Roads

Essential Pittsburgh
6:56 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Pennsylvania Cautiously Boosts Speed Limit

A 1940 speed limit sign for the Pennsylvania turnpike, which is now as low as 55 mph in some areas.
Credit Ann Rosener / Library of Congress/Wikipedia

The Pennsylvania Turnpike, like a young driver, has a history of suddenly speeding up and slowing down.

In the 1940’s, the speed limit was 70, which was dropped to 65 during World War II. It shot back up to 70 in the 1950’s but the gas shortage of the late 1970’s led the speed limit to be cut all the way down to 55 mph.

Now, the speed limit is 65 and will soon be boosted to 70 on interstate roads, following a trial period on carefully chosen roads, including a section of the turnpike between Blue Mountain exit 201, and Morgantown exit 298.

With a speed limit of 70 mph already in Ohio and West Virginia, is it about time for PA to match up with neighboring states? Renee Vid Colborn, Manager of Media and Public Relations at the PA Turnpike Commission and State Senator Jay Costa addressed the pros and cons of an increased speed limit for area highways.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:24 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Pittsburgh's Pothole Problem May Have a Solution

Credit roadmixer.com

A Pennsylvania company may have invented the machine we’ve been dreaming of, to repair our potholed roadways. Road Mixer is an asphalt plant mounted on a truck and it could be a quick solution to fixing our streets.

So why isn’t the city of Pittsburgh using it? We posed that question to Darren Geesamen, project manager for the Road Mixer company.

The idea for mobile mixer trucks started many years ago. They use hot asphalt to ensure that potholes will be permanently fixed.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:10 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

When it Comes to Patching Potholes, Funding is the Biggest Pitfall

Mike Gable was appointed as the new Department of Public Works Director by Mayor Peduto last week.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is an old city with old roads. From cobblestones, to brick, to brittle asphalt, the addition of winter weather can make our daily commutes pretty treacherous.

Last week, Mayor Peduto appointed public works veteran, Mike Gable as the new Department of Public Works Director.

Gable hopes the city can find more funding in order to get on track with  winter street maintenance plans.

“Well this is a very tough time of the year, obviously. The roads are in bad shape as a result of the freezing and thawing that has been occurring over the past couple of weeks. But, its also a product of not making the investment that we’ve had to make to repair the roads with our resurfacing program.”

In the resurfacing program calls for a target of 80 miles per year, but the department has only been paving 30 to 40 miles per year, Gable says this is not a recipe for success.

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Transportation
7:44 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Transit Activists Ask Pennsylvanians to Call State Reps About Transportation Bill

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has just four voting days left this year, and they still have not passed a transportation funding bill. A Senate bill that would fund roads, bridges and public transit has been languishing since it was passed in June.

Now, a local nonprofit is trying to turn up the heat on key legislators by calling the constituents in their districts.

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Transportation
6:33 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Corbett Administration Again Pushes Transportation Plan

Gov. Tom Corbett is in call-to-action mode, urging passage of a transportation funding proposal for the second time in a week.

A $2.5 billion plan is expected to be passed by the full Senate within the next two weeks.

But the real question is whether House Republicans will vote for a bill that does things like hike driver’s license fees and uncap a tax paid by gas stations.

PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said he’s been going to each House lawmaker to explain what’s at stake.

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