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Author Topic: PA Turnpike News  (Read 552951 times)

Alps

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2175 on: July 18, 2019, 02:07:59 PM »

It gets better. Apparently the cost of processing cashless tolls is so high that the Gateway toll will go to $12 for those without E-ZPass in October, double the E-ZPass rate.

https://www.paturnpike.com/press/2019/20190717112134.htm

Quote from: PA Turnpike Media & Public Relations News Release
The toll for a two-axle passenger vehicle at Gateway, for example, will increase Oct. 27 from $7.90 to $12.20. The new TOLL BY PLATE rates reflect associated invoice-processing and collections costs. The E-ZPass rate at Gateway will increase to $5.50 to $5.90. Charts showing new rates at the three cashless locations can be found here. (No increases will be applied at these locations in January 2020.)
That increase from the old cash rate to the new Toll-By-Plate (TBP) rate IMHO is way too extreme.  Not even the Delaware River Bridge (I-95) TBP rate (2020 toll of $7.70) is that high.  One getting on the NJ side at US 130/Florence and either exiting at US 13 or staying on I-95 south pays a total of $10.70 ($3.00 NJTP + the above $7.70). 

Something's very wrong there.
That thing is PTC's finances.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2176 on: July 18, 2019, 02:10:23 PM »

It gets better. Apparently the cost of processing cashless tolls is so high that the Gateway toll will go to $12 for those without E-ZPass in October, double the E-ZPass rate.

https://www.paturnpike.com/press/2019/20190717112134.htm

Quote from: PA Turnpike Media & Public Relations News Release
The toll for a two-axle passenger vehicle at Gateway, for example, will increase Oct. 27 from $7.90 to $12.20. The new TOLL BY PLATE rates reflect associated invoice-processing and collections costs. The E-ZPass rate at Gateway will increase to $5.50 to $5.90. Charts showing new rates at the three cashless locations can be found here. (No increases will be applied at these locations in January 2020.)
That increase from the old cash rate to the new Toll-By-Plate (TBP) rate IMHO is way too extreme.  Not even the Delaware River Bridge (I-95) TBP rate (2020 toll of $7.70) is that high.  One getting on the NJ side at US 130/Florence and either exiting at US 13 or staying on I-95 south pays a total of $10.70 ($3.00 NJTP + the above $7.70). 

Something's very wrong there.
That thing is PTC's finances.
No, it's Act 44.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2177 on: July 18, 2019, 02:41:37 PM »

It gets better. Apparently the cost of processing cashless tolls is so high that the Gateway toll will go to $12 for those without E-ZPass in October, double the E-ZPass rate.

https://www.paturnpike.com/press/2019/20190717112134.htm

Quote from: PA Turnpike Media & Public Relations News Release
The toll for a two-axle passenger vehicle at Gateway, for example, will increase Oct. 27 from $7.90 to $12.20. The new TOLL BY PLATE rates reflect associated invoice-processing and collections costs. The E-ZPass rate at Gateway will increase to $5.50 to $5.90. Charts showing new rates at the three cashless locations can be found here. (No increases will be applied at these locations in January 2020.)
That increase from the old cash rate to the new Toll-By-Plate (TBP) rate IMHO is way too extreme.  Not even the Delaware River Bridge (I-95) TBP rate (2020 toll of $7.70) is that high.  One getting on the NJ side at US 130/Florence and either exiting at US 13 or staying on I-95 south pays a total of $10.70 ($3.00 NJTP + the above $7.70). 

Something's very wrong there.
That thing is PTC's finances.
No, it's Act 44.
Per the above-article, this is one of the facilities that will not get an increase this coming January.  Can't say that such won't be immune for an increase come 2021.

Sorry, Act 44 or no Act 44, PTC's finances or not; going from $7.90 to $12.20 is roughly over a 54% increase.  Way too excessive.  In contrast, the E-ZPass increase is only about a 7% increase.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2178 on: July 18, 2019, 10:02:54 PM »

If such is indeed true; then the PTC seems to be insinuating that the majority of their traffic is either going between interchanges and/or is along the southeastern PA portions (I-276 & the lower part of the NE Extension/I-476).  The latter wouldn't surprise me given that I-276 essentially does double-duty (local & through traffic) due to absence of the once-proposed 12-Mile Loop Expressway.  Had such been built; it would've operated similar to I-295 with respect to the NJ Turnpike.

I-276 could do that if the interchange spacing wasn't so wide.  Five segments, 32 miles, average spacing of 6.4 miles, too wide for an metropolitan beltway.  If that was 2.5 or 3 mile spacing, it could do the whole job, although part might need 8 lanes.
Apparently in the early '70s there was a plan to widen that segment to 8-10 lanes using a NJTP-esque setup with inner and outer lanes (for cars only and mixed traffic, respectively) until the oil crisis put an end to that.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2179 on: July 18, 2019, 10:14:30 PM »

The original 160 miles of the Turnpike was planned to be rebuilt with 8 to 10 lanes comprised of dual car and truck ROWs in both directions, and even feature holographic signage.
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Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2180 on: July 18, 2019, 10:24:58 PM »

The original 160 miles of the Turnpike was planned to be rebuilt with 8 to 10 lanes comprised of dual car and truck ROWs in both directions, and even feature holographic signage.
The completion of I-80 and I-78 largely postponed the need to widen the Turnpike until beyond 2000. 

The segment between the NE Extension and US-1 did need the widening projects that were completed in 1988.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2181 on: July 19, 2019, 11:09:03 PM »

The original 160 miles of the Turnpike was planned to be rebuilt with 8 to 10 lanes comprised of dual car and truck ROWs in both directions, and even feature holographic signage.

I'm quite curious how holographic road signs would have worked.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2182 on: July 19, 2019, 11:55:31 PM »

It gets better. Apparently the cost of processing cashless tolls is so high that the Gateway toll will go to $12 for those without E-ZPass in October, double the E-ZPass rate.

https://www.paturnpike.com/press/2019/20190717112134.htm

Quote from: PA Turnpike Media & Public Relations News Release
The toll for a two-axle passenger vehicle at Gateway, for example, will increase Oct. 27 from $7.90 to $12.20. The new TOLL BY PLATE rates reflect associated invoice-processing and collections costs. The E-ZPass rate at Gateway will increase to $5.50 to $5.90. Charts showing new rates at the three cashless locations can be found here. (No increases will be applied at these locations in January 2020.)
That increase from the old cash rate to the new Toll-By-Plate (TBP) rate IMHO is way too extreme.  Not even the Delaware River Bridge (I-95) TBP rate (2020 toll of $7.70) is that high.  One getting on the NJ side at US 130/Florence and either exiting at US 13 or staying on I-95 south pays a total of $10.70 ($3.00 NJTP + the above $7.70). 

Something's very wrong there.
That thing is PTC's finances.
No, it's Act 44.
Per the above-article, this is one of the facilities that will not get an increase this coming January.  Can't say that such won't be immune for an increase come 2021.

Sorry, Act 44 or no Act 44, PTC's finances or not; going from $7.90 to $12.20 is roughly over a 54% increase.  Way too excessive.  In contrast, the E-ZPass increase is only about a 7% increase.

Those increases will continue for decades into the future.  Remember that Act 44 (and later Act 89) require the PTC to come up with $450 million every year to be given to PennDOT for use as transit subsidies. 

That $450 million is money that they PTC does not have, so they go to the bond markets and issue new debt secured by PTC toll revenues.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2183 on: July 20, 2019, 12:39:39 PM »

Seems to me like they can't afford their "complete Turnpike reconstruction" project then, or to build new roads in Pittsburg.  Perhaps they could limit toll increases if they switched their program to preservation mode, like NYSDOT has done.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2184 on: July 20, 2019, 03:55:02 PM »

Seems to me like they can't afford their "complete Turnpike reconstruction" project then, or to build new roads in Pittsburg.  Perhaps they could limit toll increases if they switched their program to preservation mode, like NYSDOT has done.

Or maybe stop worrying about areas that see occasional congestion, and concentrate on areas that see daily congestion.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2185 on: July 21, 2019, 08:41:56 PM »

That too.  Act 44 and Act 89 may be big travesties that should never have happened, but the PTC is basically pretending like nothing is wrong, oblivious to the fact that the constant way above inflation toll increases are NOT sustainable.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2186 on: July 22, 2019, 12:09:09 PM »

That too.  Act 44 and Act 89 may be big travesties that should never have happened, but the PTC is basically pretending like nothing is wrong, oblivious to the fact that the constant way above inflation toll increases are NOT sustainable.

I think PTC is aware of the issue, but they're caught with legislative mandates. The legislature tells them to provide funding under Act 44. It tells them they are to build the Mon-Fayette and Southern Beltway. They have lots of old infrastructure at the end of its service life. They have to spend, and they have been looking at cost savings where possible with trying to reduce the Act 44 payments and implement AET to reduce collection costs.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2187 on: July 22, 2019, 01:09:06 PM »

They have to spend, and they have been looking at cost savings where possible with trying to reduce the Act 44 payments and implement AET to reduce collection costs.
That's just it.  The fore-mentioned planned toll increase for the Western Gateway will be 54% for non-E-ZPass users once AET becomes live at that plaza.  Such seems to be sending the opposite message.

And before one says, "Oh, just sign up for E-ZPass."; one needs to keep in mind that the Turnpike carries traffic from many other states... including those that either don't participate in an E-ZPass program or their own electronic tolling system is not compatible w/E-ZPass (example: Florida's Sun-Pass).  Also, there are many once-a-year travelers that don't want to pony up the initial $20 minimum to start up an account and/or pay the annual fee of $3 (PTC-issued unit).

There's also the issue with rental cars in that not every E-ZPass usage agreements within companies are created equal.  While most rental agencies have some type of transponder available for use; one needs to check to see if their flat rate is en lieu of any accrued toll charges (I had a rental a while ago that did such) or on top of those charges.

Bottom line & contrary to popular belief, there are still many out drivers/vehicles out there that don't have E-ZPass for whatever reason.  Charging such users a little more is one thing but hosing them completely is a whole other matter.
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vdeane

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2188 on: July 22, 2019, 01:14:58 PM »

That too.  Act 44 and Act 89 may be big travesties that should never have happened, but the PTC is basically pretending like nothing is wrong, oblivious to the fact that the constant way above inflation toll increases are NOT sustainable.

I think PTC is aware of the issue, but they're caught with legislative mandates. The legislature tells them to provide funding under Act 44. It tells them they are to build the Mon-Fayette and Southern Beltway. They have lots of old infrastructure at the end of its service life. They have to spend, and they have been looking at cost savings where possible with trying to reduce the Act 44 payments and implement AET to reduce collection costs.


Does that mandate come with a time the legislature wants those freeways done by?  If not, I'd think that they could be treated no differently than the dozens of legislated freeways/expressways up here in NY that have never been built.  And maybe they could look at whether they really NEED a full reconstruction/widening everywhere or if a resurfacing would work.  Sure, it sounds cool to say you're doing a total rebuild of the original Turnpike, but money is very tight.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2189 on: July 22, 2019, 04:19:58 PM »

They have to spend, and they have been looking at cost savings where possible with trying to reduce the Act 44 payments and implement AET to reduce collection costs.
That's just it.  The fore-mentioned planned toll increase for the Western Gateway will be 54% for non-E-ZPass users once AET becomes live at that plaza.  Such seems to be sending the opposite message.

And before one says, "Oh, just sign up for E-ZPass."; one needs to keep in mind that the Turnpike carries traffic from many other states... including those that either don't participate in an E-ZPass program or their own electronic tolling system is not compatible w/E-ZPass (example: Florida's Sun-Pass).  Also, there are many once-a-year travelers that don't want to pony up the initial $20 minimum to start up an account and/or pay the annual fee of $3 (PTC-issued unit).

There's also the issue with rental cars in that not every E-ZPass usage agreements within companies are created equal.  While most rental agencies have some type of transponder available for use; one needs to check to see if their flat rate is en lieu of any accrued toll charges (I had a rental a while ago that did such) or on top of those charges.

Bottom line & contrary to popular belief, there are still many out drivers/vehicles out there that don't have E-ZPass for whatever reason.  Charging such users a little more is one thing but hosing them completely is a whole other matter.
Not to bring up something unrelated (and I am not encouraging the CT toll discussion here), but it wasn't until I moved out of CT 3 years ago (today!) that I actually got E-ZPass.  I very rarely had to use toll roads up there, since there are no toll roads in Connecticut (right now), so I never had a significant enough use for it until I moved to Delaware.  You could probably assume a lot of people in Connecticut are the same (I'm not sure of the stats) and I'm sure there are other reasonably large areas of the northeast that don't worry much about tolls, so there's just one group that doesn't have E-ZPass in the area.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2190 on: July 23, 2019, 09:38:14 AM »

Not to bring up something unrelated (and I am not encouraging the CT toll discussion here), but it wasn't until I moved out of CT 3 years ago (today!) that I actually got E-ZPass.  I very rarely had to use toll roads up there, since there are no toll roads in Connecticut (right now), so I never had a significant enough use for it until I moved to Delaware.  You could probably assume a lot of people in Connecticut are the same (I'm not sure of the stats) and I'm sure there are other reasonably large areas of the northeast that don't worry much about tolls, so there's just one group that doesn't have E-ZPass in the area.
While true, it's probably a reasonable assumption that most CT residents that have E-ZPass are from either the southwestern part of the state (where many commute to the greater NYC area) or the northern or northeastern part of the state where it borders MA (should they use I-90/Mass Pike).
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thenetwork

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2191 on: July 23, 2019, 09:42:09 AM »

So for a non E-Z Pass driver that does not know in advance what the tolls will be, a trip from Youngstown to Pittsburgh via I-76 & I-376 is going to cost you $15.00+ ???

I'd much rather take the extra time and mileage to use I-80 to I-79, or shunpike via OH 14/PA 51 to I-376 -- Even with EZ Pass!!!
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2192 on: July 29, 2019, 09:45:22 PM »

While true, it's probably a reasonable assumption that most CT residents that have E-ZPass are from either the southwestern part of the state (where many commute to the greater NYC area) or the northern or northeastern part of the state where it borders MA (should they use I-90/Mass Pike).

A few years ago, the gift shops in the service plazas on the Connecticut Turnpike sold E-ZPass transponders, if memory serves they were MTA Bridge and Tunnel units (and maybe they still do  -  I did not check the last time I drove it), even though the Turnpike has been detolled since the 1980's.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 10:27:44 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2193 on: August 01, 2019, 11:39:05 PM »

The PATP website states that the reconstruction of the  mainline between the Warrendale barrier and the Cranberry exit was to start this past spring.  Any news?
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2194 on: August 02, 2019, 06:56:20 AM »

I don't think that's happening this year.  I drive over that stretch on I-79 every work day, and it looks like they've actually done some resurfacing (at least of the EB lanes so far) - it could be prepratory - though they haven't paved the shoulder, which would be used to shift traffic.  I don't see any other indications of a major rebuild.

Also, they ARE doing the Freedom Road bridge replacement (and widening (of Freedom Rd)) now, and they're still in the final stage of the widening from PA-8 to halfway-to-PA-28.  I imagine they won't kick off Cranberry-Warrendale reconstruction till those are done.

With all their money woes, I guess it's hard to budget someone to keep some of their project websites up to date.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 07:02:18 AM by Mr_Northside »
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2195 on: August 04, 2019, 08:18:53 AM »

PA Turnpike project websites are awful for inconsistency and stale information. Some are done in-house, some are contracted out, but they're all haphazard. Some have good diagrams and plans, others have nothing, for example. You can't be sure you're even going to find projected start and completion dates years decades eras epochs. A site will be posted and then sit for years without being touched.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2196 on: September 01, 2019, 05:27:41 PM »

Some minor updates done on the PATP website. There are 2 accelerated bridge construction closures coming up in the next month or so. One is next weekend on the NE extension near MM59. No idea if this will involve a 6-lane bridge deck or not.

The other will be on the mainline, over 2 weekends later this month and early next. It's the bridge at apx MM238 in Cumberland County that crosses over a railroad track. According to the site, they're doing eastbound one weekend, and westbound the next. I saw one of the nearly finished structures on the south side of the highway, and it appears that it will accommodate 3 lanes plus full inner and outer shoulders. I imagine that there is an identical structure for the westbound lanes, but I didn't see it personally as my return trip was by another route.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2197 on: September 06, 2019, 02:17:41 PM »

Also, I noticed the PTC is installing a new system for two-way operations at the Tuscarora Tunnel.  Starting about a mile before the tunnel, they have installed concrete barrier on the left side with automated swinging barriers.  They are orange semi-circle barriers with black-on-orange chevron symbols.  I'm guessing the purpose is to keep traffic from being in the lane that will handle oncoming traffic inside the tunnel.

Just noticed this in action on one of the webcams.  Kind of neat they can automatically close a lane.


upload

So turns out there is a big reason they installed this automatic lane closure system at that tunnel.  According to the PTC e-mail newsletter, the Tuscarora Tunnel is about to undergo a four-year renovation project that will require two-way traffic during most of the week.  They are warning of 30-60 minute delays.

https://www.paturnpike.com/yourTurnpike/tra_launch_tuscarora_tunnel_rehab_september2019.aspx?goal=0_be7dda6bfd-b4f241202a-237605981

Quote
This fall, the PTC will launch a four-year, $109 million project to improve and modernize the Tuscarora Tunnel, located on Interstate 76 at mileposts 186-187 between the Fort Littleton and Willow Hill interchanges on the Huntingdon County/Franklin County line.

Some of the major tasks to be completed will entail a nearly eight-month closure of the eastbound tube starting in mid-November. It will be closed Sunday nights at 10 p.m. through Fridays at noon, with all vehicles transitioned to two-way traffic in the westbound tube. All traffic in both directions will merge into one lane approaching the tunnel, with a 40 mph work-zone speed limit. This pattern will continue until Independence Day 2020, with no overweight or over-dimensional (Class-9) vehicles permitted.

During the single-lane, two-way traffic, motorists in this area are cautioned to expect delays of 30 to 60 minutes during peak weekday travel times.

The rehabilitation of the eastbound and the westbound tunnels will include a new ventilation system, new pavement and tunnel lining, new shoulder barriers and walls, a new electronic control and monitoring system, new lighting and improved drainage.

The eastbound tube opened in 1940, and the westbound tube opened in 1968. The two tubes were last renovated in the 1980s.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #2198 on: September 06, 2019, 02:42:46 PM »

This fall, the PTC will launch a four-year, $109 million project to improve and modernize the Tuscarora Tunnel, located on Interstate 76 at mileposts 186-187 between the Fort Littleton and Willow Hill interchanges on the Huntingdon County/Franklin County line.

Have they considered replacing it with a bypass in open cuts, with space for future 6-lane widening?
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