One of Pennsylvania’s marquee highway projects currently moving forward thanks to Act 89 of 2013 is the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project, a 13-mile, $670 million limited access highway that will run from north of Selinsgrove to PA 147 south of Montandon.
The project will separate trucks and through traffic from local traffic, reducing congestion, improving safety and accommodating economic growth. It is scheduled for completion by 2024.
This week, PennDOT opened bids for the second of seven contracts that will be part of the project. Four companies submitted bids for earthwork and drainage along a three-mile stretch in the northern portion of the project.
This gives us a chance to illuminate a fact that most of the public does not know: about three-quarters of PennDOT’s construction budget is put out for bid to private-sector construction firms.
Competitive bidding assures that the resources are used as efficiently as possible. It also debunks a popular myth regarding PennDOT’s stewardship of construction resources.
Once a private sector company submits a bid, there is tremendous incentive to see that the project stays on schedule and on budget. It’s a system that works much better than many people realize. For more information about the thruway project, click here.
Transportation Issue Update
- The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project advances with four companies competing for the second of seven contracts scheduled to be completed by 2024.
- As autonomous vehicle technology moves forward, seemingly at warp speed, some safety experts are expressing concerns.
- The American Public Transportation Association released a new study that shows commuters can reduce their chances of being in an accident by 90 percent if they use public transit instead of cars.
- PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announced the completion of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport Interchange, a $43 million project that began in June 2013 and will improve safety, relieve traffic congestion and promote economic development for the region.
- Act 89 will enable Northampton County to replace or repair more than a quarter of its bridges in the coming years.
- Various news organizations continue to report about the diversion of transportation construction resources to pay for non-transportation items. The latest is the Tribune-Review.
- Just as it began returning some of them to service, SEPTA had to pull some repaired regional rail cars back after finding a new defect.
- SEPTA will receive $4 million in federal funding to overhaul a busy transit hub in Philadelphia.
- Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s audit of the Turnpike, highlighting concerns about the toll road’s increasing debt, drew coverage and editorials across the Commonwealth. The Inquirer weighs in.