351) and the Delaware River Bridge (#359).
Later this month, the contractor will set up a work zone in the project area and once established the speed limit will be reduced to 55 miles per hour until the project is completed in spring 2016. Additionally, some work will require the contractor to establish single-lane patterns during off-peak hours, restricting travel lanes with reduced work-zone speeds of 40 mph.

There are two separate projects that could impact turnpike travel. The first is the reconstruction and widening of a stretch of I-276 between milepost 351.4 and 354.1 including the construction of a mainline toll plaza at milepost 352.6. The second project site is for the construction of an Open-Road Tolling system (highway-speed tolling) at the Delaware River Bridge plaza.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 10, 2013, 06:10:35 PM
The PA Pike also has a new Commissioner as of July 2, it's not my intent to be political, but they have appointed a long time assembly rep from Monroeville, a Democrat, which surprised me, but also made me wonder what his influence will have on the 376 interchange reconstruct (I would like to think this could lead to a more robust design)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2013, 10:57:44 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Penn Pike leaders sent to trial after preliminary hearing (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6643)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 16, 2013, 11:18:12 PM
What's sad is that the chair of the Allegheny Co Commissioners got the head of PAT Transit fired for the purpose of getting a friend in that position, and nominated Brimmeier the day before the indictments.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 26, 2013, 11:58:56 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Problems in broader EB-5 program, Penn Pike's proposed financing for big I-95 interchange (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6655)

Quote
The Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security is investigating possible abuses in handling of EB-5 visa applications by Chinese nationals following a referral from an FBI counter-intelligence analyst, the Associated Press reports. They say President Obama's nominee for the deputy-secretary, #2 slot in the department Alejandro Mayorkas is under investigation for his handling of an investor visa when he was head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services unit of the department.

Quote
Under the EB-5 program foreign investors putting $500,000 or more into a US business and creating jobs get a special 'foreign investor visa" allowing them to bypass other foreigners applying for entry to the US.

Quote
The DHS Inspector General sent an email about the investigation to members of the House and Senate committees on homeland security this week. The IG said that the department's general counsel office obstructed a Securities and Exchange Commission attempt to audit the EB-5 program. And it says the FBI has been concerned about the program providing a way for Chinese intelligence officers to become involved in sensitive building projects through shell companies.

Quote
One of these turned out to be an FBI facility being built by an EB-5 contractor.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 27, 2013, 12:01:36 AM
What's sad is that the chair of the Allegheny Co Commissioners got the head of PAT Transit fired for the purpose of getting a friend in that position, and nominated Brimmeier the day before the indictments.

I don't think anyone could pay be enough to be in  charge of transit in Pittsburgh.

Declining market for transit, militant unions and resistance by the unions and their friendly elected officials to significant  cost-savings.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 29, 2013, 05:36:03 PM
It's that time of the year again:  Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Announces 2014 Toll Increase (http://www.paturnpike.com/press/2013/20130729160256.htm)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on July 30, 2013, 07:31:12 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Celebrates Start of Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130730142841.htm) - Groundbreaking ceremony took place today for Phase 1 of this long-awaited interchange.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 30, 2013, 09:02:05 PM
A new project has been added to the Turnpike future/current construction projects page:  A design phase for the mainline from the Fort Littleton exit to the western porthole of the Tuscoraora tunnel.  It will also be a 6 lane widening with a reconstruction of the Fort Littleton exit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on August 16, 2013, 04:45:51 PM
Yet another project has been added to the design phase on the PTC website:  I-176 Morgantown to PA 100.  This, when complete will leave I-283 to I-176 as the longest untouched part of the mainline.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 26, 2013, 12:39:39 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Celebrates Start of Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130730142841.htm) - Groundbreaking ceremony took place today for Phase 1 of this long-awaited interchange.
Here's one video of such:


Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on August 26, 2013, 01:31:20 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Celebrates Start of Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130730142841.htm) - Groundbreaking ceremony took place today for Phase 1 of this long-awaited interchange.
I will not be happy until the day it is open for business.  So many wolf cries over the years, so until its finished I will not rejoice over this.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 26, 2013, 02:33:10 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike Celebrates Start of Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project (http://www.paturnpike.com/Press/2013/20130730142841.htm) - Groundbreaking ceremony took place today for Phase 1 of this long-awaited interchange.
I will not be happy until the day it is open for business.  So many wolf cries over the years, so until its finished I will not rejoice over this.

PTC and PennDOT have completed a few bridge projects that are directly related to this effort, which is good.

But according to a TOLLROADSnews story written last month  (here (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6670)), one reason for the slow pace with this project is the requirement that PTC make Act 44 payments to PennDOT for subsidies of roads and transit projects and transit wages and benefits that have nothing to do with the Turnpike.

Quote
Privately Turnpike officials say the project could be strung out over a longer period if the Turnpike doesn't get relief from the Act 44 requirements of making grants for transit and free roads of Penn DOT. They say the continued rebuild and widening of the rest of the Turnpike is probably a higher priority than the I-95 interchange.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 26, 2013, 03:40:37 PM
Quote
Privately Turnpike officials say the project could be strung out over a longer period if the Turnpike doesn't get relief from the Act 44 requirements of making grants for transit and free roads of Penn DOT. They say the continued rebuild and widening of the rest of the Turnpike is probably a higher priority than the I-95 interchange.

I can understand that, as (and correct me if I'm wrong) this portion of the PA Turnpike between existing 95 and the NJ Turnpike becomes toll-free after the interchange is built.

Having said that, the state could use the Act 44 money to assist with I-95 improvements in the area, including this interchange.

And finally, as far as the slow pace goes - Act 44 is relatively recent.  This project had dragged on for years in non-construction phases.  It was originally supposed to open around the same time the NJ Turnpike widening project is completed in 2014.  So Act 44 isn't the sole reason for the slow pace of this project.  A lot of median barriers have been constructed...often times in the same place.  That money could have gone towards this project instead.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 26, 2013, 09:51:11 PM
Isn't the I-95 interchange required by federal law?  Why aren't the feds threatening PA with the loss of highway funds if it isn't built?  If I were the head of the FHWA, I would tell PA that they won't see so much as a penny of highway money until the interchange is built.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 26, 2013, 10:23:07 PM
Quote
Privately Turnpike officials say the project could be strung out over a longer period if the Turnpike doesn't get relief from the Act 44 requirements of making grants for transit and free roads of Penn DOT. They say the continued rebuild and widening of the rest of the Turnpike is probably a higher priority than the I-95 interchange.

I can understand that, as (and correct me if I'm wrong) this portion of the PA Turnpike between existing 95 and the NJ Turnpike becomes toll-free after the interchange is built.

It is my understanding that the I-95 north movement will not be tolled in Pennsylvania, but I-95 south traffic coming over the Delaware River will have to pay a toll at a barrier for I-95 south (currently I-276 west) traffic.  Rather like the far western section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike E-W mainline is now "free" for westbound traffic between I-79 and the Ohio border, but traffic entering Pennsylvania from the Ohio Turnpike pays a toll.  That happened when the PTC's "ticket" system was cut-back to just east of I-79 at Warrendale when the breezewood between the Turnpike and I-79 was remediated.

Having said that, the state could use the Act 44 money to assist with I-95 improvements in the area, including this interchange.

I am not qualified to say how the Act 44 payments work (or if PTC can tell PennDOT to use Act 44 money for this interchange). I do know that the amount of money that PTC was to give to PennDOT was predicated on being able to impose tolls on I-80, something that was rejected by the George W. Bush and Obama Administration USDOTs.

And finally, as far as the slow pace goes - Act 44 is relatively recent.  This project had dragged on for years in non-construction phases.  It was originally supposed to open around the same time the NJ Turnpike widening project is completed in 2014.  So Act 44 isn't the sole reason for the slow pace of this project.  A lot of median barriers have been constructed...often times in the same place.  That money could have gone towards this project instead.

Excellent point - this project has indeed taken forever (it seems).

In defense of PTC and PennDOT, it was not Pennsylvania's section of I-95 that was cancelled - it was New Jersey's part of I-95 that was cancelled thanks to NIMBYist pressure.  However, PTC and PennDOT don't get off for free, since the two of them failed to construct an interchange where there should have been one (regardless of what happened in New Jersey) when I-95 was being planned, designed and constructed north of Philadelphia, and that is their fault.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 26, 2013, 10:39:50 PM
Isn't the I-95 interchange required by federal law?

Yup.  I believe a provision of the  Surface Transportation Assistance Act of (!) 1982 mandates that the connection be made.

Why aren't the feds threatening PA with the loss of highway funds if it isn't built?  If I were the head of the FHWA, I would tell PA that they won't see so much as a penny of highway money until the interchange is built.

Good idea, but Washington never does anything so rational, even when there is a clearly federal interest at stake (as there is here).

May I suggest that the President  nominate you to be the  next Secretary of USDOT?  Or at least the Federal Highway Administrator?

I would actually love to expand on your excellent idea and tell the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission that interest on its bonds will no longer be exempt from federal taxation unless it remediates every single breezewood on its system, starting with the Breezewood.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 27, 2013, 08:20:02 AM
It is my understanding that the I-95 north movement will not be tolled in Pennsylvania, but I-95 south traffic coming over the Delaware River will have to pay a toll at a barrier for I-95 south (currently I-276 west) traffic.   
Actually, the eastern mainline toll plaza will be relocated west of the I-95 interchange when all is said & done.  In short, the only toll barrier that I-95 South through traffic will ultimately encounter will be on the Jersey side at the current NJTP barrier at US 130 (Exit 6A).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 27, 2013, 09:00:32 AM
In defense of PTC and PennDOT, it was not Pennsylvania's section of I-95 that was cancelled - it was New Jersey's part of I-95 that was cancelled thanks to NIMBYist pressure.  However, PTC and PennDOT don't get off for free, since the two of them failed to construct an interchange where there should have been one (regardless of what happened in New Jersey) when I-95 was being planned, designed and constructed north of Philadelphia, and that is their fault.

Personally, I think PA benefited from NJ's cancellation of 95.  If one sees the daily congestion along 95 now thru the Philly and Chester areas, imagine the congestion if 95 from NYC to Delaware was the main route, rather than the NJ Turnpike to 295. 

Would 95 be wider?  Would it be double decked?  95 is sandwiched between houses and buildings now, so both of those options seem far fetched.  How different would 295 be in NJ as the bypass around Philadelphia?

While a lot of criticism is placed on the cancellation of NJ's portion of 95, the resulting effects send the majority of traffic thru a relatively rural portion of NJ (which over the years have become quite suburban), rather than thru the already congested Philadelphia cities. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 27, 2013, 09:07:01 AM
Even if the NJ portion of 95 had been built, I'd wager long-distance travel patterns would still be largely the same. Most people would take the more direct, and arguably faster and calmer NJTP.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 27, 2013, 09:25:22 AM
Even if the NJ portion of 95 had been built, I'd wager long-distance travel patterns would still be largely the same. Most people would take the more direct, and arguably faster and calmer NJTP.

I'd go with the opposite reasoning: Most people would stay on I-95 because they are just following signs for I-95.  And they really wouldn't want to pay a toll if they didn't have to.

Actually, they are avoiding two tolls, under the assumption that the 95 bridge over the Delaware was still free.  Having said that, when the 95 bridge is widened eventually, the addition of open-road tolling is part of that project, along with the wideneing of 95 from 2 to 3 lanes each direction for about 4 miles in PA.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 27, 2013, 09:50:05 AM
Even if the NJ portion of 95 had been built, I'd wager long-distance travel patterns would still be largely the same. Most people would take the more direct, and arguably faster and calmer NJTP.
IMHO, I-295, the northern stretch in particular, would've seen more traffic on it had I-95 in Somerset County been built.

My holiday commutes to/from New England would've benefited greatly.  Had I-95 been built as orginally planned, I still would use I-295 North from I-76.  However, instead of exiting at I-195 (Exit 60), I would've continued to the I-95/295 split (would-be Exit 71 or 72(?)) and then taken I-95 North to I-695 (if built) and I-287.  The only tolls I would've encountered would have been the Tappan Zee (one-way) and the Mass Pike (I-90).  Over a 23-year period, I would've saved a lot of toll money.

I'd go with the opposite reasoning: Most people would stay on I-95 because they are just following signs for I-95.  And they really wouldn't want to pay a toll if they didn't have to.

Actually, they are avoiding two tolls, under the assumption that the 95 bridge over the Delaware was still free.  Having said that, when the 95 bridge is widened eventually, the addition of open-road tolling is part of that project, along with the wideneing of 95 from 2 to 3 lanes each direction for about 4 miles in PA.
Again, the existing east-gate toll plaza is being relocated west of the new interchange.  The new gantry will, no doubt, be of the open-road toll variety.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 27, 2013, 12:23:48 PM

I'd go with the opposite reasoning: Most people would stay on I-95 because they are just following signs for I-95.  And they really wouldn't want to pay a toll if they didn't have to.

Actually, they are avoiding two tolls, under the assumption that the 95 bridge over the Delaware was still free.  Having said that, when the 95 bridge is widened eventually, the addition of open-road tolling is part of that project, along with the wideneing of 95 from 2 to 3 lanes each direction for about 4 miles in PA.
Again, the existing east-gate toll plaza is being relocated west of the new interchange.  The new gantry will, no doubt, be of the open-road toll variety.

I should've been more specific, as I was referring to a 'what might've been' scenerio if 95 was built as planned thru NJ.  Motorists would have most likely stayed on I-95 rather than taking the NJ Turnpike. 

Motorist taking 95 from NY to Delaware would have had pay a small toll from NYC to I-287, but then enjoyed a free ride thru the rest of NJ, across the I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge into PA, then thru Philly and Willmington. 

Motorists taking the NJ Turnpike down to Delaware would have to pay the entire NJ Turnpike toll, plus the toll crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  That Delaware River toll that would have been avoided if motorist took the originally planned I-95 routing. 

The I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge will be widened within the next few years, and Open Road Tolling is planned for that.  At some point, it will also be renumbered I-195.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 27, 2013, 12:45:36 PM
Motorist taking 95 from NY to Delaware would have had pay a small toll from NYC to I-287, but then enjoyed a free ride thru the rest of NJ, across the I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge into PA, then thru Philly and Willmington. 

Motorists taking the NJ Turnpike down to Delaware would have to pay the entire NJ Turnpike toll, plus the toll crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  That Delaware River toll that would have been avoided if motorist took the originally planned I-95 routing.
With the current one-way tolling of the Delaware River Bridges, through-traffic northbounders still would've bypassed PA (along w/Philly) and utilized I-295 North to would-be I-95 connection in Ewing.  Al-Jo curve (which is finally being remedied) notwithstanding.

While some could do that today at least up to I-195 (Exit 60); most don't think about doing such.  Had I-95 in NJ been built, it would've likely been a different story IMHO. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 27, 2013, 01:34:52 PM
It is my understanding that the I-95 north movement will not be tolled in Pennsylvania, but I-95 south traffic coming over the Delaware River will have to pay a toll at a barrier for I-95 south (currently I-276 west) traffic.   
Actually, the eastern mainline toll plaza will be relocated west of the I-95 interchange when all is said & done.  In short, the only toll barrier that I-95 South through traffic will ultimately encounter will be on the Jersey side at the current NJTP barrier at US 130 (Exit 6A).

According to the PTC's Web site (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/) for the project, there will be a (flat-rate) toll for traffic coming over the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania (why they could not make a deal with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to just collect the money at the Exit 6A barrier for the PTC is beyond me). If you look at this image (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/images/STAGEMAPMAY2013_lg.jpg) on the right  side, there is an artistic rendering of what looks like an all-electronic toll point for westbound (Turnpike) or southbound (I-95) movement - it is labelled as MODIFIED DRB TOLL PLAZA WESTBOUND ONLY (though it seems that PTC may be collecting cash there, at least initially).

At some point in the past, I think that toll barrier on the Pennsylvania side was referred to as a "coin drop" toll.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 27, 2013, 01:50:05 PM
According to the PTC's Web site (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/) for the project, there will be a (flat-rate) toll for traffic coming over the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania (why they could not make a deal with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to just collect the money at the Exit 6A barrier for the PTC is beyond me).

Or make a deal that the NJ Turnpike Authority has complete jurisdiction of that bridge in regards to construction and maintenance. Simply raise the toll a bit at Interchange 6 & 6A to cover the costs (although that would screw the motorists travelling to/from US 130 to/from the mainline NJ Turnpike, as they would pay the increased toll but not use the bridge).

The dualization of that PA-NJ Turnpike connector bridge would probably get done much faster as a result, too.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 27, 2013, 03:21:28 PM
According to the PTC's Web site (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/) for the project, there will be a (flat-rate) toll for traffic coming over the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania (why they could not make a deal with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to just collect the money at the Exit 6A barrier for the PTC is beyond me). If you look at this image (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/images/STAGEMAPMAY2013_lg.jpg) on the right  side, there is an artistic rendering of what looks like an all-electronic toll point for westbound (Turnpike) or southbound (I-95) movement - it is labelled as MODIFIED DRB TOLL PLAZA WESTBOUND ONLY (though it seems that PTC may be collecting cash there, at least initially).

At some point in the past, I think that toll barrier on the Pennsylvania side was referred to as a "coin drop" toll.
Actually, I am surprised that the westbound open-road gantry east the interchange doesn't run afoul (read: violate) with the original agreement that I-95 into PA from NJ was not going to be tolled beyond the NJ Turnpike gantries... like the current I-95 via the Scudder Falls Bridge.

If that addtional gantry's going to be there; why move the mainline east gate gantry west of the interchange to begin with?  This means that somebody coming into PA via I-95 but heading to I-276 needs to pass through two gantries over a short distance.  Granted, it's not as idiotic as the present close proximity of the east gate plaza and the Delaware Valley (Exit 358) interchange plaza (whoever decided not to integrate those two plazas when they were originally built should be shot IMHO); but still there seems to be a trampling of principle here.

Given the PA Turnpike's current extortion toll rates (courtesy of Act 44); there could be a very legitimate concern that motorists may feel that they're getting fleeced again by exhorbitant tolls.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 27, 2013, 04:00:45 PM
According to the PTC's Web site (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/) for the project, there will be a (flat-rate) toll for traffic coming over the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania (why they could not make a deal with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to just collect the money at the Exit 6A barrier for the PTC is beyond me). If you look at this image (http://www.paturnpikei95.com/images/STAGEMAPMAY2013_lg.jpg) on the right  side, there is an artistic rendering of what looks like an all-electronic toll point for westbound (Turnpike) or southbound (I-95) movement - it is labelled as MODIFIED DRB TOLL PLAZA WESTBOUND ONLY (though it seems that PTC may be collecting cash there, at least initially).

At some point in the past, I think that toll barrier on the Pennsylvania side was referred to as a "coin drop" toll.
Actually, I am surprised that the westbound open-road gantry east the interchange doesn't run afoul (read: violate) with the original agreement that I-95 into PA from NJ was not going to be tolled beyond the NJ Turnpike gantries... like the current I-95 via the Scudder Falls Bridge.

If that addtional gantry's going to be there; why move the mainline east gate gantry west of the interchange to begin with?  This means that somebody coming into PA via I-95 but heading to I-276 needs to pass through two gantries over a short distance.  Granted, it's not as idiotic as the present close proximity of the east gate plaza and the Delaware Valley (Exit 358) interchange plaza (whoever decided not to integrate those two plazas when they were originally built should be shot IMHO); but still there seems to be a trampling of principle here.

Given the PA Turnpike's current extortion toll rates (courtesy of Act 44); there could be a very legitimate concern that motorists may feel that they're getting fleeced again by exhorbitant tolls.

A toll plaza for traffic using the 276/95 ramps would be required if there was only one mainline plaza near the PA-NJ Turnpike connector bridge.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on August 27, 2013, 05:03:43 PM
A toll plaza for traffic using the 276/95 ramps would be required if there was only one mainline plaza near the PA-NJ Turnpike connector bridge.

I also wonder... will the bridge toll be put strictly into the pocket of the PTC, or is there any sort of revenue split going between PTC and PennDOT?
Since that toll will be pretty much stand-alone, why not find some funding model to split the revenue between NJ and PA? Then, in theory, NJTA could drop the toll plaza at US 130, and we'd have parity with every other toll bridge between NJ and PA (that is, a toll heading out of NJ, with no other tolls to *just* use the bridge).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 27, 2013, 05:19:44 PM
A toll plaza for traffic using the 276/95 ramps would be required if there was only one mainline plaza near the PA-NJ Turnpike connector bridge.
My original understanding of this whole project was that the Turnpike from just west of the new interchange to the NJ state line was to be non-tolled at all but still maintained by PTC or a joint venture between them & PennDOT.

Something tells me that the westbound gantry near the state line was recently added to the whole overall project (as a bridge toll).  If that is indeed the case, then this appears to be a bait & switch with respect to what was originally presented at the various public meetings & hearings.

I do recall the Feds mandating that one freeway crossing the Delaware River to be toll free.  I-95 along the Scudder Falls Bridge was originally supposed to be it but with the shift of I-95 onto the Turnpike corridor, the moving of the Turnpike East-gate toll plaza and the replacement Scudder Falls Bridge (future I-195) being tolled; one can certainly get the impression that the new I-95 along the PA Turnpike corridor was going to be that toll-free crossing.

NJTA could drop the toll plaza at US 130, and we'd have parity with every other toll bridge between NJ and PA (that is, a toll heading out of NJ, with no other tolls to *just* use the bridge).
I'm assuming that you're only referring to the westbound entrance ramp from US 130 as opposed to mainline Turnpike gantry (which serves as an end to the NJTP's closed toll collection system).  If that's the case, you're right.  The current PA proposal means that somebody heading from US 130 to I-276 is crossing three different toll gantries/plazas.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on August 27, 2013, 10:12:36 PM
Vdeane, to follow-up on your original question. You have to understand that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission suffers from serious rectal-cranial inversion compared to the NY Thruway Authority. Originally there was no interchange between the Pennsy-Pike and I-95, 'cause (I believe)federal law prohibited using Interstate highway funds for interchanges with toll-roads. And unlike the Thruway Authority, the P.T.C. would not use their funds to build interchanges with the Interstates, and that's how we ended up having no connection with I-95.

I believe that is the correct history, but if anyone knows different, please correct me. 

Folks, I hope I live long enough to see (and drive) this completed Pennsy-Pike/I-95/NJT project finished, but I have my doubts if the pace of the last 20 years continues. And to think the entire original New Jersey Turnpike was built in all of two whole years. We could use some of that left-over World War II military style efficiency today!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 27, 2013, 10:33:06 PM
The Thruway Authority probably had a bit more flexability with funds than the PTC as well.  The PA Turnpike is significant in that it never had any plans to become free once its bonds were paid off, unlike most (if not all) the surrounding toll roads, including the Thruway.  Thus it is subject to many laws that apply to it but not seemingly to other toll roads (kinda like NY state laws that apply only to "cities of over 1 million people", aka NYC).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on August 27, 2013, 10:41:54 PM
I believe that is the correct history, but if anyone knows different, please correct me. 
Some old maps (including the 1964 Rand McNally (http://web.archive.org/web/20060514223439/http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/81a.jpg)) show a proposed connection from the I-95/PA 413 interchange to I-276/US 13. Presumably this would have been built by PennDOT. (A 1971 map (http://ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BPR_PDF_FILES/MAPS/Type_10_GHS_Historical_Scans/Bucks_1971_Sheet_3.pdf) does not show this, but does show I-895 connecting to the same interchange.)

Interestingly, a 1945 map (http://ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BPR_PDF_FILES/MAPS/Type_10_GHS_Historical_Scans/Bucks_1945.pdf) shows a proposed link from Langhorne to Yardley instead of the current US 1 freeway from Langhorne to Morrisville.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 28, 2013, 08:13:36 AM
Some old maps (including the 1964 Rand McNally (http://web.archive.org/web/20060514223439/http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/81a.jpg)) show a proposed connection from the I-95/PA 413 interchange to I-276/US 13. Presumably this would have been built by PennDOT.
It's interesting that at the northeast corner of that map, US 13 is shown as I-95 once it turns into a limited-access highway (heavy green line).  I remember some RMD road atlases erroneously showing the PA 413 branch-off I-95 with a direct connection to the PA Turnpike (interchange shown as a white square) into the the 1980s.

BTW, I'm getting an error message when I attempted to open your other links.

The PA Turnpike is significant in that it never had any plans to become free once its bonds were paid off, unlike most (if not all) the surrounding toll roads,
According to at least one historical account of the PA Turnpike, the original plan indeed called for the removal of tolls once the original bond(s) that built the road were paid off (sometime in the 1980s); the road would have then been turned over to PennDOT and been treated like a toll-free Interstate. 

However, like the majority of other toll roads (including the NY Thruway), when Federal dollars started becoming more scarce at the time; those toll booth removal plans were nixed.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on August 28, 2013, 08:16:45 AM
BTW, I'm getting an error message when I attempted to open your other links.
This forum borks FTP links. Fiddle with the beginning of the URL.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on August 28, 2013, 08:22:52 AM
I do not understand why the proposed freeway along US 13 in Bucks County is not an option being its an industrialized area that usually is the easiest to build through.  Plus its a straight line where when the I-95/ PA Turnpike interchange will have I-95 zig zag.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 28, 2013, 08:30:53 AM
I do not understand why the proposed freeway along US 13 in Bucks County is not an option being its an industrialized area that usually is the easiest to build through.  Plus its a straight line where when the I-95/ PA Turnpike interchange will have I-95 zig zag.
Guess on my part, if one looks further northeast (off the map) US 13 terminates at US 1.

Exerpt from Steve Anderson's  PhillyRoads site on the history of I-95 through PA and why the US 13/1 corridor was not chosen for I-95:

http://www.phillyroads.com/roads/delaware/ (http://www.phillyroads.com/roads/delaware/)

DECIDING UPON AN ALIGNMENT IN BUCKS COUNTY: To the north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania initially sought to route I-95 across the Delaware River along the Trenton Toll Bridge, then north through Trenton along the Trenton Freeway (current US 1). The original alignment of I-95 in Bucks County was to continue from the current EXIT 40 (PA 413) in Bristol, and proceed north along the US 13 corridor to the vicinity of Morrisville. It was to have interchanges at PA 413, the Pennsylvania Turnpike-Delaware River Extension (I-276) in Bristol, and Levittown Parkway in Levittown.

However, New Jersey officials opposed this routing on the basis of the physical and capacity constraints on the four-lane bridge and freeway. The two states jointly investigated three alternative river crossings: Scudder Falls (west of Trenton), existing Trenton Toll Bridge-Trenton Freeway (through downtown), and Biles Island (east of Trenton). After further study, the two states approved the Scudder Falls alignment in 1960. The new western alignment was approved by the BPR in 1964. Ultimately, the rerouting of I-95 would prove to be a primary reason why a direct interchange between the Delaware Expressway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike-Philadelphia Extension was never constructed.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 28, 2013, 08:40:32 AM
Exerpt from Steve Anderson's  PhillyRoads site on the history of I-95 through PA and why the US 13/1 corridor was not chosen for I-95:

However, New Jersey officials opposed this routing on the basis of the physical and capacity constraints on the four-lane bridge and freeway.


As it turns out, the formerly 4 lane US 1 Bridge is now 6 lanes, while the I-95 Bridge remains at 4 lanes.  Both feature an interchange just within each state's borders.

Widening US 1 (and what could've been I-95) thru Trenton though would have been nearly impossible.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman65 on August 28, 2013, 08:59:54 AM
I am talking about now, and not the original I-95.  I think instead of the current interchange project that a freeway connecting Exit 40 of I-95 to Exit 359 ( I think as I am still not familiar with the new mile exit numbers).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: J N Winkler on August 28, 2013, 09:03:23 AM
This forum borks FTP links. Fiddle with the beginning of the URL.

A fix has been provided for this--I suspect at the instigation of the moderators after the last time this particular issue came up.  The forum software won't ruin FTP URLs as long as they are enclosed within "ftp" tags instead of "url" tags.

1971 Bucks Co. map (Sheet 3) (ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BPR_PDF_FILES/MAPS/Type_10_GHS_Historical_Scans/Bucks_1971_Sheet_3.pdf)

1945 Bucks Co. map (ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BPR_PDF_FILES/MAPS/Type_10_GHS_Historical_Scans/Bucks_1945.pdf)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 28, 2013, 09:14:43 AM
I am talking about now, and not the original I-95.  I think instead of the current interchange project that a freeway connecting Exit 40 of I-95 to Exit 359 ( I think as I am still not familiar with the new mile exit numbers).
Prior to the Feds re-routing I-95, PTC/PennDOT indeed had long-range plans to extend the PA 413 connector northward onto the Turnpike.  Such an extension would've involved a reconfiguration/integration with the existing Delaware Valley/US 13 interchange (Exit 358 BTW).  The original Tunrpike/Connector interchange was to be of a trumpet design similar to the Valley Forge/I-76 East (Exit 326) interchange.

Once the decision was made regarding the rerouting of I-95, that design (eminent domain/land takings for the original interchange had already taken place at the time) was viewed as inadequate for the estimated future traffic volumes once the interchange opened; so it was back to the drawing board and we now have the current higher speed/higher volume design.

A 1971 map does not show this, but does show I-895 connecting to the same interchange.
1971 Bucks Co. map (Sheet 3) (ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BPR_PDF_FILES/MAPS/Type_10_GHS_Historical_Scans/Bucks_1971_Sheet_3.pdf)
It's interesting that for one needing to get from I-95 South to PA 413, one had to exit off the proposed I-895 (via a cloverleaf ramp) and get onto I-95 northbound before reaching PA 413.  My guess is that southbound I-95 off-ramp to the would-be I-895 wound up ultimately getting built as the completed missing movement to PA 413 sometime in the late 90s/early 2000s.

Back to the new westbound Turnpike (future I-95 South) open-road toll gantry for a moment.  Alleged toll-free freeway river crossing violation aside for a moment; my biggest concern is what will the toll amount actually be?

At present, and I'm using a real-life example here, a calculated toll (for simplicity sake & comparison purposes, I am only using the cash rates since neither the PTC, NJTPA nor the DRPA apply EZ-Pass discounts in a consistent manner with respect to eachother) for a trip from North Jersey (part of my travel to/from New England) to where I live in (Delaware County) PA.

Toll break-down comparisons:

Option 1
NJ Turnpike from GSP (Exit 11) to I-195 (Exit 7A): $2.45

(use I-195 West to I-295 South to I-76 West to I-95 South)

Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76): $5.00

Total toll: $7.45

Note: toll for the reverse route is only $2.45.


Option 2
NJ Turnpike from GSP (Exit 11) to Turnpike Connector/Future I-95 South (Exit 6): $4.60

(use Turnpike Bridge into PA)

PA Turnpike from East-Gate ("Exit 359") to US 13/Delaware Valley (Exit 358): $1.80

(use US 13 South to PA 413 North to I-95 South)

Total toll: $6.40

Note: toll for the reverse route is the same.  Given the fact that all bridges south of the Turnpike crossing are one-way tolls into PA/DE using the Option 2 route in reverse does not make sound economic sense (unless one's originating in southeastern Bucks County PA).

The new Turnpike interchange would replace the breezewood routing described in Option 2 and would be the likely route I would use on future return trips from New England.  Seeing the current differences in tolls; my concern would be that if the PTC charges the equivalent of what DRPA charges for their 4 bridges ($5.00); there would be no real advantage for one to take the new routing (unless one has EZ-Pass and the discounts become more generous & consistent through all agencies).

While one could presently use I-295 North to pick up I-95 South and cross into PA via the Scudder Falls Bridge (no toll yet); that routing is longer in both mileage & time.  While using NJ 29 through Trenton cuts down on the mileage somewhat, since it connects to I-95 just north of the PA border; it's not much of a time-saver.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on August 28, 2013, 01:14:36 PM
This is why my hope is that they'd remove the bridge charge from whatever the NJTA and PTC currently charge exiting at either of the ticket barrier toll plazas, and instead use the bridge toll alone to account for the cost of the road between both barrier toll plazas. Of course, knowing both of these entities, they'd probably keep the tolls at the barriers the same in addition to adding another $2-5 on top of that for the one-way bridge toll (effectively double-charging for the same mileage).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on August 28, 2013, 04:40:43 PM
Just thinking aloud here . . .

If I am correct, the ramp toll at Delaware Valley (Exit 358) is to be lifted when the direct I-95 connections are made.  Not knowing how the relocated barrier plaza rates would be set (compared to the current one), the bridge toll might be set for PTC to recover this lost revenue (and likely then some).  In theory, the tolls between Exits 358 and 359 would be lost with the shuffling of toll barriers if there were not the WB bridge toll.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on August 28, 2013, 04:58:20 PM
If I am correct, the ramp toll at Delaware Valley (Exit 358) is to be lifted when the direct I-95 connections are made.  Not knowing how the relocated barrier plaza rates would be set (compared to the current one), the bridge toll might be set for PTC to recover this lost revenue (and likely then some).  In theory, the tolls between Exits 358 and 359 would be lost with the shuffling of toll barriers if there were not the WB bridge toll.

I figured they'd either build the toll for the non-ticket section into the bridge toll, or into the barrier toll (that is, the toll at the new barrier just east of route 1 would be the same as it would be if you went through the barrier right before the bridge). In theory, the best bet is to cover the cost of the section of road between ticket systems (NJ and PA) would be the bridge toll (same as it basically is for the DRPA, BCBC, and DRJTBC bridges, effectively). Of course, who the hell knows what the PTC plans. Whatever nets them the most money, probably...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 29, 2013, 03:00:08 PM
There may not be a ticket section of the PA Turnpike to worry about anyway...

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/No_E-ZPass_Heres_a_bill_Electronic_tolling_planned_for_PA_Turnpike.html

No doubt, the Turnpike will build the new toll plaza with regular toll booths...just in time for the Turnpike to become all-electronic!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on August 29, 2013, 03:30:30 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/No_E-ZPass_Heres_a_bill_Electronic_tolling_planned_for_PA_Turnpike.html
Excerpt from that link:

The key, though, is ensuring the system is fair to out-of-state drivers who don’t have the chance to get an E-ZPass, or who might otherwise be fined.

“A nationwide methodology should be established to ensure that occasional users and out-of-town travelers have a mechanism in place for paying the appropriate toll,” Robinson said, “so that they are able to use toll facilities without being subject to a fine.”


IMHO, after the implimentation of all-electronic tolling; those who don't have EZ-Pass should be just billed the equivalent of the cash/non-EZ-Pass rate without any addtional fine or penalty

Or does that make way too much sense.

There may not be a ticket section of the PA Turnpike to worry about anyway...
While all-electronic tolling will eliminate jam-ups at traditional toll plazas; it still means that the proposed toll gantry arrangement at the eastern end still means that a motorist from US 130 in NJ heading to I-276 (beyond the proposed I-95 interchange) will be crossing (& paying, after exiting off 276, 76 or 476) three gantries over a relatively short distance.

Will the implementation of all-electronic tolling mean that all traffic would be allowed to use either Virginia Drive (Exit 340 off I-276 West) or PA 29 (Exit 320 off I-76) interchanges?

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on August 29, 2013, 03:51:42 PM
IMHO, after the implimentation of all-electronic tolling; those who don't have EZ-Pass should be just billed the equivalent of the cash/non-EZ-Pass rate without any addtional fine or penalty

Or does that make way too much sense.

I think the Turnpike has said there won't be a "fine" to not use ez-pass. Since cash would go away completely, you'd have an EZ-Pass rate and a post-billed rate, which will still be higher. So while there isn't a fine per se, you'd still pay more.

Really, the ultimate solution would to be do away with EZ-Pass entirely and bill based strictly on plate (camera technology and character recognition these days is more than good enough to do this). You sign up for a PA Turnpike account (or perhaps have an account with a consortium member) and it just gets billed directly to that account. Not signed up? You get mailed a bill for the toll + processing charge. This is the direction that we need to go to have universal interoperability between disparate electronic tolling systems nationwide,

Quote
Will the implementation of all-electronic tolling mean that all traffic would be allowed to use either Virginia Drive (Exit 340 off I-276 West) or PA 29 (Exit 320 off I-76) interchanges?

One would hope...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NJRoadfan on August 29, 2013, 05:34:41 PM
Really, the ultimate solution would to be do away with EZ-Pass entirely and bill based strictly on plate (camera technology and character recognition these days is more than good enough to do this). You sign up for a PA Turnpike account (or perhaps have an account with a consortium member) and it just gets billed directly to that account. Not signed up? You get mailed a bill for the toll + processing charge. This is the direction that we need to go to have universal interoperability between disparate electronic tolling systems nationwide,

The problem with toll by plate is reciprocal agreements between states in regards to sharing plate data. Using the Triangle Expressway in North Carolina as an example, right now if you drive on the road without a transponder you won't be billed if NC doesn't have an agreement with your state to share registration information. The reason being is that some states charge so much to pull the data that it exceeds the cost of the toll! I tested this last December when I took the TriEx... no bill in the mail.

For a road like the TriEx, this really isn't a big problem since the road is serving mostly local traffic and the possibility of out-of-state plates taking the highway is low (they apparently ran the numbers). For major regional/national routes like the New Jersey and PA Turnpikes, this is not feasible and they need agreements with just about every state and a handful of Canadian Provinces. These agreements don't currently cover enforcement either. Even if they did manage to bill you, they generally don't have the power to suspend an out of state license. Doing so would require yet another agreement.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on August 29, 2013, 05:59:22 PM
The problem with toll by plate is reciprocal agreements between states in regards to sharing plate data. Using the Triangle Expressway in North Carolina as an example, right now if you drive on the road without a transponder you won't be billed if NC doesn't have an agreement with your state to share registration information. The reason being is that some states charge so much to pull the data that it exceeds the cost of the toll! I tested this last December when I took the TriEx... no bill in the mail.

Yeah, this is a political problem more than it is a technical one. There's no *technical* reason why we can't have a national registry for handling tolls. I'd be okay with it being opt-in, just like it is now when you join EZ-Pass, but the carrot in this case would be the ability to get discounted tolls on any participating toll road.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 29, 2013, 10:22:42 PM
IMHO, after the implimentation of all-electronic tolling; those who don't have EZ-Pass should be just billed the equivalent of the cash/non-EZ-Pass rate without any addtional fine or penalty

Or does that make way too much sense.

I think the Turnpike has said there won't be a "fine" to not use ez-pass. Since cash would go away completely, you'd have an EZ-Pass rate and a post-billed rate, which will still be higher. So while there isn't a fine per se, you'd still pay more.

Really, the ultimate solution would to be do away with EZ-Pass entirely and bill based strictly on plate (camera technology and character recognition these days is more than good enough to do this). You sign up for a PA Turnpike account (or perhaps have an account with a consortium member) and it just gets billed directly to that account. Not signed up? You get mailed a bill for the toll + processing charge. This is the direction that we need to go to have universal interoperability between disparate electronic tolling systems nationwide,

Quote
Will the implementation of all-electronic tolling mean that all traffic would be allowed to use either Virginia Drive (Exit 340 off I-276 West) or PA 29 (Exit 320 off I-76) interchanges?

One would hope...

So basically, your plan for "interoperability" is just to do away with what little interoperability we have now (requiring motorists to have an account with each toll authority they use to avoid extra fees) in return for getting rid of no transponder = no service?  For those of us in the northeast, that would be a huge step backwards.  I can drive all day and still not encounter a road in the US that uses a transponder other than E-ZPass, and therefore bill-by-plate surcharges.  The nearest is at the extreme southern part of Indiana.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on August 29, 2013, 10:54:43 PM
So basically, your plan for "interoperability" is just to do away with what little interoperability we have now (requiring motorists to have an account with each toll authority they use to avoid extra fees) in return for getting rid of no transponder = no service?  For those of us in the northeast, that would be a huge step backwards.  I can drive all day and still not encounter a road in the US that uses a transponder other than E-ZPass, and therefore bill-by-plate surcharges.  The nearest is at the extreme southern part of Indiana.
I'm not saying we need to get rid of EZ-Pass overnight, but there's no technological reason we even need to use electronic transponders any more. It's significantly less expensive for toll networking using incompatible transponders to implement bill-by-plate (using high speed cameras and optical character recognition of plates) than to have to implement readers for multiple types of electronic transponders, some of which would require separate antennas, separate supporting hardware, and so on. The hard part is having some centralized method for finding which tolling authority someone's cars are registered with... and you need that with *any* method of interoperability. Once you're reading plates for interoperability reasons, then it's only a small step to just read them for everything. No surcharges needed if it's all automatic.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 30, 2013, 06:32:38 AM
It's significantly less expensive for toll networking using incompatible transponders to implement bill-by-plate (using high speed cameras and optical character recognition of plates) than to have to implement readers for multiple types of electronic transponders, some of which would require separate antennas, separate supporting hardware, and so on.

Rather than build separate hardware for each transponder, why not just all use the same transponder type? We don't even all need to use E-Z Pass or anything, just transponders that all use the same technology.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on August 30, 2013, 08:02:39 AM
It's significantly less expensive for toll networking using incompatible transponders to implement bill-by-plate (using high speed cameras and optical character recognition of plates) than to have to implement readers for multiple types of electronic transponders, some of which would require separate antennas, separate supporting hardware, and so on.

Rather than build separate hardware for each transponder, why not just all use the same transponder type? We don't even all need to use E-Z Pass or anything, just transponders that all use the same technology.

Some state would wind up spending money to swap out their system, so they'd howl.

The compromise that Florida was supposedly working out with E-ZPass seemed like a good solution at first blush: The SunPass-equipped booth reads your plate number if you're a non-SunPass driver, but before it sends you a bill, the computer queries the E-ZPass database to determine if your plate is tied to an E-ZPass; if it is, that E-ZPass account is billed.

The downside of this is that it doesn't work in reverse because some E-ZPass toll agencies persist in using gate arms on converted toll plaza lanes. I suppose in an all-ORT system that issue would become obsolete.

I don't think it's too much of a burden on the transponder user to expect him to keep his account up-to-date as to plate number and car make and model. It does create a minor nuisance for rental-car users who don't carry smartphones or tablets, of course, if the idea is that you temporarily add the rental car to your account so the toll-by-plate lookup will find the vehicle.

(Come to think of it, adding a rental might pose a risk based on the timing of how toll transactions post. If I added a rental to my SunPass account, I'd remove it from the account ASAP upon returning the car. If you don't, you run the risk of the next customer taking the car on toll roads and billing the charges to you. But if you have unposted tolls when you return it, I suppose you run the risk of the rental agency getting the bill with whatever administrative fees are tacked on and then passing it to you, thus defeating the purpose of adding the car to your SunPass account. Or am I thinking this through too much?!)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 12:09:53 PM
So basically, your plan for "interoperability" is just to do away with what little interoperability we have now (requiring motorists to have an account with each toll authority they use to avoid extra fees) in return for getting rid of no transponder = no service?  For those of us in the northeast, that would be a huge step backwards.  I can drive all day and still not encounter a road in the US that uses a transponder other than E-ZPass, and therefore bill-by-plate surcharges.  The nearest is at the extreme southern part of Indiana.
I'm not saying we need to get rid of EZ-Pass overnight, but there's no technological reason we even need to use electronic transponders any more. It's significantly less expensive for toll networking using incompatible transponders to implement bill-by-plate (using high speed cameras and optical character recognition of plates) than to have to implement readers for multiple types of electronic transponders, some of which would require separate antennas, separate supporting hardware, and so on. The hard part is having some centralized method for finding which tolling authority someone's cars are registered with... and you need that with *any* method of interoperability. Once you're reading plates for interoperability reasons, then it's only a small step to just read them for everything. No surcharges needed if it's all automatic.

Toll collection with a transponder (or similar device) is much less expensive than with license plate readers in North America,where we have such a wide variety of plate formats and designs. 

All toll-by-plate works well for the congestion tax cordons in London and Stockholm - but they have plate designs that are much more uniform than we do on this side of the pond.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on August 31, 2013, 03:35:11 PM
Regarding the I-95/PA Turnpike connection project, some recent posters have been wondering about things like "Why was the current configuration chosen and not some other alternative?" or "Was this or that portion of the project mandated by law?" Two other threads have included rather illuminating discussions on these and other aspects of the project. I highly recommend taking a look-see:

I-95 gap in NJ www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5430.0
new freeways for NJ www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5680.0 (beginning with reply 24)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 08, 2013, 06:35:14 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Former Inspector General calls for disbandment of Penn Pike Commission - patronage, pay-to-play "still pervasive" (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6729)

Quote
Anthony Maniscola, a former Turnpike Inspector General, says that despite criminal prosecutions of top Pennsylvania Turnpike officials patronage, pay-for-play contracting and other malpractice continues to be "pervasive." He says the Turnpike should be put under the control of the state department of transportation (PennDOT) and "run like a real highway agency."

Quote
This is reported this morning by staff writer Paul Nussbaum who got an exclusive (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20130906_Ex-inspector_general__Disband_Pa__Turnpike_Commission.html) for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Quote
Maniscola concedes that some progress has been made in "rooting out no-show workers, thieving supervisors 'who used the turnpike as their own little Home Depot,' and toll collectors with their hands in the till."

Quote
But he said that "at the top, where four politically appointed commissioners rule, much remains to be done."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 11, 2013, 06:51:10 PM
Going back through some recent postings on my site's Facebook page, the idea to disband it was mentioned in 2009 and put forth in a bill in 2010.  It seems like the idea surfaces every so many years, and nothing changes.

It seems talk of abolishing the PTC lingers as much as talk of putting tolls on I-80.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 11, 2013, 11:10:25 PM
Going back through some recent postings on my site's Facebook page, the idea to disband it was mentioned in 2009 and put forth in a bill in 2010.  It seems like the idea surfaces every so many years, and nothing changes.

If Pennsylvania were to abolish the PTC, then what? 

PennDOT presumably would do like some other states (Florida, New Hampshire and Massachusetts come to mind) and create a Bureau of Turnpikes as a separate department under PennDOT management, along with all or very nearly all of the staff that used to work for the PTC.

It seems talk of abolishing the PTC lingers as much as talk of putting tolls on I-80.

Good point.  And tolling I-80, in order to improve (and widen) I-80, and take a pretty expensive maintenance burden away from PennDOT, still makes lots of sense. 

Though I really would like to see both "free" ends of I-70 transferred to the PTC.  It would allow a lot of fixing-up along the western section (where so badly needed), and if the eastern part between Breezewood and the Maryland border were to come under PTC jurisdiction, then I think we could say "bye bye" to Breezewood.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: DBR96A on September 12, 2013, 12:26:35 AM
...I really would like to see both "free" ends of I-70 transferred to the PTC.  It would allow a lot of fixing-up along the western section (where so badly needed), and if the eastern part between Breezewood and the Maryland border were to come under PTC jurisdiction, then I think we could say "bye bye" to Breezewood.

The western segment of I-70 is already being improved. For the remainder of this decade, I-70 between Washington and New Stanton will be reconstructed to modern Interstate standards. You can get some information on current and future projects here (http://www.i-70projects.com). (Unfortunately, they don't do a very good job of photo-documenting the progress.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on September 12, 2013, 08:33:18 AM
Since disbanding the PA Turnpike Commission would probably have to go thru the governor, and since the governor appoints most of the highly paid commission members, it's not going to happen.  Even those politicians that write the bills to disband the commission know it's not going to happen - they just want some potential campaigning material. 

The problem with I-80's tolling proposal is that they kept saying the money would go to mass transit, which the feds prohibited. And after the original application was denied, PA proposed to toll 80 again...and again said the money would assist with mass transit!  And again, the proposal was rejected. Deadbrained politicians at their finest.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 12, 2013, 06:12:52 PM
If Pennsylvania were to abolish the PTC, then what? 

PennDOT presumably would do like some other states (Florida, New Hampshire and Massachusetts come to mind) and create a Bureau of Turnpikes as a separate department under PennDOT management, along with all or very nearly all of the staff that used to work for the PTC.

All of the plans to kill the PTC that have been discussed just say that the roads would become PennDOT property, but don't go into much detail as to behind-the-scenes operations.  The PTC would probably just become a division, perhaps "District 7" which was supposed to be Philadelphia County's own district.

Though I really would like to see both "free" ends of I-70 transferred to the PTC.  It would allow a lot of fixing-up along the western section (where so badly needed), and if the eastern part between Breezewood and the Maryland border were to come under PTC jurisdiction, then I think we could say "bye bye" to Breezewood.

The Washington-to-New Stanton section of I-70 is planned to be upgraded, as much as it can be, over the next decade (http://www.i-70projects.com (http://www.i-70projects.com)).

As for Breezewood, it will never change, with or without a PTC.  The business owners care about one thing, and it is not continuity of an Interstate.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: stridentweasel on September 12, 2013, 10:43:57 PM
As for Breezewood, it will never change, with or without a PTC.  The business owners care about one thing, and it is not continuity of an Interstate.

Actually, it has changed:

https://maps.google.com/?ll=39.999389,-78.236394&spn=0.001068,0.002642&t=k&z=19&layer=c&cbll=39.999389,-78.236394&panoid=6h_HCvFMZ0Ci5WH4WPNEEg&cbp=12,69.74,,0,6.85

I don't know whether anyone has pointed this out yet, and it caught me by surprise.  There used to be three lanes for WB I-70/EB US 30, without a center turning lane.  I think the center turning lane helps, because it takes left-turning traffic off of the left-hand thru lane of EB I-70.

I know it's not the change many people have hoped for, but frankly, I've long thought incremental changes such as this could be an effective way of addressing the problem, rather than just hoping for a bypass that may never come.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PAHighways on September 13, 2013, 07:06:46 AM
Improvements to US 30, including new signals and reconfigured lanes, were the consolation prize after the direct connection was dropped.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 13, 2013, 11:30:25 AM
The problem with I-80's tolling proposal is that they kept saying the money would go to mass transit, which the feds prohibited. And after the original application was denied, PA proposed to toll 80 again...and again said the money would assist with mass transit!  And again, the proposal was rejected. Deadbrained politicians at their finest.

It wasn't just that most of the I-80 toll revenues were to go to mass transit. It was that the a very large percentage of the toll dollars were to be diverted to mass transit employees in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (both rather far from I-80). 

Had the proposal been to fund mass transit in the I-80 corridor, then it might have been acceptable, though I cannot imagine where there would be much demand for transit, given the low population density and the lack of population along much of I-80 in Pennsylvania.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 13, 2013, 11:34:06 AM
As for Breezewood, it will never change, with or without a PTC.  The business owners care about one thing, and it is not continuity of an Interstate.

The only sure way to remediate Breezewood and others is for Congress to make the elimination of them a condition of toll road bonds retaining their exemption from federal taxes.  That would quickly get rid of all of them, for the PTC cannot afford to have interest on its bonds suddenly become subject to federal taxes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on September 13, 2013, 06:11:10 PM
I know it's not the change many people have hoped for, but frankly, I've long thought incremental changes such as this could be an effective way of addressing the problem, rather than just hoping for a bypass that may never come.

I don't know there would ever be a "bypass" per say.   Probably just a couple of ramps from the Breezewood spur to SB EB I-70, and WB-I-70 to the spur towards the Turnpike mainline.


Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mc78andrew on September 13, 2013, 09:45:02 PM
One other point on this from the financial side of the equation.

The states current brilliant move is to lever up the turnpike authority and basically use the funds for the states transportation spending (44 act). 

To put this in basic terms, it's like you forming an entity and borrowing money in that entity's name and then just sending that money to your personal bank account. 

This is a great way to fund yourself without putting new debt on your balance sheet.  Until the day it doesn't work anymore.  On that fateful day, the political class will have to decide whether to default on the turnpike's debt, or assume it onto the states balance sheet.

In the meantime the party lives on.  The political elite know how fun this party is and will not vote to end it by merging penndot and the turnpike authority before they absolutely have to.

If this sounds familiar to you, note that Wall Street calls this off balance sheet financing.  Ask people who worked for Lehman brothers and they tell you that there really is no such thing, but it certainly seems like there is while the party is going. 

Forget about the graft and other idiotic things that go on within this agency.  Sooner or later this thing comes under the state's realm if the 44 act continues for another few years.  Until then, why stop the cash flow party and assume the authority's existing liabilities onto the state's balance sheet by merging it into penndot?  Fannie Mae and Freddic Mac are another set of classic examples of what the state of PA will eventually do in a take over while Lehman brothers represents option "B" of filing this authority for bankruptcy after its credit card is maxed out. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 29, 2013, 12:35:21 AM
I just noted that on the PA Pike website, the project page for the widening/reconstruction for MP12-14 is up.  This includes the replacement of the Beaver River Bridge and the reconfiguration of the PA 18 interchange.  Early action bridge reconstruction of 2 RR bridges and a local road bridge are underway. 

http://www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/mp12to14/default.aspx
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 29, 2013, 05:43:22 PM
One other point on this from the financial side of the equation.

The states current brilliant move is to lever up the turnpike authority and basically use the funds for the states transportation spending (44 act). 

To put this in basic terms, it's like you forming an entity and borrowing money in that entity's name and then just sending that money to your personal bank account. 

This is a great way to fund yourself without putting new debt on your balance sheet.  Until the day it doesn't work anymore.  On that fateful day, the political class will have to decide whether to default on the turnpike's debt, or assume it onto the states balance sheet.

The curious fact here is that the bond markets and credit rating agencies seem to be fully aware of the PTC selling debt and then just shipping the cash off to PennDOT (to be spent on things that have nothing to do with the  Turnpike's network), yet they keep purchasing PTC bonds (which I assume are not "full faith and credit" bonds - in other words, the bondholders do not have recourse to Pennsylvania taxpayers in the event of a default).

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mc78andrew on October 06, 2013, 08:49:57 PM
One other point on this from the financial side of the equation.

The states current brilliant move is to lever up the turnpike authority and basically use the funds for the states transportation spending (44 act). 

To put this in basic terms, it's like you forming an entity and borrowing money in that entity's name and then just sending that money to your personal bank account. 

This is a great way to fund yourself without putting new debt on your balance sheet.  Until the day it doesn't work anymore.  On that fateful day, the political class will have to decide whether to default on the turnpike's debt, or assume it onto the states balance sheet.

The curious fact here is that the bond markets and credit rating agencies seem to be fully aware of the PTC selling debt and then just shipping the cash off to PennDOT (to be spent on things that have nothing to do with the  Turnpike's network), yet they keep purchasing PTC bonds (which I assume are not "full faith and credit" bonds - in other words, the bondholders do not have recourse to Pennsylvania taxpayers in the event of a default).



You are correct, the market is still purchasing pa turnpike bonds, but at a decent and ever widening discount (higher yield) as the credit metrics continue to deteriorate.  You are also correct that pa turnpike bonds are secured by the toll revenues of the road way and not the state. 

It's just hard to say what will happen here in the end game.  Would the state let the entity file for bankruptcy and then merge it into penndot (bond holders lose).  Or would they absorb/take-over/bail-out the authority and support its existing debt?  It will be an interesting bankruptcy court fight if it's the former.  If they choose that route, the bonds will get smoked and hedge funds with serious legal teams will buy them on the cheap and sue.  Their argument will be interesting since the authority has no apparent recourse to stop the syphoning of cash. Thus, you could argue that the 44 act already constitutes a tacit take over. 

I am not a lawyer though.  So who really knows?  A lot of it depends on who owns the bonds when they want to default.  Not sure that defaulting on the existing debt only to take over all operations and future matainence is that much better than continuing to pay the bonds and taking over all operations and future matainence or expansion.

The ratings agencies are paying attention. A3/A- is the worst credit rating of any of the major original thru toll roads...not talking about all the suburban ones that have popped up linking housing developments.  It'll be BBB before you know it. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on October 20, 2013, 01:14:30 PM
Turnpike officials to present 6 options to fix aging Somerset County tunnels (http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/4854699-74/tunnel-somerset-turnpike#axzz2iD0WP2cZ)

Looks like they're back at it again... which makes sense cause the tunnels aren't getting any younger.
I can't believe it's already been 12 years since the last major discussions.  It will be interesting to see how possible costs will have risen.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on October 20, 2013, 07:37:14 PM
I drove eastbound today from the new Exit 320 to the NE Extension, and noticed that they are new foundations poured for new BGSs (and BBSs for the Valley Forge Plaza).  I couldn't tell if there was also work being done for the sign bridge right at Exit 326.

I find it interesting, in that at least the 320-326 stretch is due to be under construction soon.

ALSO, on the NE Ext, traffic is shifted to the newly-constructed lanes in both directions the length of the MM20-26 widening section.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on November 27, 2013, 03:14:18 PM
Just saw my first mixed mode (Cash & E-ZPass) exit lane on the mainline Turnpike at Harrisburg East.  It always annoyed me they couldn't make lanes mixed mode for exit lanes like most toll authorities have (the NJ Turnpike was the same way but changed a year or two ago to accept E-ZPass in all lanes).  Hopefully this will expand, but of course, AET will make this moot.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Flyer78 on November 27, 2013, 04:30:15 PM
There have been mixed-mode lane use in the past, especially at the smaller plazas (Wilkes-Barre, for example). I think they try to avoid it due to the risk of an inattentive driver rear-ending a cash customer. The automated plazas farther north on the Extension also have mixed-mode lanes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on November 27, 2013, 05:36:11 PM
On the Thruway they solve that problem by requiring ALL traffic to stop (not just cash) in mixed lanes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 27, 2013, 09:45:25 PM
There have been mixed-mode lane use in the past, especially at the smaller plazas (Wilkes-Barre, for example). I think they try to avoid it due to the risk of an inattentive driver rear-ending a cash customer. The automated plazas farther north on the Extension also have mixed-mode lanes.
On the Thruway they solve that problem by requiring ALL traffic to stop (not just cash) in mixed lanes.

While that fear is there, in my experiences the fear is overstated.  Not only have I not seen rear-enders in mixed-mode toll lanes, people tend to give a bit more space in case someone stops.  And when someone stops, it's not like they're slamming on the brakes - they're simply slowing down like any normal person would approaching a toll booth, stop sign, etc.  It has definitely improved the traffic flow in the interchanges.  Heck, people tend to rear end others in cash-only lanes, when everyone knows the car in front of them is stopping.

On the other hand, it seems on a daily basis on the highways I'll see people on the shoulder after a minor rear-end collision in normal congestion.

Like most things - mixed mode lanes have been around for many years, and the fears people exhibit don't equal the reality. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on November 27, 2013, 10:54:38 PM
I should have noted it was the first manned lane I saw with both cash & E-ZPass capability.

As for the rationale for having mixed-mode lanes, it prevents all the weaving at the toll plazas to find the "cash only" or "E-ZPass Only" lanes.  I can imagine that would cause more accidents than rear-ending someone stopped to pay cash in a mixed-mode lane.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Flyer78 on November 28, 2013, 01:19:03 PM
MASTERNC, I was also speaking of cash & E-Z Pass lanes.

I also agree the fear of toll plaza accidents is overstated, I remember the HAR specifically warning about it happening in mixed-mode lanes.

The non-widespread use of mixed-mode exit lanes on the Turnpike is annoying when queuing behind large trucks that are slowing down (safely) to go through the lanes, especially at the barrier tolls as the cash lanes sit increasingly empty.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman on December 03, 2013, 01:46:22 PM

PennDOT presumably would do like some other states (Florida, New Hampshire and Massachusetts come to mind) and create a Bureau of Turnpikes as a separate department under PennDOT management, along with all or very nearly all of the staff that used to work for the PTC.

MassDOT does not have a separate Bureau of Turnpikes (or equivalent sub-agency).  Rather, jurisdiction of the Mass Turnpike/I-90 now falls under the individual District offices responsible for the section of I-90 that runs through their area.  While the MassDOT "merger" resulted in an additional District (District 6) that covers the Greater Boston area, District 6's responsibilites extend beyond the Turnpike Extension and the former Metropolitan Highway System (which consisted mostly of the I-90/I-93 tunnel system).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on December 17, 2013, 12:47:26 PM
Stupid question... isn't the equipment needed installed in all lanes on the PATP? If so, do they actively disable it in cash-only lanes when they're staffed? If not, is there any reason you *can't* just go through any cash lane with E-Z Pass?
I personally hate mixed-use lanes, but that's entirely due to my own discomfort with just kinda blowing past a toll collector without giving him money or even rolling down the window. It just feels weird.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: briantroutman on December 17, 2013, 01:32:28 PM
Stupid question... isn't the equipment needed installed in all lanes on the PATP? If so, do they actively disable it in cash-only lanes when they're staffed? If not, is there any reason you *can't* just go through any cash lane with E-Z Pass?

It appears the answer is, surprisingly, yes—they do disable the E-ZPass equipment in cash only lanes. According to the PTC (http://www.paturnpike.com/ezpass/personalfaq.htm#entered), if you enter through an E-ZPass lane] and attempt to exit through a cash only lane, the human toll taker at the exit point will charge you the "lost ticket" rate (maximum possible toll), but you can request a form to get the overpayment refunded.

To intentionally disable the equipment that's ALREADY THERE and thereby incur $25 in administrative costs to refund a $10 toll seems incredibly stupid to me. I can understand them wanting to discourage mixed cash/E-ZPass traffic through a lane because of the potential for speed differential, unexpected stops, and collisions, but disabling the equipment is ridiculous.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 17, 2013, 01:49:50 PM
Stupid question... isn't the equipment needed installed in all lanes on the PATP? If so, do they actively disable it in cash-only lanes when they're staffed? If not, is there any reason you *can't* just go through any cash lane with E-Z Pass?

It appears the answer is, surprisingly, yes—they do disable the E-ZPass equipment in cash only lanes. According to the PTC (http://www.paturnpike.com/ezpass/personalfaq.htm#entered), if you enter through an E-ZPass lane] and attempt to exit through a cash only lane, the human toll taker at the exit point will charge you the "lost ticket" rate (maximum possible toll), but you can request a form to get the overpayment refunded.

To intentionally disable the equipment that's ALREADY THERE and thereby incur $25 in administrative costs to refund a $10 toll seems incredibly stupid to me. I can understand them wanting to discourage mixed cash/E-ZPass traffic through a lane because of the potential for speed differential, unexpected stops, and collisions, but disabling the equipment is ridiculous.

The NJ Turnpike had the equipment installed for years before allowing the mixed-mode option.  In addition, the lanes on the DRPA bridges are either cash or EZ Pass only.  Some of the cash lanes do have the equipment installed, and they would be used for EZ Pass when usage warranted (such as during rush hour, when the majority of traffic used EZ Pass). 

On the PA Turnpike, it could be a union agreement that prevents mixed-mode lanes. Just a guess on my part though.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on December 17, 2013, 07:18:39 PM
Stupid question... isn't the equipment needed installed in all lanes on the PATP? If so, do they actively disable it in cash-only lanes when they're staffed? If not, is there any reason you *can't* just go through any cash lane with E-Z Pass?

It appears the answer is, surprisingly, yes—they do disable the E-ZPass equipment in cash only lanes. According to the PTC (http://www.paturnpike.com/ezpass/personalfaq.htm#entered), if you enter through an E-ZPass lane] and attempt to exit through a cash only lane, the human toll taker at the exit point will charge you the "lost ticket" rate (maximum possible toll), but you can request a form to get the overpayment refunded.

To intentionally disable the equipment that's ALREADY THERE and thereby incur $25 in administrative costs to refund a $10 toll seems incredibly stupid to me. I can understand them wanting to discourage mixed cash/E-ZPass traffic through a lane because of the potential for speed differential, unexpected stops, and collisions, but disabling the equipment is ridiculous.
They're not the only agency, either. I forget who, but either the MTA or Port Authority also won't do mixed mode. (We were discussing both in the context of a particular bridge project.) It definitely crimps travel flexibility - and roadway design flexibility through the plaza, especially when you have nearby entrances/exits with traffic splits through the plaza.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on January 13, 2014, 09:13:16 PM
Well, as another user on this board hinted when one of his friends said construction oversight was being procured for the Southern Beltway, the PTC just announced awarding of contracts for construction management and construction of bridges over US 22.

No timeline on the press release but I read somewhere else the date would be 2019.

http://www.paturnpike.com/press/2014/20140113154415.htm

Also, the construction website for the Swatara Creek bridge replacement is now up.

http://www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/swataracreekbridge/default.aspx

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 15, 2014, 08:33:41 AM
Once the Swatara Creek bridge is complete it will have it's 3rd lane striped out until such time as the connecting mailine is widened, but seeing that the PA pike is already 6 lanes to Harrisburg East, I can'r picture it being too long until that gap from 283 to Swatara is under way.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 23, 2014, 04:16:52 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140124__155M_approved_to_link_I-95_and_Pa__Turnpike.html

$155 million approved to do work involving linking (but not actually linking) the PA Turnpike to I-95.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Compulov on January 27, 2014, 05:43:48 PM
It appears the answer is, surprisingly, yes—they do disable the E-ZPass equipment in cash only lanes. According to the PTC (http://www.paturnpike.com/ezpass/personalfaq.htm#entered), if you enter through an E-ZPass lane] and attempt to exit through a cash only lane, the human toll taker at the exit point will charge you the "lost ticket" rate (maximum possible toll), but you can request a form to get the overpayment refunded.

To intentionally disable the equipment that's ALREADY THERE and thereby incur $25 in administrative costs to refund a $10 toll seems incredibly stupid to me. I can understand them wanting to discourage mixed cash/E-ZPass traffic through a lane because of the potential for speed differential, unexpected stops, and collisions, but disabling the equipment is ridiculous.
They're not the only agency, either. I forget who, but either the MTA or Port Authority also won't do mixed mode. (We were discussing both in the context of a particular bridge project.) It definitely crimps travel flexibility - and roadway design flexibility through the plaza, especially when you have nearby entrances/exits with traffic splits through the plaza.

About the only possible argument I could see (other than the possibility of union contracts prohibiting it) is maybe a safety argument? I'd imagine you don't want to encourage EZPass users to use non-EZPass lanes since they're more likely to blow through without due care (and aren't the EZPass lanes typically moved to the edges so as to minimize the interaction between toll collectors walking through the lanes and drivers who aren't stopping to pay a toll?) Even so, I don't see why you don't at least have the damn things turned on, so if you get some random lost person driving through, they're not penalized because of it.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on January 27, 2014, 09:18:58 PM
Well, it's impossible to avoid it completely on older barriers.  Newer Thruway barriers have some pretty creative solutions though (such as putting the E-ZPass lanes in the center and having a pedestrian crosswalk).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: NE2 on January 27, 2014, 09:23:55 PM
Newer Thruway barriers have some pretty creative solutions though (such as putting the E-ZPass lanes in the center and having a pedestrian crosswalk).
Newer Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority plazas have an enclosed pedestrian overpass: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=28.644084,-81.507182&spn=0.015272,0.028346&gl=us&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=28.644184,-81.507416&panoid=O5iMhA5UgL-8uwzFnkXIHw&cbp=12,41.48,,0,-3.73
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: lepidopteran on January 28, 2014, 06:45:43 PM
Some toll plazas have an underground passageway, with an access stairway at every single booth!

The (relatively) new toll plaza with the "lighthouse" at the southern end of the NJ Turnpike has a conspicuous overhead walkway.  I think they still have to cross at least some (ticketed) lanes to get to their booth, though.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 28, 2014, 08:07:25 PM
Some toll plazas have an underground passageway, with an access stairway at every single booth!

The (relatively) new toll plaza with the "lighthouse" at the southern end of the NJ Turnpike has a conspicuous overhead walkway.  I think they still have to cross at least some (ticketed) lanes to get to their booth, though.

Yep - there's a few elevators/stairways to get to/from the toll booths, but one may have to cross up to 4 lanes to get to the nearest access. While they don't cross the express EZ Pass lanes, they may have to cross the regular lanes, which may be cash/EZ Pass, EZ Pass, or closed.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2014, 09:38:11 PM
Some toll plazas have an underground passageway, with an access stairway at every single booth!

The (relatively) new toll plaza with the "lighthouse" at the southern end of the NJ Turnpike has a conspicuous overhead walkway.  I think they still have to cross at least some (ticketed) lanes to get to their booth, though.

I have been in the tunnels under the toll barriers on the Dulles Toll Road (Va. 267), Dulles Greenway (also 267) and Maryland's Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95).  Either a stairway for each lane, or every other lane. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: briantroutman on January 28, 2014, 10:45:50 PM
But I suppose none of this will matter in a few years if the PA Turnpike does go all electronic by 2018 as planned.

According to their AET site (http://www.paturnpike.com/aet_public/aet.asp), the NY Thruway and Mass Pike are scheduled to go all-electronic in 2016 and the AC Expressway by 2015. No mention of the NJTP or GSP, though.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on January 28, 2014, 11:10:42 PM
I know of no plans to convert the entire Thruway to AET and couldn't find anything when I searched.  I suspect the page is referring to the pilot program to convert the Harriman, Tappan Zee, and Yonkers barriers.  If it's successful I wouldn't be surprised to see the other barrier tolls converted, but the ticket system would obviously have to be done all at once.  I wonder if this is why the Williamsville barrier replacement/upgrade project has been on hold for over a decade.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 28, 2014, 11:28:00 PM
I know of no plans to convert the entire Thruway to AET and couldn't find anything when I searched.  I suspect the page is referring to the pilot program to convert the Harriman, Tappan Zee, and Yonkers barriers.  If it's successful I wouldn't be surprised to see the other barrier tolls converted, but the ticket system would obviously have to be done all at once.
Everything I have quoted is correct. I have no clue as to any other part of the system.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2014, 05:43:41 PM
I know of no plans to convert the entire Thruway to AET and couldn't find anything when I searched.  I suspect the page is referring to the pilot program to convert the Harriman, Tappan Zee, and Yonkers barriers.  If it's successful I wouldn't be surprised to see the other barrier tolls converted, but the ticket system would obviously have to be done all at once.  I wonder if this is why the Williamsville barrier replacement/upgrade project has been on hold for over a decade.

Harriman is the southern end of the Thruway "main" ticket (closed) system.  Why would the Thruway Authority want to spend money on that unless they are going to flip the entire system to AET?

Otherwise, I would assume that Harriman, along with the Tappan Zee and Yonkers barriers are the busiest on the entire Thruway system, so it makes plenty of sense to convert those - and at the Tappan Zee, AET would allow a return to two-way tolling if the Authority wanted to go that way

Though would some drivers be attracted to the T-Z to avoid the (high) tolls on the Port Authority crossings if the eastbound Tappan Zee toll was reduced as part of two-way tolling?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 30, 2014, 06:47:40 PM
I know of no plans to convert the entire Thruway to AET and couldn't find anything when I searched.  I suspect the page is referring to the pilot program to convert the Harriman, Tappan Zee, and Yonkers barriers.  If it's successful I wouldn't be surprised to see the other barrier tolls converted, but the ticket system would obviously have to be done all at once.  I wonder if this is why the Williamsville barrier replacement/upgrade project has been on hold for over a decade.

Harriman is the southern end of the Thruway "main" ticket (closed) system.  Why would the Thruway Authority want to spend money on that unless they are going to flip the entire system to AET?

Otherwise, I would assume that Harriman, along with the Tappan Zee and Yonkers barriers are the busiest on the entire Thruway system, so it makes plenty of sense to convert those - and at the Tappan Zee, AET would allow a return to two-way tolling if the Authority wanted to go that way

Though would some drivers be attracted to the T-Z to avoid the (high) tolls on the Port Authority crossings if the eastbound Tappan Zee toll was reduced as part of two-way tolling?
Harriman is different than Woodbury. They're only converting the one on 17.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on January 30, 2014, 07:57:54 PM
Newer Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority plazas have an enclosed pedestrian overpass: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=28.644084,-81.507182&spn=0.015272,0.028346&gl=us&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=28.644184,-81.507416&panoid=O5iMhA5UgL-8uwzFnkXIHw&cbp=12,41.48,,0,-3.73

The PA Turnpike constructed pedestrian overpasses over the express EZ-Pass lanes for 2 of the toll plazas on the Mon-Fayette (PA TPK-43). 
When the PTC had a "community day" before opening the Mon-Fayette section from Rt. 51 to near I-70 I was able to walk thru that one.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on January 30, 2014, 07:58:23 PM
I know of no plans to convert the entire Thruway to AET and couldn't find anything when I searched.  I suspect the page is referring to the pilot program to convert the Harriman, Tappan Zee, and Yonkers barriers.  If it's successful I wouldn't be surprised to see the other barrier tolls converted, but the ticket system would obviously have to be done all at once.  I wonder if this is why the Williamsville barrier replacement/upgrade project has been on hold for over a decade.

Harriman is the southern end of the Thruway "main" ticket (closed) system.  Why would the Thruway Authority want to spend money on that unless they are going to flip the entire system to AET?

Otherwise, I would assume that Harriman, along with the Tappan Zee and Yonkers barriers are the busiest on the entire Thruway system, so it makes plenty of sense to convert those - and at the Tappan Zee, AET would allow a return to two-way tolling if the Authority wanted to go that way

Though would some drivers be attracted to the T-Z to avoid the (high) tolls on the Port Authority crossings if the eastbound Tappan Zee toll was reduced as part of two-way tolling?
That's Woodbury actually.  Harriman, Woodbury, and exit 16 form a really strange system.  Staying on I-87 is just a conventional get ticket/pay toll interaction with Woodbury.  I-87 south to NY 17 is a similarly conventional system for exit 16 (using a booth divided from the rest of Harriman).  NY 17 to I-87 south is a single barrier interaction with Harriman.

Now it's time to get funky.  Traveling from NY 17 to I-87 north involves the barrier interaction with Harriman as before, but then traffic is immediately funneled into a separated booth in Woodbury to receive a discounted exit 16 ticket.

I just had a thought though.  When Harriman goes AET, there will be no reason to keep it on the exit 16 ramps.  The gantry could easily be set up on the Thruway mainline between exits 15A and 16, eliminating the two-step system presently used to get on I-87 north.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on January 30, 2014, 08:19:13 PM
Now it's time to get funky.  Traveling from NY 17 to I-87 north involves the barrier interaction with Harriman as before, but then traffic is immediately funneled into a separated booth in Woodbury to receive a discounted exit 16 ticket.

I made that movement a few years ago and was confused why I'd have to go through two booths instead of one. I had E-Z pass and I think I may have had a conversation with a booth attendant about the setup.

I'd say that movement (NY 17 southbound to I-87 northbound) is probably the least-used at that exit.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 30, 2014, 09:25:58 PM
Something I wonder about the Swatara Creek project:  I note that an existing bridge over Vine Street in Middletown is to be replaced.  I also note that immediately north of the turnpike overcrossing that Vine Street becomes 4 lanes divided and is an important connector to the 283 freeway from Middletown.  I wonder if the PTC plans to make the new bridge wide enough to accomodate a wider Vine Street.  Even if such widening is not needed for another 10-20 years O think it would be a wise move.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on January 30, 2014, 11:11:04 PM

I just had a thought though.  When Harriman goes AET, there will be no reason to keep it on the exit 16 ramps.  The gantry could easily be set up on the Thruway mainline between exits 15A and 16, eliminating the two-step system presently used to get on I-87 north.
Trust me, this was examined. (It's possible that I was involved...) I think the non-starter is because the mainline isn't AET yet, so they need a condition that works for the NY 17 ramps. Will this be revisited? That hasn't been determined, because no one's drawn up the final condition, to my knowledge.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2014, 11:41:24 PM
Harriman is different than Woodbury. They're only converting the one on 17.

Thanks - I always think about those two being the same (they are not, even though they are nearby), and your point is correct.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2014, 11:45:05 PM
That's Woodbury actually.  Harriman, Woodbury, and exit 16 form a really strange system.  Staying on I-87 is just a conventional get ticket/pay toll interaction with Woodbury.  I-87 south to NY 17 is a similarly conventional system for exit 16 (using a booth divided from the rest of Harriman).  NY 17 to I-87 south is a single barrier interaction with Harriman.

All correct.

Now it's time to get funky.  Traveling from NY 17 to I-87 north involves the barrier interaction with Harriman as before, but then traffic is immediately funneled into a separated booth in Woodbury to receive a discounted exit 16 ticket.

I have done that movement, and they even make E-ZPass patrons come to a stop (!) there.

I just had a thought though.  When Harriman goes AET, there will be no reason to keep it on the exit 16 ramps.  The gantry could easily be set up on the Thruway mainline between exits 15A and 16, eliminating the two-step system presently used to get on I-87 north.

I think that is also correct.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on January 31, 2014, 02:30:54 PM
Another one I hadn't thought of is that the AET gantries could be set up on the ramps.  It still seems very unusual to me for a traffic to go through an all-electronic ganty and then pick up a ticket for the NY 17 to I-87 north movement.

Having E-ZPass traffic stop completely is a NYSTA policy for mixed-mode booths, usually affecting small exits that only have one booth for traffic entering the Thruway.  They actually have it set up so that the operation has to manually change the traffic light when an E-ZPass tag is read.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on March 28, 2014, 07:27:56 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike to raise tolls in 2015 (http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/03/28/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-to-raise-tolls-in-2015/stories/201403280114)

The headline shouldn't be much of a surprise here. 

Though the article mentions that the conversion to AET will take longer than they thought, and briefly covers other stuff that has probably been brought up in other threads around the forums.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on March 29, 2014, 01:08:23 AM
Keep raising the tolls until the entire Turnpike has been reconstructed, and then when that's done, use it to smack down all the business owners near the major highway junctions that don't yet have direct connections.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on March 29, 2014, 06:09:16 PM
Unfortunately all the toll increases currently go to mass transit in Pittsburg and Philadelphia.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: TheKnightoftheInterstate on March 30, 2014, 12:24:17 AM
Unfortunately all the toll increases currently go to mass transit in Pittsburg and Philadelphia.

This!

Environmentalists, cyclists, NIMBYs, and mass transit supporters are going to be the death of the great American road system. They are leeches on the bloodline of America.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 03, 2014, 06:06:22 PM
Philly.com: Cost of Pa. turnpike 'pay-to-play' - about $45M (http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-02/news/48805609_1_turnpike-commission-ciber-inc-sheppard)

Quote
How much does "pay-to-play" contracting cost the public?

Quote
About $45 million, in one episode at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, according to a recent analysis of a contract for computer software.

Quote
The analysis concluded that the turnpike commission paid far too much and received far too little when it bought a software system from Ciber Inc., of Greenwood Village, Colo., whose former vice president has been charged by state prosecutors with giving gifts to turnpike officials to win contracts.

Quote
The report said the turnpike commission paid about five times more than it should have - for a faulty system.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on April 23, 2014, 07:56:55 AM
I just came across a map (http://transportation.pasenategop.com/files/2013/07/Recon-Map_poster.pdf) detailing the past, present and future reconstruction work on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, updated last July. It includes several future projects contingent upon the passage of Act 89. Here's the list of completed, ongoing and future projects:


Completed
(With year of completion)

- MM 94 to MM 99 (2000)*

- MM 186 to MM 199 (2001)*

- MM 75 to MM 85 (2002)*

- MM 38 to MM 40 (2005)*
- MM 85 to MM 94 (2005)*
- MM 109 to MM 121 (2005)*

- MM 331 to MM 333 (2006)

- MM 124 to MM 128 (2008)*
- MM 245 to MM 247 (2008)
- MM 326 to MM 331 (2008)

- MM 0 to MM 10 (2009)
- MM 210 to MM 215 (2009)

- MM 48 to MM 50 (2010)

- MM 67 to MM 75 (2011)

- MM 31 to MM 38 (2012)
- MM 319 to MM 320 (2012)
- MM A74 to MM A75 (2012)

- MM 199 to MM 202 (2013)

BLUE: Denotes a segment that did not involve lane capacity expansion.
PURPLE: Denotes a segment slated for future lane capacity expansion.
*: Denotes a segment that will require future lane capacity expansion.


Sometime between 2005 and 2008, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission must have decided to do lane capacity expansion on the entire Turnpike.


Ongoing
(With projected year of completion)

- MM A20 to MM A26 (2013)

- MM 206 to MM 210 (2014)


Future
(With projected year of design completion)

- MM 220 to MM 227 (2013)
- MM 242 to MM 245 (2013)
- MM A26 to MM A31 (2013)

- MM 40 to MM 48 (2014)
- MM 202 to MM 206 (2014)
- MM 250 to MM 252 (2014)
- MM 320 to MM 326 (2014)

- MM 99 to MM 109 (2015)

- MM 12 to MM 14 (2016)
- MM 28 to MM 31 (2016)
- MM 150 to MM 156 (2016)
- MM 312 to MM 319 (2016)

- MM 53 to MM 57 (2017)
- MM 57 to MM 67 (2017)
- MM 180 to MM 186 (2017)
- MM A31 to MM A38 (2017)
- MM A38 to MM A44 (2017)
- MM A88 to MM A89 (2017)

- MM 49 to MM 53 (2018)
- MM 156 to MM 162 (2018)*
- MM 298 to MM 302 (2018)
- MM 302 to MM 308 (2018)
- MM 308 to MM 312 (2018)
- MM A44 to MM A48 (2018)*
- MM A48 to MM A53 (2018)*
- MM A53 to MM A57 (2018)*

- MM 124 to MM 134 (20??)
- MM 315 to MM 359 (20??)

RED: Denotes a design project that might entail interchange reconstruction.
BLUE: Denotes a design project that does not involve lane capacity expansion.
*: Denotes a design project enabled by the passage of Act 89.


This leaves the following segments still unaccounted for:


- MM 10 to MM 12
- MM 14 to MM 28
- MM 121 to MM 124
- MM 134 to MM 150
- MM 162 to MM 180
- MM 227 to MM 242
- MM 247 to MM 250
- MM 252 to MM 298
- MM 333 to MM 351
- MM A57 to MM A74
- MM A75 to MM A88
- MM A89 to MM A132


That's 208 of the 491 miles of the Turnpike and the Northeast Extension. It looks like the total reconstruction project is nearing its halfway point.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: akotchi on April 23, 2014, 09:18:59 AM
333 to 351 was widened in the late 1980s.  Likely needs to be resurfaced, but not another full reconstruction.

351 to 358 (not listed above) is part of the I-95/Turnpike interchange project.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 23, 2014, 10:21:45 AM
12-14 is under construction now and includes the replacement of the Beaver River Bridge and eliminaton of the PA 18 double trumpet
40-48 is also under construction now
121-124 is the Allegheny Tunnel
134-150 would involve the I-99, Us 220 Bedford Interchange
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on April 23, 2014, 12:23:09 PM
I guess the way the Turnpike Commission did the list was a bit particular, because they say that MM 12 to MM 14 and MM 40 to MM 48 are still in design, but I guess that's probably referring to the mainline because the construction currently taking place in those zones is bridge replacement.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 23, 2014, 12:34:50 PM
I am curious:  Are there any Turnpike mainline ADT's approaching or surpassing the 8 lane level, other than say the Delaware River Bridge after the 95 ramps are done.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 23, 2014, 12:45:09 PM
I am curious:  Are there any Turnpike mainline ADT's approaching or surpassing the 8 lane level, other than say the Delaware River Bridge after the 95 ramps are done.

Probably not with the Act 44-related tolls that the Turnpike Commission has to charge its patrons!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: CentralPAguy on April 23, 2014, 04:23:09 PM
Work is now starting on the Swatara Creek bridge replacement project.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/04/turnpike_begins_work_on_48_mil.html (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/04/turnpike_begins_work_on_48_mil.html)

Additionally, MP242-245 widening goes to bid in December
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on April 23, 2014, 09:21:58 PM
I am curious:  Are there any Turnpike mainline ADT's approaching or surpassing the 8 lane level, other than say the Delaware River Bridge after the 95 ramps are done.

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case in the Philly area, especially near the NE Extension Interchange.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on May 27, 2014, 03:50:04 PM
Turnpike work set to begin (http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/05/27/Turnpike-work-set-to-begin/stories/201405270101)

Not really any great new information... but they say the Allegheny Valley to PA-8 section is on schedule.
(When they had this article posted this morning, it was with a picture of a freeway in Virginia, but they since changed it)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on May 27, 2014, 08:46:48 PM
..just an FYI, there is a sign replacement project on the eastern portion of the Turnpike...definitely includes Exit 312 through to Exit 343.  There are concrete foundations placed in most places, and it looks like many of the sign bridges both on the mainline and on the interchange ramps are being replaced with monotube structures. 

The 2 mile advance BGS eastbound for Exit 333 used to read TO 476 SOUTH | Norristown...it now reads 476 SOUTH | Chester.  Most of the other signs haven't been replaced yet.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on May 28, 2014, 08:18:22 AM
..just an FYI, there is a sign replacement project on the eastern portion of the Turnpike...definitely includes Exit 312 through to Exit 343.  There are concrete foundations placed in most places, and it looks like many of the sign bridges both on the mainline and on the interchange ramps are being replaced with monotube structures. 

The 2 mile advance BGS eastbound for Exit 333 used to read TO 476 SOUTH | Norristown...it now reads 476 SOUTH | Chester.  Most of the other signs haven't been replaced yet.
About time IMHO.  All the Norristown exit BGS' along eastbound 276 should include 476 SOUTH references.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on May 28, 2014, 09:58:49 AM
Speaking of sign changes along the Turnpike, I like the idea of renaming some of them to better reflect the major cities they pass. In the Pittsburgh area, you have Exit 28 which is currently named 'Cranberry,' and Exit 57 which is currently named 'Pittsburgh.' I say name Exit 28 'Pittsburgh North' and Exit 57 'Pittsburgh East.' In the Philadelphia area, you have Exit 326 which is currently named 'Valley Forge,' and you'll soon have Exit 357 when the I-95 interchange is completed. I say name Exit 326 'Philadelphia West' and Exit 357 'Philadelphia East.' Doing this would make both cities accounted for by traffic from both directions.

Another idea I have that would promote tourism a bit is for Exit 91 (Donegal) and Exit 110 (Somerset) to have a series of signs listing various notable and recreational destinations. Envision these as signs:


STATE PARKS
Bear Run
Kooser
Laurel Hill
Laurel Mountain
EXIT 91

STATE PARKS
Laurel Ridge
Laurel Summit
Linn Run
Ohiopyle
EXIT 91

HISTORIC SITES
Braddock's Grave
Fort Ligonier
Fort Necessity Nat'l Battlefield
Laurel Caverns
EXIT 91

RESORTS
Hidden Valley
Nemacolin Woodlands
Seven Springs
The Springs at Laurel Mountain
EXIT 91

DESTINATIONS
Fallingwater
Great Allegheny Passage
Idlewild Park and Soak Zone
Youghiogheny Lake
EXIT 91

HISTORIC SITES
Flight 93 National Memorial
Johnstown Flood Memorial
EXIT 110

DESTINATIONS
Lake Quemahoning
Mount Davis
Stonycreek Lake
EXIT 110


I do think Pennsylvania should promote some of its destinations better than it does, and one thing that would help would be more and better signage for them on the highways.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Zeffy on May 28, 2014, 11:54:00 AM
Does the MUTCD allow that many destinations even for brown guide signs? In any case, here's a mockup of what the exit 110 sign may look like...

(http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag88/Zeffyboy/Signs/PARecreationSigns-Exit110_zps53c89811.png)

This is a positive contrast situation, and it's PennDOT, so not using Clearview is just silly.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 28, 2014, 12:10:44 PM
Speaking of sign changes along the Turnpike, I like the idea of renaming some of them to better reflect the major cities they pass. In the Pittsburgh area, you have Exit 28 which is currently named 'Cranberry,' and Exit 57 which is currently named 'Pittsburgh.' I say name Exit 28 'Pittsburgh North' and Exit 57 'Pittsburgh East.' In the Philadelphia area, you have Exit 326 which is currently named 'Valley Forge,' and you'll soon have Exit 357 when the I-95 interchange is completed. I say name Exit 326 'Philadelphia West' and Exit 357 'Philadelphia East.' Doing this would make both cities accounted for by traffic from both directions.

I get what you're getting at here, although I generally hate dividing cities up like this, especially since a city like Philadelphia doesn't really have West & East per se. 

Neighborhood areas are described by their direction...West Philly is basically a crime ridden area; there's 'North Philly' & 'South Philly', but 'East Philly' doesn't really exist at all.

And by keeping people on the Turnpike an extra 30 miles alone, when they could've been at their destination in less than 20 via 76 or 95, probably doesn't help traffic flow either as traffic volumes on the PA Turnpike are quite high in this area.

In a case like Philly, I think simply stating Philadelphia is good enough for those travelling from either direction, as the routes from the PA Turnpike run in a convenient angle towards the city.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on May 28, 2014, 01:07:05 PM
Does the MUTCD allow that many destinations even for brown guide signs? In any case, here's a mockup of what the exit 110 sign may look like...
That's supposed to be Flight 93, assuming that you're referring to the UA 757 crash site circa 9/11/01.

I get what you're getting at here, although I generally hate dividing cities up like this, especially since a city like Philadelphia doesn't really have West & East per se. 

Neighborhood areas are described by their direction...West Philly is basically a crime ridden area; there's 'North Philly' & 'South Philly', but 'East Philly' doesn't really exist at all.

And by keeping people on the Turnpike an extra 30 miles alone, when they could've been at their destination in less than 20 via 76 or 95, probably doesn't help traffic flow either as traffic volumes on the PA Turnpike are quite high in this area.

In a case like Philly, I think simply stating Philadelphia is good enough for those travelling from either direction, as the routes from the PA Turnpike run in a convenient angle towards the city.
At present, eastbounders along the PA Turnpike (I-76) encounter a supplemental sign just over two miles prior to the Valley Forge exit that reads Philadelphia NEXT 5 EXITS (http://goo.gl/maps/0SZyy).  Giving 2 interchanges along the Turnpike that contain the exact same name, Philadelphia in this case, with no distinction at all will actually cause more confusion IMHO than it would solve; especially when one reads the toll rate/ticket schedule.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Zeffy on May 28, 2014, 01:10:56 PM
Goddammit. Fixed.

(http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag88/Zeffyboy/Signs/PARecreationSigns-Exit110_zpsa83fed92.png)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on May 28, 2014, 01:31:31 PM
(http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag88/Zeffyboy/Signs/PARecreationSigns-Exit110_zpsa83fed92.png)
93 should be in Highway Gothic.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on May 28, 2014, 01:53:02 PM
Speaking of sign changes along the Turnpike, I like the idea of renaming some of them to better reflect the major cities they pass. In the Pittsburgh area, you have Exit 28 which is currently named 'Cranberry,' and Exit 57 which is currently named 'Pittsburgh.' I say name Exit 28 'Pittsburgh North' and Exit 57 'Pittsburgh East.' In the Philadelphia area, you have Exit 326 which is currently named 'Valley Forge,' and you'll soon have Exit 357 when the I-95 interchange is completed. I say name Exit 326 'Philadelphia West' and Exit 357 'Philadelphia East.' Doing this would make both cities accounted for by traffic from both directions.

Hmmm.... Personally, I kinda feel the exact opposite way.  I like that the interchange names more reflect where the interchange itself is,  and the control destinations can indicate the major cities serviced. 
For example, I'd actually change the "Pittsburgh" interchange to "Monroeville", and "Butler Valley" to probably either "Hampton" or "Gibsonia" ("Allegheny Valley" is in the actual Allegheny Valley, so it's fine)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 28, 2014, 01:54:11 PM
I get what you're getting at here, although I generally hate dividing cities up like this, especially since a city like Philadelphia doesn't really have West & East per se. 

Neighborhood areas are described by their direction...West Philly is basically a crime ridden area; there's 'North Philly' & 'South Philly', but 'East Philly' doesn't really exist at all.

And by keeping people on the Turnpike an extra 30 miles alone, when they could've been at their destination in less than 20 via 76 or 95, probably doesn't help traffic flow either as traffic volumes on the PA Turnpike are quite high in this area.

In a case like Philly, I think simply stating Philadelphia is good enough for those travelling from either direction, as the routes from the PA Turnpike run in a convenient angle towards the city.
At present, eastbounders along the PA Turnpike (I-76) encounter a supplemental sign just over two miles prior to the Valley Forge exit that reads Philadelphia NEXT 5 EXITS (http://goo.gl/maps/0SZyy).  Giving 2 interchanges along the Turnpike that contain the exact same name, Philadelphia in this case, with no distinction at all will actually cause more confusion IMHO than it would solve; especially when one reads the toll rate/ticket schedule.

How much confusion has it caused over the past 60 or so years?

Being that there's no East Philadelphia, how does one even define East Philadelphia, much less go to East Philadelphia?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Zeffy on May 28, 2014, 02:06:47 PM
How much confusion has it caused over the past 60 or so years?

Being that there's no East Philadelphia, how does one even define East Philadelphia, much less go to East Philadelphia?

Let's look at Google Maps!

(http://i.imgur.com/KW4gmiT.png)

...oh, there's a North, South, and West Philadelphia. Guess they didn't want an eastern Philly. I mean, you could call Camden East Philadelphia, though I'm not sure Camdenites would appreciate that... or maybe they would?

Even more interesting is the fact that they have a "South Philadelphia West" labeled on the map.



93 should be in Highway Gothic.

While I am a Clearview opposer, I believe that in situations like this, and others where numerals are used in the main destination legend (such as numbered street names), that the numerals should be allowed to remain in Clearview, just because switching fonts in the middle of the same line of text just seems odd to me. However, were this sign in, say, New Jersey, I would've easily made the entire sign in Highway Gothic, but since I was going for how PennDOT does these things, I stuck with Clearview.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on May 28, 2014, 03:47:27 PM
At present, eastbounders along the PA Turnpike (I-76) encounter a supplemental sign just over two miles prior to the Valley Forge exit that reads Philadelphia NEXT 5 EXITS (http://goo.gl/maps/0SZyy).  Giving 2 interchanges along the Turnpike that contain the exact same name, Philadelphia in this case, with no distinction at all will actually cause more confusion IMHO than it would solve; especially when one reads the toll rate/ticket schedule.

How much confusion has it caused over the past 60 or so years?
Last time I checked, there's only been one PA Turnpike interchange called/named Philadelphia: until recently, it was always the US 1 interchange (since renamed Bensalem); and it will be the new I-95/195 interchange.  Not sure where you're getting the notion that PTC has more than one interchange simultaneously named Philadelphia.

The fore-mentioned supplemental sign stating Philadelphia NEXT 5 EXITS by no means was stating that the PA Turnpike has five interchanges named Philadelphia; just that it has five connections to roads that lead into Philadelphia and most here, including yourself, knows that.

Being that there's no East Philadelphia, how does one even define East Philadelphia, much less go to East Philadelphia?
To the best of my knowledge, there's no East Harrisburg nor West Harrisburg either; nonetheless there are Turnpike interchanges named Harrisburg East and Harrisburg West.  Granted, the Susquehanna River (& bridge crossing) is a more definitive line of demarcation and the directional suffixes for those two interchanges were likely applied in relation to such.

That said, Gnutella was suggesting that there be two interchanges named Philadelphia with cardinal suffixes not prefixes to separate them.  Nonetheless, the possibility of one confusing an interchange named Philadelphia West with the neighborhood of West Philadelphia could indeed happen; though using the Schuylkill from Valley Forge is indeed the best way to get to West Philly.

Even more interesting is the fact that they have a "South Philadelphia West" labeled on the map.
That's obviously a mistake.  It should read Southwest Philadelphia.

93 should be in Highway Gothic.

While I am a Clearview opposer, I believe that in situations like this, and others where numerals are used in the main destination legend (such as numbered street names), that the numerals should be allowed to remain in Clearview, just because switching fonts in the middle of the same line of text just seems odd to me.
Such case-mixing (in attempt to follow FHWA guidelines) has actually been done, note the 2ND listing next to St. listing on this BGS (http://goo.gl/maps/I4SeH)

Granted, such does look odd.  In those situations, I would just make the entire line involving numerals and/or Caps Highway Gothic; much like the EXIT 110 listing on your BBS example.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on May 28, 2014, 09:30:38 PM
I suppose the question could be "why will the I-95 interchange have a name at all", given that the Pennsylvania Turnpike wants to go all-electronic well before the first flyovers are finished.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: DrSmith on May 28, 2014, 10:47:27 PM
The names may also be for internal use as well.  I know they have them for the Jersey Turnpike (or did at least), even though they were not posted on the signs.  If I remember correctly Interchange 1 was Gateway, 3 was Black Horse, I really have trouble remembering them since its been a long time now
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on May 29, 2014, 08:53:38 PM
If the slip ramps have names at all, they're internal only, because they don't appear on the signs.  I don't see why the I-95 interchange wouldn't have the same deal, in which case there would have been no need to rename Philadelphia/Bensalem.  But I guess that's what you get when you take over 40 years to build a single interchange.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Flyer78 on June 17, 2014, 01:17:44 PM
Tolls going up.

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140618_Cross-state_cost_on_Pa__Turnpike_in_2015___46_05.html

Quote
The decision by the Turnpike Commission Tuesday to hike tolls for the seventh year in a row means the cash toll to drive from the Ohio border to the New Jersey border will be $46.05 for passenger cars, up from the current $43.85.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140618_Cross-state_cost_on_Pa__Turnpike_in_2015___46_05.html#vHpTMvxhKF1dIIGe.99

(As of the posting of this link, the picture used in the story is of the NJ Turnpike, not the PA Turnpike.  :-D)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on June 17, 2014, 02:01:36 PM
Tolls going up.

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140618_Cross-state_cost_on_Pa__Turnpike_in_2015___46_05.html

Quote
The decision by the Turnpike Commission Tuesday to hike tolls for the seventh year in a row means the cash toll to drive from the Ohio border to the New Jersey border will be $46.05 for passenger cars, up from the current $43.85.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140618_Cross-state_cost_on_Pa__Turnpike_in_2015___46_05.html#vHpTMvxhKF1dIIGe.99

(As of the posting of this link, the picture used in the story is of the NJ Turnpike, not the PA Turnpike.  :-D)
Somebody actually mentioned such in the Comments section of the article as well.

This increase is, once again, Act 44-related.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: andy3175 on June 18, 2014, 12:55:11 AM
http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/penndot-turnpike-to-study-a-scranton-bypass-1.1702274

Quote
An engineering study will examine connecting Interstate 476 — also known as the turnpike — and I-81 at two points outside Scranton, one near Avoca and a second near South Abington Twp. It would create a bypass dubbed the Scranton Beltway.

The study is part of a long-range plan to address congestion in the Interstate 81 corridor in Northeast Pennsylvania, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials who made the announcement with lawmakers in Pittston Twp.

State transportation secretary Barry Schoch said the study, expected to cost about $500,000, will begin this month and take a year to complete. The study will develop traffic models to determine the best use of improved connections between the two highways, assess the environment of both areas and analyze any alternatives.

A map provided by the agencies showed the two new connections could shift about 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles per day from Interstate 81 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

About 70,000 vehicles per day travel on I-81 between the Lackawanna-Luzerne County line and the Central Scranton Expressway. In contrast, about 10,000 vehicles travel between the Wyoming Valley and Clarks Summit exits of the turnpike every day, according to Turnpike Commission spokeswoman Mimi Doyle.

Seeking to ease congestion, PennDOT previously announced a $174 million project to add a third lane on a six-mile stretch of I-81 between the Lackawanna-Luzerne counties line and the Central Scranton Expressway. That project could start in five years at the earliest.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on June 18, 2014, 09:31:06 AM
Given that one can connect to I-81 from (one direct, one indirect via PA 315) I-476 twice and w/I-81 not being a toll road; it's no wonder that the traffic counts are significantly higher for I-81.  Act 44 or no Act 44; the PTC might want to rationalize their tolls along this stretch of I-476.  While the car toll rates aren't too bad (current car cash rate $2.30, EZPass rate $1.38 From Exit 115 northward); the higher truck rates are enough to induce a fair share of shunpiking.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on June 18, 2014, 12:06:04 PM
Seems to me that if they want to accomplish this, all they need to do is establish a direct southern connection and leave Clarks Summit as it is.

I did this in reverse the last time I was on I-81 northbound in the area. Traffic was severely backed up and moving slowly, so I bailed at PA 315 and used 476, since I planned to use US 11 north of Clarks Summit anyway. I don't know what toll I paid for use of 476, since I have an E-ZPass, but to me it was worth it to get out of the slowdown. There was very little traffic on 476 but I did see a PA state trooper running radar in the vicinity where 81 and 476 cross.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on June 18, 2014, 12:25:36 PM
I did this in reverse the last time I was on I-81 northbound in the area. Traffic was severely backed up and moving slowly, so I bailed at PA 315 and used 476, since I planned to use US 11 north of Clarks Summit anyway. I don't know what toll I paid for use of 476, since I have an E-ZPass, but to me it was worth it to get out of the slowdown. There was very little traffic on 476 but I did see a PA state trooper running radar in the vicinity where 81 and 476 cross.
As I mentioned earlier, the current & previous passenger vehicle (Class 1) tolls (especially at the EZPass rates) aren't too exhorbitant in this area; it's the truck tolls (Class 9 EZPass rate from Exit 115 to Clarks Summit is over $52) that's the issue.

I'd be curious to know what percentage of traffic along I-81 & 476 in this area consists of trucks?  My guess is that I-81 has a much higher percentage of truck traffic than I-476 in this area; the reason, no doubt, is due to the toll rates.

2014 PA Turnpike Toll Rates (Cash & EZPass) (http://www.paturnpike.com/toll/images/pdfs/tolls_2014/2014_Toll_Book_Combined.pdf)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 06, 2014, 09:21:15 PM
I was traveling east on the Turnpike today between Blue Mountain and Carlisle.  The current widening project has entered stage 2 for eastbound traffic (i.e. traffic has been moved over to the newly widened road section).  I almost did a double take when we started to travel on concrete pavement instead of asphalt.  I thought maybe the road would be paved when the center portion was constructed, but the concrete had grooves to channel water, making me think the Turnpike may have done its first project using concrete pavement as the riding surface.

Also, the Turnpike has done a true "crossover" between Donegal and Somerset, where both sides are sharing the old eastbound lanes and the entire westbound side has been dug up down to the dirt (instead of just part of the road at a time).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 06, 2014, 10:39:16 PM
Oddly, the PTC website makes no mention of work between Donegal and Somerset.  Is it a full reconstruction?  Widening?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 06, 2014, 11:00:03 PM
Oddly, the PTC website makes no mention of work between Donegal and Somerset.  Is it a full reconstruction?  Widening?

I noticed that too.  It is definitely a full reconstruction and widening (per the "Your Tolls At Work" signs).  The project is on the "monthly schedule" though.

http://www.paturnpike.com/improve/conschedule.aspx (http://www.paturnpike.com/improve/conschedule.aspx)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on July 07, 2014, 02:25:27 PM
Oddly, the PTC website makes no mention of work between Donegal and Somerset.  Is it a full reconstruction?  Widening?
I noticed that too.  It is definitely a full reconstruction and widening (per the "Your Tolls At Work" signs).  The project is on the "monthly schedule" though.
http://www.paturnpike.com/improve/conschedule.aspx (http://www.paturnpike.com/improve/conschedule.aspx)

I also noticed that.  Hadn't seen it on their "Capital Projects" page, so I wasn't expecting it at all.   It's only limited to the Laurel Hill tunnel Bypass section.  They were starting to take down the falling rock fence on my way down to the beach, and it was mostly gone on the way back.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 07, 2014, 09:14:37 PM
IIRC this section had been 5 lanes with the 3 lane part being whatever side was Uphill to the summit.  Does it look like it is going to 6 lanes, maybe 7?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on July 08, 2014, 03:25:18 PM
IIRC this section had been 5 lanes with the 3 lane part being whatever side was Uphill to the summit.  Does it look like it is going to 6 lanes, maybe 7?

It's still too early to tell from the current work progress... but I'd be willing to bet that it will be widened to 6 lanes (I wouldn't bet on 7 lanes)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 13, 2014, 08:15:03 AM
I was traveling east on the Turnpike today between Blue Mountain and Carlisle.  The current widening project has entered stage 2 for eastbound traffic (i.e. traffic has been moved over to the newly widened road section).  I almost did a double take when we started to travel on concrete pavement instead of asphalt.  I thought maybe the road would be paved when the center portion was constructed, but the concrete had grooves to channel water, making me think the Turnpike may have done its first project using concrete pavement as the riding surface.

It's definitely a riding surface, since I saw several drain grilles set into the edge of the concrete under the guardrail.

I was pleased to discover that the PTC contractor that laid the concrete actually did a decent job. It was very smooth and even and the noise sounded just right.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 13, 2014, 10:40:14 PM
Wonde

It's definitely a riding surface, since I saw several drain grilles set into the edge of the concrete under the guardrail.

I was pleased to discover that the PTC contractor that laid the concrete actually did a decent job. It was very smooth and even and the noise sounded just right.

Wonder why the change from asphalt, especially because the nearby sections are not concrete.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 14, 2014, 01:05:30 PM
En route to/from Carlisle this past Saturday, I noticed some recently-erected curve warning & speed advisory signs along the way.  The ones located east of Lebannon-Lancaster (Exit 266/PA 72) had 60 MPH advisory panels but the ones west of there had 65 MPH panels. 

One has to wonder if the latter 65 MPH advisories could give hint to the speed limit(s) on those particular stretches of the Turnpike increasing to 70 mph down the road.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on July 14, 2014, 10:50:23 PM
Apparently work has begun between MM 124 and MM 134 (http://www.patpconstruction.com/mp124to134/map.aspx), east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel. They've replaced some overpasses already, and they're going to widen this segment from four lanes to six with full 12' shoulders on the insides and outsides. I'm betting the new Allegheny Mountain Tunnel will be six lanes when its built too.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 15, 2014, 12:12:35 AM
I was traveling east on the Turnpike today between Blue Mountain and Carlisle.  The current widening project has entered stage 2 for eastbound traffic (i.e. traffic has been moved over to the newly widened road section).  I almost did a double take when we started to travel on concrete pavement instead of asphalt.  I thought maybe the road would be paved when the center portion was constructed, but the concrete had grooves to channel water, making me think the Turnpike may have done its first project using concrete pavement as the riding surface.

Also, the Turnpike has done a true "crossover" between Donegal and Somerset, where both sides are sharing the old eastbound lanes and the entire westbound side has been dug up down to the dirt (instead of just part of the road at a time).

Is this part of the MP 206-210 project or the 220-226 project?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 15, 2014, 12:15:14 AM
Apparently work has begun between MM 124 and MM 134 (http://www.patpconstruction.com/mp124to134/map.aspx), east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel. They've replaced some overpasses already, and they're going to widen this segment from four lanes to six with full 12' shoulders on the insides and outsides. I'm betting the new Allegheny Mountain Tunnel will be six lanes when its built too.

If the tunnel replacement is to be 6 lanes, I would almost expect them to go with a non-tunnel cut.  Has the stretch between Summerset and the tunnel been rebuilt already?  There have been so many disjointed projects I have lost track.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: yakra on July 15, 2014, 12:36:50 AM
Looks like some curves were straightened out between the tunnel and New Baltimore. 2005 imagery on HistoricAerials shows EB traffic on the new roadway and WB traffic on the old. Velly interestink.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on July 15, 2014, 07:34:58 AM
Looks like some curves were straightened out between the tunnel and New Baltimore. 2005 imagery on HistoricAerials shows EB traffic on the new roadway and WB traffic on the old. Velly interestink.

They were. Several westbound curves where that carriageway split off and took a less-direct route were eliminated. The carriageways now remain together.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on July 15, 2014, 02:16:44 PM
Apparently work has begun between MM 124 and MM 134 (http://www.patpconstruction.com/mp124to134/map.aspx), east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel. They've replaced some overpasses already, and they're going to widen this segment from four lanes to six with full 12' shoulders on the insides and outsides. I'm betting the new Allegheny Mountain Tunnel will be six lanes when its built too.

If the tunnel replacement is to be 6 lanes, I would almost expect them to go with a non-tunnel cut.  Has the stretch between Summerset and the tunnel been rebuilt already?  There have been so many disjointed projects I have lost track.

Yeah... Time is mostly a blur, but I think the section from about the Somerset interchange to the tunnels has been done for possibly a decade now... before they made widening to 6-lanes a default part of the complete reconstructions.

If I were a betting man, I would also bet that the PTC ends up selecting a non-tunnel alternative.  There are groups that seem to be against it, but I think it's what the PTC really wants to do.

As to MM 124 and MM 134, in early June they had cleared most of the trees on the hillside where they're apparently doing "New Baltimore Slope Remediation".  I'm wondering if they're gonna cut into it to smooth out the curve there.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2014, 02:32:11 PM
Looks like some curves were straightened out between the tunnel and New Baltimore. 2005 imagery on HistoricAerials shows EB traffic on the new roadway and WB traffic on the old. Velly interestink.

They were. Several westbound curves where that carriageway split off and took a less-direct route were eliminated. The carriageways now remain together.

The old alignment of the Turnpike between the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel and New Baltimore was a narrow and twisting affair as recently as the mid-1980's - for both directions.  The descent eastbound was especially fun to drive.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on July 15, 2014, 02:47:18 PM
Apparently work has begun between MM 124 and MM 134 (http://www.patpconstruction.com/mp124to134/map.aspx), east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel. They've replaced some overpasses already, and they're going to widen this segment from four lanes to six with full 12' shoulders on the insides and outsides. I'm betting the new Allegheny Mountain Tunnel will be six lanes when its built too.

If the tunnel replacement is to be 6 lanes, I would almost expect them to go with a non-tunnel cut.  Has the stretch between Summerset and the tunnel been rebuilt already?  There have been so many disjointed projects I have lost track.

Yeah... Time is mostly a blur, but I think the section from about the Somerset interchange to the tunnels has been done for possibly a decade now... before they made widening to 6-lanes a default part of the complete reconstructions.

If I were a betting man, I would also bet that the PTC ends up selecting a non-tunnel alternative.  There are groups that seem to be against it, but I think it's what the PTC really wants to do.

As to MM 124 and MM 134, in early June they had cleared most of the trees on the hillside where they're apparently doing "New Baltimore Slope Remediation".  I'm wondering if they're gonna cut into it to smooth out the curve there.

Agree. Building a tunnel is expensive and, with well-placed explosives, a cut could be constructed pretty easily and safely. Looking at a topographic map of the area, they could take advantage of what appears to be a small stream that cut a path up the side of the mountain immediately west of the S-curve at the eastern tunnel portal. Do a little cut and fill operation and send the Turnpike through there, cutting off two sharp curves in the process. At some places, such as Tuscarora, a tunnel would make a tad more sense, as the current tunnel passes 900 feet under the summit. Allegheny is 400 below, if that.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on July 15, 2014, 09:46:40 PM
I have to ask the most important question, though:

If the Allegheny Mountain tunnels are bypassed, will we be allowed to walk/bike through them? :hmmm:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: briantroutman on July 15, 2014, 10:08:05 PM
If the Allegheny Mountain tunnels are bypassed, will we be allowed to walk/bike through them?

I assume not, because unlike the Rays/Sideling section, which is accessible from numerous local roads, the maps I’ve seen suggest that the Allegheny Tunnel would be accessible only from the active Turnpike mainline itself. My guess is that it would be more like Laurel Hill, which has always officially been off-limits—and I get the impression that the PTC and the PSP have been less lenient about trespassing there.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 15, 2014, 10:36:05 PM
Funny, this is now 2 projects that had no forewarning via the PTC design/construction website.  I wonder what other surprises may be in store?  With this 124-134 project and a 2017 officially listed project for MM 149-155, can the gap between and by extension, the US 220/I 99 interchange be very far behind?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on July 16, 2014, 04:08:21 AM
Funny, this is now 2 projects that had no forewarning via the PTC design/construction website.  I wonder what other surprises may be in store?  With this 124-134 project and a 2017 officially listed project for MM 149-155, can the gap between and by extension, the US 220/I 99 interchange be very far behind?

I figure that design work for the segment between MM 134 and MM 149 will begin later this decade, with reconstruction beginning around 2020.

On a similar note, the Turnpike Commission is currently doing preliminary design work for the segment between MM 57 and MM 67, and the western end of that segment is about half a mile east of the I-376 interchange, which leads me to believe that they might have a reconfigured interchange planned when they start doing design work for the segment between MM 49 and MM 57.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Chris19001 on July 16, 2014, 08:01:40 AM
Funny, this is now 2 projects that had no forewarning via the PTC design/construction website.  I wonder what other surprises may be in store? 
In scrolling through recent DVRPC (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission) documents, I saw reference to some more PTC projects that were new to me.
http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/14049A.pdf (http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/14049A.pdf) (page 28 of document)
In the I-276 section between Fort Washington and Willow Grove, there is discussion on how to make the Virginia Drive slip ramp a complete full movement interchange.  Also under study is if Welsh Road (PA-63) could have slip ramps built into a new bridge project over the turnpike. 
Both projects would be about 2 miles from my house, making a potential 4 turnpike interchanges within 5 miles of my house!  (Makes my personal commute considerably easier if I don't mind paying the tolls)  The downside I didn't see studied is how the mainline will handle additional traffic.  The westbound section backs up more mornings than not..
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 16, 2014, 08:49:44 AM
Personally, while the DVRPC's supposed mission is to "...foster regional cooperation in a nine-county, two state area. City, county and state representatives work together to address key issues, including transportation, land use, environmental protection and economic development", instead, it's turned into nothing more than a group where environmentalists, pedestrians and bicyclists can band together to encourage their viewpoints are accepted. 

There's no real "regional" planning going on, which results in things like the Blue Route (I-476) becoming a parking lot because points north and south of the highway (like I-95) weren't considered for expansion to deal with the extra traffic.  And with the Blue Route brought a new way for people to get to the Jersey Shore - via the single lane per direction US 322 in NJ to Rt. 55, not to mention the additional suburban sprawl that would come with the ability to access jobs from a new location  A real regional planning commission would've been saying - OK, we know 476 needs to be built, but we're going to have to work with NJDOT regarding upgrading 322.  Instead, the regional planning commission acts as if PA & NJ are on different planets, with no interconnectivity whatsoever.

Or take the forever-to-get-built 95/PA Turnpike connection - a regional planning commission should be busting balls to get the state and agency to move faster on that. Instead, the PA Turnpike spends millions on projects with questionable benefits while pushing back projects like this interchange which will improve traffic flow, especially in that area.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2014, 09:21:46 AM
Or take the forever-to-get-built 95/PA Turnpike connection - a regional planning commission should be busting balls to get the state and agency to move faster on that. Instead, the PA Turnpike spends millions on projects with questionable benefits while pushing back projects like this interchange which will improve traffic flow, especially in that area.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations like DVRPC do not usually have any authority to tell state agencies like PennDOT and PTC to speed-up construction of projects once they are in the short-range and long-range plans for funding. 
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 16, 2014, 09:23:55 AM
There's no real "regional" planning going on, which results in things like the Blue Route (I-476) becoming a parking lot because points north and south of the highway (like I-95) weren't considered for expansion to deal with the extra traffic.  And with the Blue Route brought a new way for people to get to the Jersey Shore - via the single lane per direction US 322 in NJ to Rt. 55, not to mention the additional suburban sprawl that would come with the ability to access jobs from a new location  A real regional planning commission would've been saying - OK, we know 476 needs to be built, but we're going to have to work with NJDOT regarding upgrading 322.  Instead, the regional planning commission acts as if PA & NJ are on different planets, with no interconnectivity whatsoever.
One has to wonder if an earlier but never executed plan to have I-476 and US 322 cross & interchange w/I-95 at the same location was ever considered when the Blue Route & Commodore Barry Bridge was only sketches circa the 1960s.  Such an alignement would've eliminated those particular bottlenecks along I-95.  Although I have to wonder whether PennDOT was either on crack or PCP when they designed the through-I-95 ramps at I-476 to be only 4 lanes total rather than 6 circa the early 70s.

The other issue w/I-476, at least south of PA 3, is that it was scaled down from its original 6-lane configuration (although there is room to place 2-additional lanes in the middle of the corridor) to placate the money-rich NIMBYs in Swarthmore.  Never mind the fact that these NIMBYs probably use the road to get to/from KOP, Plymouth Meeting, Lehigh Valley, Poconos etc.; can we say hypocrites?

On your side of the river, it was probably a combination of NIMBY & environmental activists that stalled any freeway upgrades/bypass for US 322 indefinitely.

The DVRPC has not yet mastered to to overcome NIMBYs who will block any transportation project (even transit-themed ones - there was some serious NIMBY whining over NJTransit's River Line when it was being proposed & Built) they possibly can.  Plus, as CP mentioned, they don't have the authority to tell agencies to speed up construction projects.

Or take the forever-to-get-built 95/PA Turnpike connection - a regional planning commission should be busting balls to get the state and agency to move faster on that. Instead, the PA Turnpike spends millions on projects with questionable benefits while pushing back projects like this interchange which will improve traffic flow, especially in that area.
I hear you on that one; but see CP's reply as towards why such can't legally happen.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 16, 2014, 10:46:55 AM
When funding is approved, there is a schedule that the projects adhere to regarding funding.  If the schedule calls for a project to be worked on from 2015-2017, the funds are allocated in a manner to adhere to that schedule. 

Whenever there is a change in funding for a project - say, an agency wants to push back a project because more money is required on another project, they need to go thru the DVRPC for approval.

Generally, the DVRPC simply rubberstamps their approval of these funding requests.  But the DVRPC definitely has the authority to say "No, you can't delay Project 10355.  Project 10355 has too many benefits to the area, so we will not permit you to delay the project.  You can find other projects which have less of an impact to the overall region".  But instead, the DVRPC says "All in Favor?  Yea.  Opposed?  (no one).  Approved".

Take a look under Action Item #2 here is this month's TIP actions: http://www.dvrpc.org/ASP/committee/agenda.aspx?p=6107  . In this month's case, there are 2 issues, both pertaining to NJ: One relates to a project that's been pushed ahead of it's original schedule and the other pertains to utilzing funds from projects that appear to have been delayed.  The supporting documents should state how the money will be found.  That's what the purpose of the DVRPC is - to make sure those projects are adhering to a schedule that works for the benefit of the region.  As it is, the winning bid for Contract #2 of the 295/76/42 project came in $40 million under budget, so there's some money NJDOT can play with at this point.

Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on July 16, 2014, 02:42:03 PM
On a similar note, the Turnpike Commission is currently doing preliminary design work for the segment between MM 57 and MM 67, and the western end of that segment is about half a mile east of the I-376 interchange, which leads me to believe that they might have a reconfigured interchange planned when they start doing design work for the segment between MM 49 and MM 57.

It was mentioned, most likely in this thread, that the PTC has a plan for a reconfigured Monroeville ("Pittsburgh") interchange... I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being it's own project, and not directly related to any adjacent widening.  (Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if it was associated with an I-376 to PA-28 widening too)

My guess is that it would be more like Laurel Hill, which has always officially been off-limits—and I get the impression that the PTC and the PSP have been less lenient about trespassing there.

It's now been a dozen years, but back in 2000 I made two trips to the Laurel Hill tunnel - the second with about 8 or 9 people, where we traversed the whole tunnel (climbing over the salt piles in the western end was "fun") and back.  Thankfully, we didn't encounter any law enforcement.  (It would have made for an especially "bad trip" for many of us).  We parked at the Laurel Hill trail parking lot at PA-31, camped out along the trail (at a site between PA-31 and the TPK), and hiked there the next day.  Good times.


Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 16, 2014, 05:30:44 PM
I have read from several sources that the 28 to 376 project will be in 2 parts due tot he expense and complexity of replacing a long bridge near the halfway point.  I can see the long bridge going with the northern half and the 376 interchange going with the southern half.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on July 17, 2014, 10:30:46 AM
In scrolling through recent DVRPC (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission) documents, I saw reference to some more PTC projects that were new to me.
http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/14049A.pdf (http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/14049A.pdf) (page 28 of document)
In the I-276 section between Fort Washington and Willow Grove, there is discussion on how to make the Virginia Drive slip ramp a complete full movement interchange.  Also under study is if Welsh Road (PA-63) could have slip ramps built into a new bridge project over the turnpike. 
Both projects would be about 2 miles from my house, making a potential 4 turnpike interchanges within 5 miles of my house!  (Makes my personal commute considerably easier if I don't mind paying the tolls)  The downside I didn't see studied is how the mainline will handle additional traffic.  The westbound section backs up more mornings than not..

For 10 years I commuted via the Turnpike (first between Fort Washington and Valley Forge, later between US 1 and Valley Forge) when I worked for PennDOT District 6. The need for adding access points to the Turnpike in the Philadelphia metro area was a perennial topic of discussion. The general consensus (informally at PennDOT) was that adding entry and exit points may result in a slight increase in ADT due to induced use, but spreading that traffic over a greater number of access points would result in a dramatic reduction in congestion at the toll plazas.

Myself, I think that that there are far to few access points on the Turnpike in the Philadelphia area. I realize that this is because the road was originally designed as a long-distance facility, not a commuter facility. But users are currently crammed into a ridiculously few number of access points. Constructability and cost issues aside, from an operational standpoint there should be twice the current number.

With the Turnpike's move to AET happening in a few years, constructability and cost will become a lot more flexible and manageable; I think we'll see various combinations of slip ramps in a variety of locations proposed—some of which will actually get built.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 17, 2014, 12:41:32 PM
Myself, I think that that there are far to few access points on the Turnpike in the Philadelphia area. I realize that this is because the road was originally designed as a long-distance facility, not a commuter facility. But users are currently crammed into a ridiculously few number of access points. Constructability and cost issues aside, from an operational standpoint there should be twice the current number.

With the Turnpike's move to AET happening in a few years, constructability and cost will become a lot more flexible and manageable; I think we'll see various combinations of slip ramps in a variety of locations proposed—some of which will actually get built.
A couple things to consider:

1.  During most of the PA Turnpike's lifespan, electronic tolling (I'm primarily referring to EZ-Pass) did not exist so building new interchanges in the toll-ticket road like the Turnpike back then generally required a lot more land aquistition (for a dual-trumpet set-up & connector road for the toll plaza) than a conventional SPUI/diamond/cloverleaf interchange on either a toll-barrier road like the GSP & one-time CT Turnpike or a non-tolled highway.

2.  At one time, there were plans for a 10-Mile Loop Expressway (http://www.phillyroads.com/roads/ten-mile-loop/) (it would ran from I-95 at Exit 32 to I-76 at Exit 332) that would've likely served as a local free highway alternative to I-276 just like I-295 in NJ is to the parallel the southern section of the NJTP.  Sadly, that proposed highway fell victim to the great future highway plan purge that hit Greater Philadelphia circa 1977.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 17, 2014, 10:04:19 PM
En route to/from Carlisle this past Saturday, I noticed some recently-erected curve warning & speed advisory signs along the way.  The ones located east of Lebannon-Lancaster (Exit 266/PA 72) had 60 MPH advisory panels but the ones west of there had 65 MPH panels. 

One has to wonder if the latter 65 MPH advisories could give hint to the speed limit(s) on those particular stretches of the Turnpike increasing to 70 mph down the road.

A 60 MPH advisory speed?  Has to be a first in the state.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on July 17, 2014, 10:04:35 PM
With the Turnpike's move to AET happening in a few years, constructability and cost will become a lot more flexible and manageable; I think we'll see various combinations of slip ramps in a variety of locations proposed—some of which will actually get built.
Why just slip ramps?  Full interchanges are more useful.  With a slip ramp, once you get off, you have to drive miles out of your way to get back on.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on July 17, 2014, 10:08:18 PM
I was traveling east on the Turnpike today between Blue Mountain and Carlisle.  The current widening project has entered stage 2 for eastbound traffic (i.e. traffic has been moved over to the newly widened road section).  I almost did a double take when we started to travel on concrete pavement instead of asphalt.  I thought maybe the road would be paved when the center portion was constructed, but the concrete had grooves to channel water, making me think the Turnpike may have done its first project using concrete pavement as the riding surface.

Also, the Turnpike has done a true "crossover" between Donegal and Somerset, where both sides are sharing the old eastbound lanes and the entire westbound side has been dug up down to the dirt (instead of just part of the road at a time).

Is this part of the MP 206-210 project or the 220-226 project?

MP 206-210
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on July 18, 2014, 02:33:52 PM
With the Turnpike's move to AET happening in a few years, constructability and cost will become a lot more flexible and manageable; I think we'll see various combinations of slip ramps in a variety of locations proposed—some of which will actually get built.
Why just slip ramps?  Full interchanges are more useful.  With a slip ramp, once you get off, you have to drive miles out of your way to get back on.

Because there is intense development throughout the area that the PA Turnpike traverses through the Phila metro area. A full interchange in one spot will always be tough to get approved by all concerned stakeholders. Slip ramps can be salted all along the alignment. Locate them in pairs and convenience isn't sacrificed that much.

The Virginia Drive and Bensalem slip ramps are two examples. These do provide immediate re-entry right at the point of exit. What they don't allow is easy re-entry in the opposite direction. A different type of slip ramp is the onramp from a shopping center/office park directly into the toll plaza at US 1. This is an onramp only, but it does provide access to both the east- and west-bound sides.

With all that being said, however, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is looking to build additional full interchanges in this area. A good source of info and maps for proposed access points within Montgomery County can be found here (http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1553) and here (http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1758).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on July 18, 2014, 03:03:06 PM
With all that being said, however, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is looking to build additional full interchanges in this area. A good source of info and maps for proposed access points within Montgomery County can be found here (http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1553) and here (http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1758).
Interesting stuff.

Personally, the current and altered Valley Forge interchange is the one I have issue with the most because it still has through I-76 westbound traffic funneling down into a single-lane cloverleaf ramp.  IMHO, this interchange (without the added connections) should be either reconfigured to either a mirrored trumpet (cloverleaf ramp would be for the I-276 West to I-76 East movements) interchange or a full-blown directional interchange w/fly-over ramps.

If I had it my way (and I know this is fantasy/fiction but I'll throw it out there) I would move the eastern toll barrier in Bristol to just west of the *Morgantown (I-176) interchange and make the East-West Turnpike east of there toll-free and move the Mid-County Plaza a mile or two north of its current location along the NE Extension (I-476).

*Such a move would encourage more Reading-bound traffic from the Greater Philly area to utilize I-76 to I-176 vs. US 422.

If that stretch of Turnpike (I-76/276) were toll free; construction costs for additional interchanges would be reduced because toll-gantry/plaza related structures & utilities would no longer be needed/required.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on July 18, 2014, 04:55:23 PM
Personally, the current and altered Valley Forge interchange is the one I have issue with the most because it still has through I-76 westbound traffic funneling down into a single-lane cloverleaf ramp.  IMHO, this interchange (without the added connections) should be either reconfigured to either a mirrored trumpet (cloverleaf ramp would be for the I-276 West to I-76 East movements) interchange or a full-blown directional interchange w/fly-over ramps.

That ramp is currently striped for two lanes narrowing to one before it becomes the westbound acceleration lane. (If you look at Google or Bing maps, you can see the two lanes become one lane under the bridge carrying the main line.) When the Turnpike is widened from two to three lanes (directionally) from Valley Forge to Great Valley (PA 29), this ramp will be restriped to two lanes along its entire length. The bridge carrying the main line was engineered for three through lanes, the two-lane onramp, and a shoulder. And the concrete for the full two-lane onramp is already in place.

From my work at PennDOT, I know that the PTC intends to carry westbound I-76 through the interchange with two lanes when the widening to the west is accomplished. I don't know what the merge point (which will be slightly west of the current end of the three-through-lane configuration) will look like, however, but I-76 will still be on a loop ramp.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on July 18, 2014, 10:16:34 PM
Pa. Turnpike to Raise Speed Limit to 70 mph on Stretch of Toll Highway Next Week (http://www.paturnpike.com/press/2014/20140718174518.htm)

This will be between Exits #201 (Blue Mountain) and #298 (Morgantown).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 18, 2014, 10:27:04 PM
So the 100 mile stretch of highway will go 97 miles.  Interesting.  And how many construction zones are in this area, wiping out the higher limit?

In other trivia...who wants to take a guess how many days the 100 day war lasted...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on July 18, 2014, 10:34:20 PM
So the 100 mile stretch of highway will go 97 miles.  Interesting.  And how many construction zones are in this area, wiping out the higher limit?

Well, they might post the 70 all the way to Blue Mountain Tunnel on the West side of Exit #201.  That would get them another 2.1 miles, and practically to 100 miles.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on July 20, 2014, 02:41:52 AM
Speed limit discussion is here: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10754.0
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 13, 2014, 02:04:52 AM
Philly.com: Work to begin on connecting Pa. Turnpike and I-95 (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140813_Work_to_begin_on_connecting_Pa__Turnpike_and_I-95.html)

Quote
Construction is to start late next month or in early October on the long-awaited direct connection between Interstate 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, after the award of a $142.9 million contract to a Bucks County firm.

Quote
PKF-Mark III Inc., of Newtown, won the contract from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to build the first section of the $420 million Stage 1 of the new interchange that will finally provide an unbroken I-95 between Maine and Florida.

Quote
For decades, I-95 has been incomplete in New Jersey near Trenton.

Quote
The $142.9 million will pay for widening and reconstructing about four miles of the turnpike in Bristol Township, where the connection with I-95 will be built. It will also pay for building three new turnpike bridges and installing the piers for the flyover ramps for the connection.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SignBridge on August 13, 2014, 09:15:31 PM
IT'S ABOUT FRIGGIN' TIME !! I've been reading for the last 10 years that this interchange was going to happen, and every time I drive thru that area, I note with disgust that ground has not yet been broken.

The NJ Turnpike has interchanges with toll-free interstates, as does the New York Thruway. Apparently funded by those toll authorities in those states. Only the friggin' Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wouldn't spend the money to build it back in 1969.

It should never have taken this many years!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 13, 2014, 09:25:15 PM
IT'S ABOUT FRIGGIN' TIME !! I've been reading for the last 10 years that this interchange was going to happen, and every time I drive thru that area, I note with disgust that ground has not yet been broken.

The NJ Turnpike has interchanges with toll-free interstates, as does the New York Thruway. Apparently funded by those toll authorities in those states. Only the friggin' Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wouldn't spend the money to build it back in the 1970's.

It should never have taken this many years!

They still have plenty more. Breezewood, I-78, I-80, I-81, US 219, US 222, the Bud Shuster Porkway... Knowing them, they'll never complete I-70.

It's not like New York doesn't have its share of non-interchanges. Look at how long it took them to connect the Thruway to I-84 and, for much of the time, both were run by NYSTA. It still fails to connect to NY 23, NY 85, and US 209, all of which are at least semi-limited-access.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: The Nature Boy on August 13, 2014, 09:30:46 PM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 13, 2014, 09:33:42 PM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

I avoid it like the plague. Never used that exit and will once and only once to say I did it.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: The Nature Boy on August 13, 2014, 09:49:04 PM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

I avoid it like the plague. Never used that exit and will once and only once to say I did it.

If you go through at night, it's quite the spectacle. In fact, I recommend doing so at night.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Duke87 on August 14, 2014, 12:41:33 AM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

I've driven through a few times making various movements but I have not and will not patronize any of the businesses there.

Which is a sound decision even if you don't feel like boycotting it for ideological reasons - the gas there is more expensive than at the next town along US 30 in either direction, presumably the same is true of the other services.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on August 14, 2014, 01:02:27 AM
Sure, I'm always happy to stop at Breezewood; I got no problem with it, just as I have no issue with I-99 or with sequential exit numbering. And that's saying something, because I have a pretty low tolerance for anything the main stream is okay with.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 14, 2014, 06:16:42 AM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

"The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants. "

And then you ask if anyone actually stops there?  Your own statement says that a LOT of people stop there.  Otherwise, all those gas stations and restaurants wouldn't be there!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: The Nature Boy on August 14, 2014, 07:25:34 AM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

"The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants. "

And then you ask if anyone actually stops there?  Your own statement says that a LOT of people stop there.  Otherwise, all those gas stations and restaurants wouldn't be there!

Out of the millions of cars who are forced into it, you can build an economy around the relatively few who actually stop. I've just never met or heard of one of those people.

I bet 99% of cars that go through there don't stop, I wonder who in the hell that 1% is. :P
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on August 14, 2014, 07:48:21 AM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

When I was in my teens, our Boy Scout troop always stopped at the McDonald's in Breezewood en route to Seven Springs for our annual ski trip. The idea was simply to regroup and ensure no vehicles had been lost along the way (especially given the inevitable traffic leaving DC coupled with the long stretches of turnpike with no exits between Breezewood and Somerset, the latter being where we exited for Seven Springs). Since I was not old enough to drive for most of those years—and, even if I had been, the troop's liability policy prohibited anyone under 18 from driving with other Scouts in the car—I had no say in the matter.

Can't say I've stopped at Breezewood since then, and I usually try to avoid it if we're headed that way, but if I urgently needed gas or urgently had to take a crap, I'd stop.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 14, 2014, 08:50:53 AM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

"The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants. "

And then you ask if anyone actually stops there?  Your own statement says that a LOT of people stop there.  Otherwise, all those gas stations and restaurants wouldn't be there!

Out of the millions of cars who are forced into it, you can build an economy around the relatively few who actually stop. I've just never met or heard of one of those people.

I bet 99% of cars that go through there don't stop, I wonder who in the hell that 1% is. :P

That information is quite easy to find, actually.

http://www.paturnpike.com/TrafficReports/FXPlor/Reports-Main/2013%20Reports/2013_INTERCHANGE_AADT_Report.pdf

In regards to traffic entering and exiting the Turnpike in Breezewood, the AADT is about 17,000 vehicles for the year.  In August, the ADT was 22,000. 

(Since this doesn't include traffic not entering/exiting the Turnpike, you can add on some more to that.  For the heck of it, let's just double the numbers, so the average ADT is about 35,000.)

1% of that would be 350 people per day.  And 350 people per day couldn't justify 10 or so hotels, numerous gas stations, restaurants, etc.

Title: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Pete from Boston on August 14, 2014, 09:07:39 AM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

"The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants. "

And then you ask if anyone actually stops there?  Your own statement says that a LOT of people stop there.  Otherwise, all those gas stations and restaurants wouldn't be there!

Out of the millions of cars who are forced into it, you can build an economy around the relatively few who actually stop. I've just never met or heard of one of those people.

I bet 99% of cars that go through there don't stop, I wonder who in the hell that 1% is. :P

I stop there everytime I pass by.  The Gateway Travel Plaza has a neat collection of historical photos that really put perspective on the place going back to way before I-70.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 14, 2014, 09:22:57 AM
I've only been through there once, when clinching I-70, and I had thought I had made a wrong turn coming off the Turnpike before realizing this was the legendary Breezewood.  I continued on the signed I-70 without stopping.

I don't have much intention of going that way again.  it's a pretty strange 90 degree jog on I-70 that I don't foresee factoring into any high-speed plan I have; so if I were in the area again, I'd figure there are plenty of non-freeways to explore.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on August 14, 2014, 10:09:02 AM
I've been through Breezewood a handful of times. First time, I just drove through to say I'd been there (was en route to Jeff K's Pittsburgh national meet and drove out I-68 and back west on I-70). I think I stopped for gas and a pee break at one of the gas stations on the south side of US 30 as I made the transition from westbound 70 to the turnpike.

I actually spent a couple of nights there four years ago. I was in the middle of an extended trip to attend the infamous SEPA meet where the venue mysteriously lost our room reservation. I'd been in Delaware and New Jersey, clinching routes and counties, and intended to go west on I-70 into Ohio and Indiana after the meet, so Breezewood made a logical place for me to stay since I was clinching I-70 in Maryland. I spent Friday night in Breezewood, then drove east to the meet, then drove back to Breezewood for Saturday night before heading west on I-70 Sunday morning.

Last time I was through Breezewood, I did not stop. I was on my way to Steve A's US 202 meet and had driven north on a combination of Maryland and Pennsylvania state routes that put me on US 30 a bit west of Bedford. I opted to stay on US 30 instead of getting on the turnpike at Bedford, so I followed it all the way to Breezewood before I entered the turnpike.

I'm not sure that the commercial strips on old US 220 along the connection from I-99 to the turnpike, or the one on US 11 between I-81 and the turnpike, are any different than Breezewood. They merely take advantage of the highway setup as it exists.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on August 14, 2014, 03:59:11 PM
...no one noticed the following quote in the article:  "The current I-95 north of the connection will be redesignated as I-395 or I-195, project manager Jeff Davis said."

Everything I've seen on the project website states extension of I-195 from NJ. 

I-395?  Hmmm...re-start debate...NOW.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on August 14, 2014, 03:59:45 PM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

Growing up, stopping at the McDonalds for breakfast on the way to the beach was practically a tradition.  In the past 15 years or so I'd say it's about 50/50 if I (or my peeps) will stop.   Though I sometimes will just take I-68 instead. My friend and I stopped in B-wood this year, cause he wanted to get some Starbucks, even though it was on the wrong side of 30.

As to the first question, I don't think it would hurt "Breezewood's economy" (note: Breezewood isn't really an incorporated municipality of any kind, just a PA "Village") anywhere near as much as those businesses probably fear if they just added a simple 2 ramps so traffic could avoid it. 
Once you pass Hagerstown, there isn't really any place with anywhere near the choice of Breezewood till, well, Breezewood.  The EB Midway Service plaza might see a bump in business, but people needing/wanting services will still utilize Breezewood, and probably easier so, since traffic with no desire to stop there won't be clogging shit up.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: The Nature Boy on August 14, 2014, 04:40:33 PM
Interesting. More people stop there than I thought. When I travel, I usually prefer to stop for gas/food in rural areas or service plazas so I can avoid surface street traffic.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 1995hoo on August 14, 2014, 05:16:11 PM
....

As to the first question, I don't think it would hurt "Breezewood's economy" (note: Breezewood isn't really an incorporated municipality of any kind, just a PA "Village") anywhere near as much as those businesses probably fear if they just added a simple 2 ramps so traffic could avoid it. 

....

Breezewood does have a mayor, though. He lives up on top of the hill just southwest of the I-70 traffic light and his name is McCheese.  :bigass:
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: briantroutman on August 14, 2014, 05:58:06 PM
I wonder what would happen to Breezewood's economy if they ever actually filled the gap. The whole town seems built around people stopping off and using their gas stations and eating at their restaurants.

I've never stopped there but does anyone ever actually stop in Breezewood?

As much as I hate the nonsensical disconnection of I-70 in Breezewood and would love to see a direct connection, I think the commercial strip on US 30 there would exist regardless. People will always need to eat, sleep, fuel their vehicles, and use the restroom, and the businesses in Breezewood are just fulfilling a demand that already exists. Other than roadgeeks visiting the Abandoned Turnpike, nobody’s spontaneously eating a meal or staying overnight just because Breezewood is there. They would have eaten at the next service plaza or slept in Bedford, Somerset, or wherever.

I think it’s also worth noting that the two largest businesses in Breezewood are the Gateway TA and Pilot All-American—both truck stops. And with FMCSA hours of service regs being what they are, combined with the high cost of fuel and “if the wheels aren’t turning, I’m not earning” realities facing owner-operators, I’ll go out on a limb and say that truckers’ off-road time is carefully considered.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 14, 2014, 05:59:54 PM
IT'S ABOUT FRIGGIN' TIME !! I've been reading for the last 10 years that this interchange was going to happen, and every time I drive thru that area, I note with disgust that ground has not yet been broken.

The NJ Turnpike has interchanges with toll-free interstates, as does the New York Thruway. Apparently funded by those toll authorities in those states. Only the friggin' Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wouldn't spend the money to build it back in the 1970's.

It should never have taken this many years!

They still have plenty more. Breezewood, I-78, I-80, I-81, US 219, US 222, the Bud Shuster Porkway... Knowing them, they'll never complete I-70.

It's not like New York doesn't have its share of non-interchanges. Look at how long it took them to connect the Thruway to I-84 and, for much of the time, both were run by NYSTA. It still fails to connect to NY 23, NY 85, and US 209, all of which are at least semi-limited-access.
I-84 was the oddball that one wonders about.  NY 23 isn't really a freeway, I belive NY 85 was intended to connect with unbuilt I-87 (and it may not be considered a freeway at at the overpass, though I consider it a super-2 through Slingerlands), and US 209 is caught up in the I-587 mess.

It's worth noting that the Thruway was constructed late enough that most interchanges with interstates connected with them from the get-go.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Alps on August 14, 2014, 06:47:52 PM
I've only been through there once, when clinching I-70, and I had thought I had made a wrong turn coming off the Turnpike before realizing this was the legendary Breezewood.  I continued on the signed I-70 without stopping.

I don't have much intention of going that way again.  it's a pretty strange 90 degree jog on I-70 that I don't foresee factoring into any high-speed plan I have; so if I were in the area again, I'd figure there are plenty of non-freeways to explore.
You would go that way to check out the abandoned Turnpike.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on August 14, 2014, 07:09:02 PM
You would go that way to check out the abandoned Turnpike.

Of the four times I've been through Breezewood, three was for visiting the abandoned section between the Ray's Hill and Sidling Hill tunnels.

One of the things I learned by looking at hard data when I worked for PennDOT District 6-0 was that when an extremely congested area is bypassed, local businesses usually end up better off. When local and through traffic is combined in a congested area, potential customers stay away because it's so hard to get into and out of the area. When through traffic is separated from the local traffic, customers who would've stayed away now patronize the local businesses because it's easier to do. This is more likely the more congested an area is.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: The Nature Boy on August 14, 2014, 07:52:03 PM
You would go that way to check out the abandoned Turnpike.

Of the four times I've been through Breezewood, three was for visiting the abandoned section between the Ray's Hill and Sidling Hill tunnels.

One of the things I learned by looking at hard data when I worked for PennDOT District 6-0 was that when an extremely congested area is bypassed, local businesses usually end up better off. When local and through traffic is combined in a congested area, potential customers stay away because it's so hard to get into and out of the area. When through traffic is separated from the local traffic, customers who would've stayed away now patronize the local businesses because it's easier to do. This is more likely the more congested an area is.

So Breezewood might actually BENEFIT from a bypass?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 14, 2014, 08:52:06 PM
You would go that way to check out the abandoned Turnpike.

Of the four times I've been through Breezewood, three was for visiting the abandoned section between the Ray's Hill and Sidling Hill tunnels.

One of the things I learned by looking at hard data when I worked for PennDOT District 6-0 was that when an extremely congested area is bypassed, local businesses usually end up better off. When local and through traffic is combined in a congested area, potential customers stay away because it's so hard to get into and out of the area. When through traffic is separated from the local traffic, customers who would've stayed away now patronize the local businesses because it's easier to do. This is more likely the more congested an area is.

So Breezewood might actually BENEFIT from a bypass?

Probably. It and Bedford are the only services easily accessible from the Turnpike between US 119 and I-81. There isn't much along I-70 between the same landmarks other than a small Maryland city near the border. Enough people want name-brand hotels, sit-down restaurants, truck stops, and/or cheap gas and fast food.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on August 14, 2014, 09:53:45 PM
Breezewood has a Sheetz. It's the only one of which I am aware that's in close proximity to the turnpike besides Bedford. If I'm hungry and driving the turnpike and I know of a Sheetz, I'll definitely get off and patronize it instead of the fast food at one of the service plazas.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ixnay on August 14, 2014, 10:33:17 PM
The four times I've been through Breezewood...

1989:  Refueled at Sunoco on the way to Pittsburgh via the Turnpike and Parkway East

1995: Passed through on the way home from State College (it was in the fall on a PSU football bye week).  I'd detoured through Altoona to get my first look at the Horseshoe Curve and 3 or 4 trains rounding it, which is one reason I went through Breezewood.

1999: Passed through on the way to NE OH and the PFHOF and the R&RHOF

July 20, 2014:  Planned to cruise up and down the Breezewood stretch before heading out 30 to Bedford, then up the Barbara Feldon, er, Bud Shuster Highway to Altoona for three days of railfanning.  Unfortunately as I came down the hill on 70 (this was about 3:45 pm) I concluded from the backup that this was a bad idea, so I dove for the left lane and headed west on 30.

ixnay
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: LeftyJR on August 15, 2014, 01:25:20 PM
The four times I've been through Breezewood...

1989:  Refueled at Sunoco on the way to Pittsburgh via the Turnpike and Parkway East

1995: Passed through on the way home from State College (it was in the fall on a PSU football bye week).  I'd detoured through Altoona to get my first look at the Horseshoe Curve and 3 or 4 trains rounding it, which is one reason I went through Breezewood

1999: Passed through on the way to NE OH and the PFHOF and the R&RHOF

July 20, 2014:  Planned to cruise up and down the Breezewood stretch before heading out 30 to Bedford, then up the Barbara Feldon, er, Bud Shuster Highway to Altoona for three days of railfanning.  Unfortunately as I came down the hill on 70 (this was about 3:45 pm) I concluded from the backup that this was a bad idea, so I dove for the left lane and headed west on 30.

ixnay

If you are headed to Altoona/Bedford/State College, or anywhere along I-99, its always best to take US 30 west from there anyway...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on August 15, 2014, 07:21:54 PM
It's worth noting that the Thruway was constructed late enough that most interchanges with interstates connected with them from the get-go.

Er?

Not I-390, I-490, I-690, I-481, I-790, I-890, I-787, I-81, I-84, I-88, I-587, I-90/87, I-287 (Suffern)…in fact, the only ones I can think of that might have existed from the get-go are 190 and 290 (and I-287 Elmsford, by whatever number that had at the time).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 15, 2014, 07:38:26 PM
Am I over-relying on Historic Aerials?  Unfortunately I have never managed to find maps (aside from topo maps that don't differentiate between "under construction", "proposed", "was there decades ago", and "what's actually there") from this era so I have to infer based on what's in between the 1951 and 1969 images.  Even if the interstates weren't there yet, with the exceptions of I-390, I-81, I-84, I-481, and I-88, the interchanges were ready and waiting.  It's not like the PTC, where the interstates were built just close enough to not force all-new interchanges but far enough that breezewoods were used instead of just using toll money to tie them in.

Of course, this is also PA, the state that has free interstates only because they saw the FHWA as a cash cow.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ixnay on August 15, 2014, 09:01:52 PM
The four times I've been through Breezewood...

1989:  Refueled at Sunoco on the way to Pittsburgh via the Turnpike and Parkway East

1995: Passed through on the way home from State College (it was in the fall on a PSU football bye week).  I'd detoured through Altoona to get my first look at the Horseshoe Curve and 3 or 4 trains rounding it, which is one reason I went through Breezewood

1999: Passed through on the way to NE OH and the PFHOF and the R&RHOF

July 20, 2014:  Planned to cruise up and down the Breezewood stretch before heading out 30 to Bedford, then up the Barbara Feldon, er, Bud Shuster Highway to Altoona for three days of railfanning.  Unfortunately as I came down the hill on 70 (this was about 3:45 pm) I concluded from the backup that this was a bad idea, so I dove for the left lane and headed west on 30.

ixnay

If you are headed to Altoona/Bedford/State College, or anywhere along I-99, its always best to take US 30 west from there anyway...

That was my intent all along, partly because of the $2.60 toll for just 16 miles (thanks, paturnpike.com for helping me with my pre-vacation homework).  The jam of transitioners from westbound 70 to the Turnpike forced me, as I said, to drop my Breezewood cruising plans and get immediately on 30 west.  In fact I should've gotten off 70 at exit 149 and taken South Breezewood Road to 30 past the arches.

ixnay
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: signalman on August 16, 2014, 04:42:56 AM
I've only been through Breezewood once, and it was only when I was working on a clinch of I-70.  I did not patronize any of the businesses for numerous reasons.  First, and foremost, I did not need anything when passing through.  I also reasoned that most of the available food and fuel was overpriced.  It also seemed like a real pain in the ass to get into and back out of said businesses because of the traffic.

When I'm traveling, I tend to check gasbuddy for cheaper areas to refuel when possible.  Breezewood did not meet this criteria at the time I traveled through it.  While I'm stopped for gas I will look for food in the immediate area, as I try to minimize my stops and down time.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: roadman on August 16, 2014, 09:17:16 AM
Been through Breezewood about half a dozen times over the past fifteen years, usually when I'm traveling from my brother's house in Greensboro to Altoona.  Sometimes I'll get on the Turnpike west to Bedford, other times I'll just take US 30 west.

However, I've never had a need to stop in Breezewood itself for either gas or food.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: empirestate on August 16, 2014, 02:03:22 PM
Am I over-relying on Historic Aerials?  Unfortunately I have never managed to find maps (aside from topo maps that don't differentiate between "under construction", "proposed", "was there decades ago", and "what's actually there") from this era so I have to infer based on what's in between the 1951 and 1969 images.  Even if the interstates weren't there yet, with the exceptions of I-390, I-81, I-84, I-481, and I-88, the interchanges were ready and waiting.

I-481 and I-88 got new interchanges, but I-390 got the old US 15 interchange, I-81 got US 11's, and I-84 got—well, nothing, until pretty recently. Others, like I-890's and I-790's, always seem to have had future connections in mind, but they did originally connect only to local streets.

But yes, nothing like the way the PA Turnpike's evolved—or didn't.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 16, 2014, 06:14:25 PM
Given the Thruway's later construction than the PA Turnpike, I wouldn't be surprised if the interchanges near the interstates were specifically designed to eventually connect.  Both I-490 interchanges would have needed minimal modification and the original ramps are likely still there as part of I-490's exits.  The US 11 bypass was four lanes divided - the only reason they couldn't re-use the interchange is so that the exit to 7th North St could be fit in.  I-690's was a traffic light anyways.  I think the reverse process might have been used for I-790 (at least, I'm not sure how else to explain the original horrific design, other than "because it's Region TO").  The western I-890 interchange would have connected with NY 5S, which had I-890 placed directly on top of it, so it likely didn't need modification.  The eastern I-890 interchange is probably similar to I-490.  Given that Washington Ave Extension was built in the 50s (and hasn't seen any work since except the interchange with Fuller Rd), I think the original configuration of exit 24 before Free 90 was always supposed to be temporary.  The I-587 interchange, of course, has not been modified except to change the traffic circle to a roundabout.  The western I-287 interchange has always gone straight to the NJ line without at-grades even back when it was NJ 17 rather than I-287.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 16, 2014, 10:17:02 PM
Given the Thruway's later construction than the PA Turnpike, I wouldn't be surprised if the interchanges near the interstates were specifically designed to eventually connect.

Not sure that Newburgh was ever designed to connect, given the massive job that was undertaken there to remove the long-standing breezewood between I-87 and I-84.

And the NYSTA did a good job in getting rid of that breezewood.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 16, 2014, 10:23:57 PM
Given the Thruway's later construction than the PA Turnpike, I wouldn't be surprised if the interchanges near the interstates were specifically designed to eventually connect.

Not sure that Newburgh was ever designed to connect, given the massive job that was undertaken there to remove the long-standing breezewood between I-87 and I-84.

And the NYSTA did a good job in getting rid of that breezewood.

It's not like there was much in the way. I'm actually surprised they didn't build a trumpet on I-84 with connections to NY 300. When it was built, there was nothing between the two highways other than a pile of dirt. (http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=0.000128&lat=41.5004018996822&lon=-74.0736360385741&year=1975)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: vdeane on August 17, 2014, 06:06:40 PM
The I-87/I-84 connection is an oddball.  I have no idea why they only recently got a direct connection.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 17, 2014, 06:19:59 PM
We should just be glad that NY and PA aren't like the Mass Pike with its freeway interchanges. Exit 4 (https://goo.gl/maps/4sXVP) is a pretty dangerous quadruple trumpet, Exit 10 (https://goo.gl/maps/sxI3J) is...odd, and Exit 15 (https://goo.gl/maps/rRTZQ) is just messed up. I won't even talk about Exit 5 (https://goo.gl/maps/f60WA), as no freeways are involved. I'd take Breezewood, I-99, or the old I-84 connection over any of these, even though all but Exit 5 provide direct connections to the adjacent freeway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: DeaconG on August 17, 2014, 07:26:47 PM
^^^Exit 15-AAAAACCCCKKKK! It makes my eyes bleed!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 17, 2014, 08:28:53 PM
^^^Exit 15-AAAAACCCCKKKK! It makes my eyes bleed!

Just picture it during rush hour. I've spent more time stuck there...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PurdueBill on August 18, 2014, 01:08:24 AM
We should just be glad that NY and PA aren't like the Mass Pike with its freeway interchanges. Exit 4 (https://goo.gl/maps/4sXVP) is a pretty dangerous quadruple trumpet, Exit 10 (https://goo.gl/maps/sxI3J) is...odd, and Exit 15 (https://goo.gl/maps/rRTZQ) is just messed up. I won't even talk about Exit 5 (https://goo.gl/maps/f60WA), as no freeways are involved. I'd take Breezewood, I-99, or the old I-84 connection over any of these, even though all but Exit 5 provide direct connections to the adjacent freeway.

To be fair to those interchanges, though, all three started as much simpler designs.  Exit 4 was originally a traditional ticket-tollway double trumpet serving US 5.  Exit 10 served only MA 12 when built, as today's I-290/I-395 didn't exist yet.  Exits 14-15 were at the original eastern end of the Pike; following today's exit 14 eastbound takes you to the original toll plaza for the eastern end.  The Boston Extension added a lot of complexity there.  All three could have been severely modified when the new roads were added, but it was probably a lot easier and less costly to add on as was done.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: tomasher on August 20, 2014, 02:24:27 PM
Breezewood has a Sheetz. It's the only one of which I am aware that's in close proximity to the turnpike besides Bedford. If I'm hungry and driving the turnpike and I know of a Sheetz, I'll definitely get off and patronize it instead of the fast food at one of the service plazas.

There is a Sheetz very close to the Morgantown interchange as well.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on August 20, 2014, 02:59:07 PM
With ~137 miles of difference, I don't know that having a Sheetz at the Morgantown interchange would at all affect most people's decisions as to whether to stop at Breezewood or not.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on August 20, 2014, 03:16:52 PM
With ~137 miles of difference, I don't know that having a Sheetz at the Morgantown interchange would at all affect most people's decisions as to whether to stop at Breezewood or not.

No. Not at all. When Sheetz calls, you answer. You don't wait 2 hours until you get to another one.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: LeftyJR on August 20, 2014, 06:38:25 PM
With ~137 miles of difference, I don't know that having a Sheetz at the Morgantown interchange would at all affect most people's decisions as to whether to stop at Breezewood or not.

No. Not at all. When Sheetz calls, you answer. You don't wait 2 hours until you get to another one.

I would probably try to stop at Bedford before I would Breezewood - but there is a "mini-Breezewood" there too, of course!
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: hbelkins on August 20, 2014, 08:29:17 PM
Bedford is definitely closer to the turnpike than Breezewood, so it's an easer on/off.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on August 20, 2014, 10:58:40 PM
I am about to freak out and ask someone here to fedex me some Hellava Good French Onion Dip
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SteveG1988 on August 24, 2014, 12:47:18 PM
When did they paint the tunnels from the blue/gray to just gray? also, same thing for the overpasses
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on August 24, 2014, 01:44:17 PM
When did they paint the tunnels from the blue/gray to just gray? also, same thing for the overpasses

It seems different sections get different colors when they paint stuff.  I noticed some purple between Cranberry & Ohio.  Some of the newer monotube sign supports are blue (Irwin/New Stanton), green (Allegheny Valley), etc...
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SteveG1988 on August 24, 2014, 02:01:11 PM
To me the tunnels look weird in Corporate Grey. At least add some contrast, the letters in a different color and the vent areas (are they still vents, or did they redesign the air system?) in a nice color. I mean the penna turnpike can make some nice stuff, like their welcome signs which to me look awesome.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on August 24, 2014, 04:22:57 PM
When did they paint the tunnels from the blue/gray to just gray? also, same thing for the overpasses

It seems different sections get different colors when they paint stuff.  I noticed some purple between Cranberry & Ohio.  Some of the newer monotube sign supports are blue (Irwin/New Stanton), green (Allegheny Valley), etc...

Just east of the Downingtown exit (we'll call it mile 313) is a bridge for a local road over the main line (Uwchlan Ave., pronounced "YUKE-lin") whose steel beams sport a color that to my eye is a dead ringer for the red of a cherry-dipped soft ice cream cone. Bright red, but a little maroon-ish, with a slight satin gloss (not an enamel nor a completely flat finish). They're cherry-dipped beams, I tell ya. Makes me peckish for a cone every time I drive under that bridge.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Flyer78 on August 24, 2014, 07:30:08 PM
That bridge also I think may be the last replaced before going to faux-field stone look on bridge structures.

For what it is worth, most of the Delaware Vally monotubes (and bridges) have been painted brown; however I have seen some blue and red monotube around (there seems to be a sign replacement project underway, with some new... interesting signs), but I have not had a chance to see if they were installed in that color.

The NE Extension southbound has some new signs that merge diagrammatic arrows, the Mid-County exit name; exit tabs, and of course, Clearview. Will try to grab a shot at some point.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: qguy on August 25, 2014, 09:43:15 AM
That bridge also I think may be the last replaced before going to faux-field stone look on bridge structures.

I also think it was built by PennDOT, not the Turnpike, as part of a Uwchlan Ave. widening project in the early 00s.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: SteveG1988 on August 26, 2014, 02:36:53 PM
I am okay with the faux stone look on overpasses, it actually looks really nice, but when it is on the tunnel, it looks cheap and low class, since the tunnels for longer than most people realize, had the multi color paint job, with the bits above the entrance being blue. I would like to see them at least make the tunnel name Black or some contrasting Color from stone. At least they are not using that area for adverts. Imangine a projection screen on the vent (could work, as long as it keeps the function of the original part intact with preferations) advertizing EzPass or similar?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: storm2k on August 28, 2014, 05:58:10 PM
That bridge also I think may be the last replaced before going to faux-field stone look on bridge structures.

For what it is worth, most of the Delaware Vally monotubes (and bridges) have been painted brown; however I have seen some blue and red monotube around (there seems to be a sign replacement project underway, with some new... interesting signs), but I have not had a chance to see if they were installed in that color.

The NE Extension southbound has some new signs that merge diagrammatic arrows, the Mid-County exit name; exit tabs, and of course, Clearview. Will try to grab a shot at some point.

Drove from NJ thru Valley Forge last weekend. There are several red and blue monotubes now existing at several interchanges. It looks like they're going with the red and blue ones throughout, especially at rebuilt interchanges.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: MASTERNC on September 02, 2014, 10:54:13 PM
Looks like the widening between MP 220 and Carlisle might be starting soon.  The website for the project still shows the earlier completed widening but the monthly schedule now notes 7 miles of roadway/bridge reconstruction.

http://www.paturnpike.com/improve/conschedule.aspx
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 06, 2014, 06:25:38 PM
I was wondering:  IIRC part of the original act 91 for Turnpike expansion projects included a way out future extension of PA 28/Allegheny Valley Freeway to I-80.  It would seem like establishing an I-80 freeway connection on a diagonal would be a profitable toll endeavor.  Do you see this actually happening in 25 years or less?  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on September 07, 2014, 11:16:46 AM
25 years is a long time, but I'd have to bet that it won't happen.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jemacedo9 on September 19, 2014, 08:11:53 PM
The southbound lanes of I-476 in the southern widening section are basically complete, fully striped, and ready to go.  The far right lane is coned off while clean-up work is being done.   The far right lane becomes an exit only for I-276 West, and the new diagrammatic overhead BGSs show that, but there is no specific EXIT ONLY signage.  (No photos, unfortunately).

It looked like the far left lane of the NB side was coned off but ready to go, but couldn't tell if the striping was done.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on September 20, 2014, 09:13:34 AM
I hadn't realized that some of the PA Turnpike VMSs are full color. Several yesterday show a pic of cop killer Eric Frein.

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd144/roadnut/FBBA7185-B0C8-47E7-B059-05C933845F05.jpg) (http://s225.photobucket.com/user/roadnut/media/FBBA7185-B0C8-47E7-B059-05C933845F05.jpg.html)

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd144/roadnut/A2B43F30-1025-4721-8762-A0BA065B4DF0.jpg) (http://s225.photobucket.com/user/roadnut/media/A2B43F30-1025-4721-8762-A0BA065B4DF0.jpg.html)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 20, 2014, 11:08:47 AM
Your post makes me ask a dumb question:  Was the PTC smart enough to place those expensive signs on wide enough gantries to accommodate the future widening of the mainline?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Zeffy on September 20, 2014, 11:19:28 AM
Was the PTC smart enough to place those expensive signs on wide enough gantries to accommodate the future widening of the mainline?

It'd be great to see the PA Turnpike (mainline) widened, especially since most of it is pretty underwhelming in terms of design - but I don't think there are any plans to do so (correct me if I'm wrong).
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on September 20, 2014, 11:21:01 AM
Most of these signs are off to the side on a monopole type support. This just happened to be over the road. It would depend on everything else that needs to be done, such as underground utilities, current standards for construction, etc. Even if these signs met the requirements today if the road were to be widened today, they may not meet the requirements of the future when they get around to widening the highway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 20, 2014, 12:07:52 PM
I could not tell from the photo above if you were travelling EB or WB, if it was EB, the stretch shown is due for imminent widening:

http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/mp215to226/

Which is why I asked.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 02 Park Ave on September 20, 2014, 12:19:35 PM
There is no widening planned, at this time, between mp 226 & 242.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on September 20, 2014, 03:47:08 PM
I was going WB.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on September 20, 2014, 03:51:30 PM
Just from what I can see in the picture, the posts for the gantry visible look far enough away that you could squeeze more highway in.  Of course, I can't see the posts on the other side, nor do I have any idea if they'd need equal amount of land on either side for what they'd want to do, or whatever.
It very well may just be the angle of the pic, but right now the sign seems to be over part of the right lane and right shoulder, but it could be pretty centered over three lanes of a widened highway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mr_Northside on September 22, 2014, 04:05:13 PM
Pennsylvania Turnpike service plaza in Bedford County to be rebuilt (http://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2014/09/22/Turnpike-service-plaza-in-Bedford-County-to-be-rebuilt/stories/201409220173)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on September 23, 2014, 06:18:00 AM
It'd be great to see the PA Turnpike (mainline) widened, especially since most of it is pretty underwhelming in terms of design - but I don't think there are any plans to do so (correct me if I'm wrong).

There are plenty of segments that have been widened, or are being widened. Most of them have been in western Pennsylvania so far, but I'm guessing that's because that's where the road bed was oldest. Within a few years, the segments between the Ohio state line and the Beaver River, and I-79 and the Allegheny River, will all be reconstructed with six lanes. Another segment between Irwin and New Stanton already has.

Reconstruction is also underway on a segment east of Laurel Summit, and another segment east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel. Design work is being done on a segment between Bedford and Breezewood. Pretty soon, everything between Blue Mountain and Carisle will be reconstructed as well.

In eastern Pennsylvania, most of the current reconstruction is taking place near I-95, and along the Northeast Extension. Design work is being done between Reading and King of Prussia.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: mtantillo on September 23, 2014, 09:55:19 AM
Some of the Central portions of the Turnpike have been reconstructed as 4-lane, so not necessarily all of the reconstructed segments will be 6-lane. But in the Pittsburgh area, there is a need from a traffic volume standpoint.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on September 23, 2014, 05:05:23 PM
Some of the Central portions of the Turnpike have been reconstructed as 4-lane, so not necessarily all of the reconstructed segments will be 6-lane. But in the Pittsburgh area, there is a need from a traffic volume standpoint.

It's worth noting, though, that every reconstructed four-lane segment was done so before 2005, and every segment reconstructed since 2008 has been widened to six lanes. There was a period of inactivity along the Turnpike between 2005 and 2008, which leads me to believe that the Turnpike Commission decided sometime during that period of inactivity to have the entire highway widened to six lanes. It wouldn't surprise me if they do a partial reconstruction to add lanes to the recently-reconstructed four-lane segments.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Roadsguy on September 24, 2014, 08:44:29 AM
I thought they were planning on six-laning the whole thing anyway, even where it would be overkill.

The 70 multiplex, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh areas need it though. Even in the Philly area, it could easily stand an eight-laning from Valley Forge over all the way to the NJTP, but I don't think that's planned at all. (The current river bridge is wide enough, but I don't know if the twin will be or if it will be narrower.)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on September 24, 2014, 09:54:36 AM
I thought they were planning on six-laning the whole thing anyway, even where it would be overkill.

The 70 multiplex, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh areas need it though. Even in the Philly area, it could easily stand an eight-laning from Valley Forge over all the way to the NJTP, but I don't think that's planned at all. (The current river bridge is wide enough, but I don't know if the twin will be or if it will be narrower.)

The bridge is wide enough for 6 lanes, but only carries 4 lanes (2 per direction) plus a full right shoulder in each direction.

The future bridge is supposed to be wide enough for at least 4 lanes also. The actual design, which I don't think is complete yet, may be 3 travel lanes and a shoulder, 3 travel lanes and 2 shoulders, etc.  At minimum though, it will be designed to hold at least 4 lanes when needed.  One of those needs will be when it first opens, as the current bridge will be closed for refurbishment.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 24, 2014, 07:48:30 PM
Just stopped by the PC Major Projects Design and Construction page and note a few new SW PA projects listed as now in design:  This is what I am seeing there:

MP 28-31 Reconstruction, which IIRC includes the 19/79 interchange
MP 49-53 Reconstruction
MP 53-57 Reconstruction
   This is consistent with what I have read in the past that 376 to the new Allegheny River Bridge would be 2 contracts.  Have not read the line item yet to see if it includes any 376 exit improvements.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 24, 2014, 07:55:03 PM
MP 28-31 does NOT include the 19/79 interchange, but does mention that the Thorn Hill Road Bridge will be replaced as an early action item in 2015.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: cl94 on September 24, 2014, 07:57:32 PM
Have not read the line item yet to see if it includes any 376 exit improvements.

If it doesn't, it should. That thing is a Charlie Foxtrot. It looks kind of like that thing that was formerly at the I-94/US 24 interchange in Michigan, except worse.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 24, 2014, 08:03:21 PM
In case you did not know, this interchange was originally built in IIRC 1952 to serve ontly US 22 with a trumpet connection.  I-376 was an add on, spliced to the existing interchange, probably the first occurrance where an interstate was hooked to the turnpike.  About 1964?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on September 26, 2014, 10:49:20 AM
Just stopped by the PC Major Projects Design and Construction page and note a few new SW PA projects listed as now in design:  This is what I am seeing there:

MP 28-31 Reconstruction, which IIRC includes the 19/79 interchange
MP 49-53 Reconstruction
MP 53-57 Reconstruction
   This is consistent with what I have read in the past that 376 to the new Allegheny River Bridge would be 2 contracts.  Have not read the line item yet to see if it includes any 376 exit improvements.

They must have just added those projects to the page, because I went there earlier this week and didn't see them. The MM 28-MM 31 Project does not involve a reconfiguration of the I-79/U.S. 19 interchange; that was done early last decade (the "Cranberry Connector" project).

I have a hunch that the I-376/U.S. 22 interchange will be reconfigured because of the I-79/U.S 19 and I-95 reconfigurations, though it might end up being its own separate project too.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on September 26, 2014, 12:31:48 PM
(http://www.paturnpike.com/images/constmap2/PAmodified092414.gif)

Look at all that activity! And everything except 'G' and 'H' involves at least one of the following:


1. Long-span bridge replacements
2. Interchange reconfigurations
3. Total reconstruction and widening to six lanes


In another 10 years, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be a thoroughly modern highway once again.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on October 08, 2014, 11:32:47 PM
A new project has been added:

The design phase of the Freedom Road bridge in Cranberry.  I've been waiting for this one to be dealt with since the late 1970's.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on October 09, 2014, 05:11:27 AM
A new project has been added:

The design phase of the Freedom Road bridge in Cranberry.  I've been waiting for this one to be dealt with since the late 1970's.

And it's likely a precursor to six-laning the Turnpike between I-79 and the Beaver River. Sometime early next decade, the Turnpike will be six lanes all the way from Ohio to New Stanton.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 09, 2014, 07:59:26 PM
A new project has been added:

The design phase of the Freedom Road bridge in Cranberry.  I've been waiting for this one to be dealt with since the late 1970's.

And it's likely a precursor to six-laning the Turnpike between I-79 and the Beaver River. Sometime early next decade, the Turnpike will be six lanes all the way from Ohio to New Stanton.

Hopefully Freedom Road will be at least 4 lanes (2 each way) over the Turnpike with the new bridge.  It's needed badly.  I've seen traffic get backed up pretty bad coming into Cranberry over the Turnpike because it gets jammed up by traffic trying to turn left onto Executive Drive.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 02 Park Ave on October 09, 2014, 09:35:18 PM
There is no other project listed between mms 14 and 28 yet.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on October 10, 2014, 02:31:03 AM
A new project has been added:

The design phase of the Freedom Road bridge in Cranberry.  I've been waiting for this one to be dealt with since the late 1970's.

And it's likely a precursor to six-laning the Turnpike between I-79 and the Beaver River. Sometime early next decade, the Turnpike will be six lanes all the way from Ohio to New Stanton.

Hopefully Freedom Road will be at least 4 lanes (2 each way) over the Turnpike with the new bridge.  It's needed badly.  I've seen traffic get backed up pretty bad coming into Cranberry over the Turnpike because it gets jammed up by traffic trying to turn left onto Executive Drive.

Directly from the project's home page:

"The goal of this project is to completely replace and widen the bridge to add travel lanes to accommodate the high traffic volumes on Freedom Road."

There is no other project listed between mms 14 and 28 yet.

Directly from the project's home page:

"The new structure will also be lengthened to accommodate the Turnpike’s template for the future reconstruction of the Turnpike which includes an additional travel lane in each direction."
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 10, 2014, 06:12:13 AM
There is no other project listed between mms 14 and 28 yet.

Directly from the project's home page:

"The new structure will also be lengthened to accommodate the Turnpike’s template for the future reconstruction of the Turnpike which includes an additional travel lane in each direction."

But note the 'template' part of that statement. I doubt it's something that'll be done in the short term.  There are numerous bridge reconstructions for widenings that ultimately never take place.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on October 10, 2014, 06:45:41 AM
There is no other project listed between mms 14 and 28 yet.

Directly from the project's home page:

"The new structure will also be lengthened to accommodate the Turnpike’s template for the future reconstruction of the Turnpike which includes an additional travel lane in each direction."

But note the 'template' part of that statement. I doubt it's something that'll be done in the short term.  There are numerous bridge reconstructions for widenings that ultimately never take place.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has already been widened to six lanes from the Ohio state line to MM 10, and will very soon be widened between MM 10 and MM 14. It's also been widened from MM 31 to MM 38, MM 48 to MM 49, and MM 67 to MM 75, with ongoing widening from MM 40 to MM 48, and future widening in design from MM 28 to MM 31, and MM 49 to MM 67. Given all this, it's pointless to keep MM 14 to MM 28 four lanes.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on October 10, 2014, 10:19:13 AM
It looks to me like the PTC is missing the boat.  Freedom road needs a 7 lane bridge now.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 02 Park Ave on October 17, 2014, 07:23:29 AM
The new lanes of the widened section of the Northeast Extension are scheduled to be opened today.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on October 17, 2014, 08:28:54 AM
The new lanes of the widen section of the Northeast Extension are scheduled to be opened today.
That's good news.  I'll be using that stretch tomorrow evening.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mergingtraffic on October 18, 2014, 06:26:17 PM
There's a sign on I-276 WB just past the Delaware River Bridge that says "I-276 WEST Harrisburg" with 2 down arrows.  Is the space here for a future I-95 shield or just a wide spot?  Doesn't look big enough to fit a shield in there though.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3936/15381421197_c16dc50fb3_z.jpg)

here it is with the other sign:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5609/14946686984_ef2cc0860b_z.jpg)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Gnutella on October 19, 2014, 02:03:27 AM
There's a sign on I-276 WB just past the Delaware River Bridge that says "I-276 WEST Harrisburg" with 2 down arrows.  Is the space here for a future I-95 shield or just a wide spot?  Doesn't look big enough to fit a shield in there though.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3936/15381421197_c16dc50fb3_z.jpg)

here it is with the other sign:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5609/14946686984_ef2cc0860b_z.jpg)

I think those signs are old (with a new exit tab on one), so I'm not sure it even matters because I bet that they'll replace the sign on the left at the very least. The condensed "276" font inside the Interstate shield looks like the condensed "376," "279" and "579" font I saw on signs in Pittsburgh that were fabricated in the mid-1980s. Since the 1990s, the font inside three-digit Interstate shields in Pennsylvania has either been the normal font, or an even more condensed font. The two signs in your picture (save the exit tab) could be examples of some of the first fully reflectorized, non-button-copy signs in Pennsylvania.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 19, 2014, 10:09:42 AM
No: 95 would go on the top line, not below it. The extra space would be reserved for a destination name "Philadelphia", "Pittsburgh", etc. or, most likely, it's just a fuck up.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mergingtraffic on October 19, 2014, 10:59:46 AM
No: 95 would go on the top line, not below it. The extra space would be reserved for a destination name "Philadelphia", "Pittsburgh", etc. or, most likely, it's just a fuck up.
A f-up....yep that's what I figured. Kinda surprised not much I-276 signage in that area anyway.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Zeffy on October 19, 2014, 12:31:12 PM
No: 95 would go on the top line, not below it.

Not necessarily - while I'm not sure that this would be the case in this situation you could put it like the following:

(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc095/i-295_nb_exit_004_03.jpg)
Picture from AARoads.com

However, I would assume that there won't be such installed on that sign, rather an entirely new sign created when the needs arise.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 02 Park Ave on October 19, 2014, 01:25:55 PM
When the I-95/Turnpike connexion has been completed, these signs will then be above the I-95.  So the I-276 sign would have to be replaced by an I-95 sign; also, the exit number on the other sign would have to be replaced accordingly.

These signs look a lot newer than the structure on which they are mounted.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: Mergingtraffic on October 19, 2014, 04:06:50 PM
When the I-95/Turnpike connexion has been completed, these signs will then be above the I-95.  So the I-276 sign would have to be replaced by an I-95 sign; also, the exit number on the other sign would have to be replaced accordingly.

These signs look a lot newer than the structure on which they are mounted.

I was also thinking possibly that PENNDOT thought ahead like NJ did (see pic below). but there isn't enough space and weren't sure how old those signs were.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5604/15305361449_76faa3fb36_z.jpg)
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: KEVIN_224 on October 19, 2014, 08:44:09 PM
I was on that part of the New Jersey Turnpike yesterday (between Exit 4 in Mount Laurel and East Spur Exit 16E in Secaucus). No doubt in my mind that said sign will soon read

PENN TURNPIKE
PHILADELPHIA

Also, I noticed this while in Philadelphia from mid-day Friday until early Saturday afternoon:
(http://i.imgur.com/6Fjf8Gk.jpg)
At of-noon on a Saturday. Is I-76/Schuylkill Expressway always backed up onto I-676/US Route 30 West like this?
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: 02 Park Ave on October 19, 2014, 09:10:55 PM
The back-up is caused by the two lanes on the left having to merge into one lane to get onto the westbound Schuylkil Expressway.  Even though there is no further merge onto the Schuykill Expressway itself, this back-up occurs at most times.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 19, 2014, 09:46:42 PM
I was on that part of the New Jersey Turnpike yesterday (between Exit 4 in Mount Laurel and East Spur Exit 16E in Secaucus). No doubt in my mind that said sign will soon read

PENN TURNPIKE
PHILADELPHIA

It will.

Quote

Also, I noticed this while in Philadelphia from mid-day Friday until early Saturday afternoon:
(http://i.imgur.com/6Fjf8Gk.jpg)
At of-noon on a Saturday. Is I-76/Schuylkill Expressway always backed up onto I-676/US Route 30 West like this?

It's almost always going to be like that on the weekends. The Schuykill Expressway is simply busy in the weekends in both directions.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: odditude on October 20, 2014, 09:23:06 AM
Also, I noticed this while in Philadelphia from mid-day Friday until early Saturday afternoon:
[...]
At of-noon on a Saturday. Is I-76/Schuylkill Expressway always backed up onto I-676/US Route 30 West like this?

It's almost always going to be like that on the weekends. The Schuykill Expressway is simply busy in the weekends in both directions.
the Schuylkill is usually backed-up approaching the Vine from the west, and the Vine is usually backed-up approaching the Schuylkill. it's only during particularly light traffic times that everything moves freely. during rush hour, the Vine will be backed up end-to-end and then some - with the Schuylkill backed up starting at Girard or Spring Garden, and I-95 starting at Allegheny or NJ 90.
Title: Re: PA Turnpike News
Post by: PHLBOS on October 20, 2014, 10:04:15 AM
There's a sign on I-276 WB just past the Delaware River Bridge that says "I-276 WEST Harrisburg" with 2 down arrows.  Is the space here for a future I-95 shield or just a wide spot?  Doe