Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) oversees transportation issues in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The administrator of PennDOT is the Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation, currently Leslie Richards. Presently, PennDOT supports over 40,500 miles (65,200 km) of state roads and highways, about 25,000 bridges, as well as new roadway construction, the exception being the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, although they currently follow PennDOT policies and procedures. In addition, other modes of transportation are supervised or supported by PennDOT. These include aviation, rail traffic, mass transit, intrastate highway shipping traffic, motor vehicle safety & licensing, and driver licensing. PennDOT also supports the Ports of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie. The current budget is approximately $3.8 billion in federal and state funds. The state budget is supported by the motor vehicle fuels tax which is dedicated solely to transportation issues.

In recent years, PennDOT has focused on intermodal transportation. This is a broad attempt to enhance both commerce and public transportation.

PennDOT employs approximately 11,000 people.

PennDOT has extensive traffic cameras set up throughout various parts of major cities in the state, such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Erie, Allentown (Lehigh Valley), and Wilkes Barre/Scranton. The latter's cameras are fed through to a television channel for Service Electric cable customers in Wilkes-Barre. These cameras are primarily installed for ITS purposes, not for law enforcement (as opposed to speed cameras).

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Logo
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1970
Preceding agencies
  • Department of Highways
  • Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Traffic Safety
  • Mass Transit Division
  • Aeronautics Commission
  • Department of Revenue (oversaw licensing, registration and inspection of motor vehicles)
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Pennsylvania
Headquarters8th Floor, Keystone Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
40°15′59″N 76°53′1″W / 40.26639°N 76.88361°W
Employees~12,000
Agency executive
Websitewww.penndot.gov

History

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was created from the former Department of Highways by Act 120, approved by the legislature on May 6, 1970. The intent of the legislation was to consolidate transportation-related functions formerly performed in the Departments of Commerce, Revenue, Community Affairs, Forests and Waters, Military Affairs and other state agencies.

PennDOT is responsible for constructing and maintaining a system of roads at the sole expense of the state. It controls more than 41,000 miles (66,000 km) of roadway. Townships control approximately 51,376 miles (82,682 km) of roads and streets; boroughs, 9,460 miles (15,220 km) and cities 6,779 miles (10,910 km). In all, there are more than 118,226 miles (190,266 km) of public roads, streets and toll roads in the Commonwealth.

Greatest growth in the state highway system occurred in 1931 when 20,156 miles (32,438 km) of rural roads were taken over by the Commonwealth. At that time, the Department of Highways, at the direction of Governor Gifford Pinchot, embarked upon an extensive program of paving rural roadways, well known as the "get the farmer out of the mud" program.

The Federal Government in 1916 instituted grants to the states for highway construction. These grants continue today and now comprise the key element in determining the size of the state's roadbuilding programs.

State payments to local communities for road maintenance also have continued to expand so that they average approximately $170 million annually.

The agency went into well-noted organizational decline. An effort to bring quality management principles to PENNDOT over an extended period—four changes of state governor—accomplished a great deal.[1]

Driver & Vehicle Services

PennDOTinspection
PennDOT-issued sign at an auto garage stating that it conducts vehicle inspections for cars registered in Pennsylvania.

PennDOT is responsible for motor vehicle titles and registration along with issuing driver licenses. Through a system of decentralized, privatized providers, driver services are available at over 1700 sites statewide. The privatized system of providers sometimes referred to as auto tag agents or even private DMV offices has existed for over 45 years. This revolution of private DMV Offices has been followed by only five other states. However, Pennsylvania is the only state to separate motor vehicle offices from driver license offices. Driver license centers to this day are all run and owned by PennDOT, unlike motor vehicle offices which are strictly run and controlled by PennDOT however privately owned. An exception to this is at the PennDOT headquarters on Front St. in Harrisburg, which has a large room for all motor vehicle transactions and drivers' license transactions, with a separate room for photographing and issuing licenses to motorists.

There are over 1700 card agents and full agents, in which approximately 400 online messengers, each of these with incrementally increasing authority as dictated by law and all controlled by PennDOT. Online messengers exist throughout Pennsylvania with the same authorities as DMV offices in other states.

Bridges in Pennsylvania

According to a 2011 study by Transportation for America, 26.5% of Pennsylvania's bridges were structurally deficient and the state led the United States with six metropolitan areas with a high percentage of deficient bridges.[2] These figures would have been higher, but the state had recently undertaken a program to quadruple state funding for bridge repairs.[2]

Across the United States, 61,000 bridges are "structurally deficient,"[3] which means they need repairs, contain a piece rated as "poor," and might also have a weight limit. The term structurally deficient does not mean a bridge is unsafe for travel. In Pennsylvania, eight of the top ten most traveled structurally deficient bridges are located in Philadelphia.[4]

Pennsylvania has the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the U.S.[3] Overall, the state has 25,000 bridges excluding privately owned bridges, which is the third-largest number of bridges in the U.S.[5] Pennsylvania has launched a program called the Rapid Bridge Replacement project to increase the number of bridges it fixes. The project is a public-private partnership between PennDOT and the private firm Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners. The project fixed almost 700 bridges in 2014.[3]

Districts

Administratively PennDOT is divided into engineering districts to localize engineering and maintenance. The following is a table of the districts and their associated headquarters. The statewide headquarters for PennDOT is located in the Keystone Building in Harrisburg.

District Counties Headquarters
1 Crawford County

Erie County

Forest County
Mercer County
Venango County
Warren County

Oil City, Venango County
2 Cameron County

Centre County
Clearfield County
Clinton County
Elk County
Juniata County
McKean County
Mifflin County
Potter County

Clearfield, Clearfield County
3 Bradford County
Columbia County

Lycoming County
Montour County
Northumberland County
Snyder County
Sullivan County
Tioga County
Union County

Montoursville, Lycoming County
4 Lackawanna County
Luzerne County

Pike County
Susquehanna County
Wayne County
Wyoming County

Dunmore, Lackawanna County
5 Berks County
Carbon County

Lehigh County
Monroe County
Northampton County
Schuylkill County

Allentown, Lehigh County
6 Bucks County
Chester County

Delaware County
Montgomery County
City and County of Philadelphia

King of Prussia, Montgomery County
8 Adams County
Cumberland County

Dauphin County
Franklin County
Lancaster County
Lebanon County
Perry County
York County

Harrisburg, Dauphin County
9 Bedford County

Blair County
Cambria County
Fulton County
Huntingdon County
Somerset County

Hollidaysburg, Blair County
10 Armstrong County

Butler County
Clarion County
Indiana County
Jefferson County

Indiana, Indiana County
11 Allegheny County

Beaver County
Lawrence County

Bridgeville, Allegheny County
12 Fayette County

Greene County
Washington County
Westmoreland County

Uniontown, Fayette County

Criticism

PennDOT has received criticism over the years. The biggest controversy has been the quality of the roads in the Commonwealth, as Pennsylvania in the past has had among the worst roads in the United States.[6] (However, according to a July 14, 2015 article in the Business Insider, PA roads didn't even make the top ten (10) worst roads in the nation. [7] ) Among the reasons:

  • The rather long period of time used for construction, which in most cases has caused delays by several years.
  • Accusations that cheap material is used, which explains why roads are in need of repairs again so soon after construction.
  • Ignoring needed repairs or putting in temporary fixes such as simply filling in potholes.

See also

References

  1. ^ Stringham, Shand H. (2004). "Does Quality Management Work in the Public Sector?". Public Administration and Management: An Interactive Journal. 9 (3): 182–211.
  2. ^ a b "The Fix We're In For: The State of Our Nation's Busiest Bridges" (PDF). Metropolitan Bridge Rankings. Transportation for America. October 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-12. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Public-private partnership helps Pennsylvania repair bridges". TI Daily. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  4. ^ Gough, Paul J. (1 April 2015). "How Pennsylvania fares when it comes to structurally deficient bridges (Video)". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Bridge Information". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  6. ^ 10 States With The Worst Roads And Bridges. Business Insider (2010-08-13). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  7. ^ "These are the US states with the worst roads". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-12-20.

External links

Allen Biehler

Allen D. Biehler was Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a position he held between 2003 and 2011. Barry Schoch was designated as his successor by Governor Tom Corbett.

Fort Pitt (train)

The Fort Pitt was a 117-mile (188 km) daily passenger train operated by Amtrak between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Altoona, Pennsylvania. The Fort Pitt was a so-called Section 403(b) train, meaning that its operation was subsidized by the state of Pennsylvania.

The Fort Pitt operated in tandem with the Pennsylvanian, then a Pittsburgh—Philadelphia service. The westbound Pennsylvanian, after arriving in Pittsburgh in the evening, would be turned around and east to Altoona. The following morning, that trainset returned to Pittsburgh as a westbound Fort Pitt, then ran eastbound to Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) as a Pennsylvanian. This allowed Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to operate two routes with the same two equipment sets. A typical consist was three to four Amfleet coaches pulled by an EMD F40PH locomotive. Amtrak added Pitcairn as a stop in mid-1981 to supplement the Pittsburgh—Greensburg Parkway Limited commuter train.The Fort Pitt began operation April 26, 1981, and was withdrawn on January 30, 1983, when PennDOT declined to continue funding the train. On average, the Fort Pitt carried 30 passengers daily, set against a subsidy of $547,453.

List of BicyclePA bicycle routes

In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, BicyclePA bicycle routes are a series of bicycle routes created in the 2000s to cross the state on highways and rail trails.

List of U.S. Routes in Pennsylvania

In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, U.S. Routes are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Pennsylvania Route 171

Pennsylvania Route 171 (also designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 0171) is a 40.17-mile-long (64.65 km) north–south state highway located in northeast Pennsylvania. The southern terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 6 Business in Carbondale. The northern terminus is officially at an intersection with U.S. Route 11, 250 feet (76 m) to the west of I-81.PA 171, at its southern end, was once part of the Providence and Carbondale Turnpike, which ran along US 6 Bus. from Dickson City to Carbondale and PA 171 from Carbondale to Forest City. The turnpike, chartered in 1851, ran from Scranton until being abandoned in 1889. In 1911, after the Sproul Road Bill was signed, a large segment of PA 171 was designated as Legislative Route 10. This was its designation for several years, and in 1928, the mass amount of state highways in Pennsylvania were designated.

In the 1928 renumbering, the alignments of PA 171 were designated as Pennsylvania Route 70, Pennsylvania Route 602, and Pennsylvania Route 692, which stretched the highway from U.S. Route 6/U.S. Route 106 in Carbondale to the New York state line at Hallstead. In 1946, PA 692 and PA 602 were later removed from the state system and replaced by an extended PA 70. In 1961, PA 70 was renumbered as PA 171 to prevent duplication with I-70.

Pennsylvania Route 184

Pennsylvania Route 184 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 184) is an 9.68-mile-long (15.58 km) state highway located in Lycoming county in Pennsylvania. The western terminus is at Route 287 in Brookside. The eastern terminus is at Steam Mill Road, just after an interchange with U.S. Route 15 in Steam Valley, a hamlet of Cogan House Township. The route was first designated as a spur from Route 84 in Brookside to U.S. Route 15 via Cogan House Road. (Route 84 was renumbered to Route 287 in 1961.) Construction is currently underway on US 15 to upgrade several miles each way from its intersection with Route 184 to interstate standards. This includes a new interchange with Route 184.

Pennsylvania Route 290

Pennsylvania Route 290 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 290) is a 9.17-mile-long (14.76 km) state highway located in the environs of Erie, Pennsylvania. The western terminus of the route is at Interstate 79 and Pennsylvania Route 5 in the neighborhood of Dock Junction. The eastern terminus is at Interstate 90 and Pennsylvania Route 430 southeast of downtown in Harborcreek Township.

Pennsylvania Route 362

Pennsylvania Route 362 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as PA 362) is a 5.3-mile-long (8.5 km) state highway located in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The western terminus is at U.S. Route 6 in Shippen Township. The eastern terminus is at Route 660 near Wellsboro in Delmar Township.

Pennsylvania Route 370

Pennsylvania Route 370 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 370) is a 16.73-mile-long (26.92 km) state highway located in Susquehanna and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania. The western terminus is at Route 171 in East Ararat. The eastern terminus is at Route 191 in Buckingham Township near Hancock, New York. Route 370 was first designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways in 1928 from the intersection with then Route 70 in East Ararat to an intersection with Route 570 in the hamlet of Preston Park (in Preston Township). The route was extended to an intersection with Route 90 (now Route 191) in 1946, when the 23-mile-long (37 km) Route 570 was decommissioned.

Pennsylvania Route 434

Pennsylvania Route 434 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 0434) is a 12.47-mile-long (20.07 km) state highway located in northeast Pennsylvania. The western terminus of the route is at Pennsylvania Route 739 in the Blooming Grove Township community of Lords Valley. The eastern terminus of the route is at the New York-Pennsylvania border in Shohola Township, where PA 434 crosses the Delaware River and enters New York, becoming New York State Route 55 at an intersection with New York State Route 97 in the town of Highland. State Route 434 used to be part of Pennsylvania Route 37 and Pennsylvania Route 137.

Pennsylvania Route 492

Pennsylvania Route 492 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 492) is an 8.19-mile-long (13.18 km) state highway located in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. The western terminus is at U.S. Route 11 in New Milford. The eastern terminus is at Route 92 in Jackson Township.

Pennsylvania Route 664

Pennsylvania Route 664 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 0664) is a 17.59-mile-long (28.31 km) state highway located in Clinton and Lycoming counties in Pennsylvania. The southern terminus is at State Route 120 in Lock Haven, while the northern terminus is at State Route 44 on the Clinton-Lycoming county line in the community of Haneyville. The route passes through small communities, but does not intersect with any other legislated highways in the area.

The route was assigned in 1930, two years after a majority of state routes were assigned, and was gradually paved from 1935 to 1966. There have been no changes in road alignment since its inception.

Pennsylvania Route 731

Pennsylvania Route 731 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as State Route 0731) is a 4.80-mile-long (7.72 km) state highway located in the southwest region of Fulton County, Pennsylvania. The route, known locally as Fairview Road and McKees Gap Road, begins at an intersection with Pennsylvania Route 484 in Union Township. The highway heads northeast, through hilly regions before reaching the northern terminus at Interstate 70 in Union Township. Interstate 70 continues north to get to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and south to pass into Maryland.

PA 731 was originally signed in 1930. It was assigned to a series of local roads in northwestern Philadelphia. It was numbered this way until the PA 731 designation was removed in 1952. In 1964, the route was designated onto its current alignment.

Pennsylvania Route 737

Pennsylvania Route 737 (PA 737) is a state highway in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The route runs from U.S. Route 222 (US 222) in Kutztown north to PA 143 in Albany Township. PA 737 heads north from an interchange with the US 222 Kutztown Bypass north of Kutztown on Krumsville Road. It continues north through a small part of Maxatawny Township into Greenwich Township. The road features an interchange with Interstate 78 (I-78)/US 22 near the village of Krumsville. PA 737 then heads northwest into Albany Township where it ends at PA 143 near the village of Kempton.

PA 737 was assigned to a formerly un-designated local road between Kutztown and Kempton on March 8, 1962. Around that time, US 222 served as the southern terminus in downtown Kutztown. When the Kutztown Bypass was constructed in the 1970s, US 222 was realigned off of Main Street in Kutztown and onto the bypass. The road, at that point, ended at the now locally maintained Main Street until 1978, when the designation was truncated. Since then, the route has remained on the same alignment. Two bridges along the route between Kutztown and Krumsville were replaced in 2011. There are plans to reconstruct the interchange with I-78/US 22 into a diamond interchange, shifting the route slightly to the east.

Pennsylvania Route 823

Pennsylvania Route 823 (PA 823) was a short-lived state highway in the western Pennsylvania county of McKean. PA 823 went northward from the community of Big Shanty along Big Shanty Road and Laffayette Avenue for 3.4 miles (5.5 km), terminating at an intersection with U.S. Route 219 (US 219) in nearby Lewis Run. The route was commissioned by the Department of Highways (now Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) in 1929 and was decommissioned in 1932.

Pennsylvania Route 858

Pennsylvania Route 858 (designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 0858) is a 16.465-mile-long (26.498 km) state highway located in Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania. The southern terminus is at PA 706 in Rush Township. The northern terminus is the New York state line in Little Meadows. The route from there continues as Tioga County Route 41. The route was assigned in 1928, completed a year later, and has remained the same since, with an exception of its southern terminus changing designations from Pennsylvania Route 67.

Pennsylvania Route 958

Pennsylvania Route 958 (also designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as SR 0958) is an 8.63-mile-long (13.89 km) state highway located in Warren County, Pennsylvania. The designation's southern terminus is at an intersection with U.S. Route 6 in Pittsfield Township. The route heads through several small communities, including Lottsville, where it goes on a short concurrency with Pennsylvania Route 957. The northern terminus is at the New York state line at Freehold Township, just east of Bear Lake. There, the route continues through New York as Chautauqua County Route 33. Route 958 was designated in 1928 as a connector from U.S. Route 6 to the community of Wrightsville, where the designation terminated. The route was extended northward along its current alignment in 1936 and has remained unchanged since.

Pennsylvania State Route System

In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, state highways are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Each is assigned a four-digit State Route (SR) number in the present Location Referencing System. Traffic Routes are signed as Interstate Highways, U.S. Routes and Pennsylvania Routes (PA Routes), and are prefixed with one to three zeroes to give a four-digit number. PA Routes are also called Pennsylvania Traffic Routes, and formerly State Highway Routes.

Transportation Management Association of Chester County

Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), is a public transportation agency designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to oversee transportation needs of Chester County, Pennsylvania. According to the website, the organization provides services to facilitate car pools, van pools, and bus shuttles. The organization works closely with other organizations such as SEPTA, Krapf Transit and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

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