West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has created a blue-ribbon commission to study the Mountain State’s transportation needs and explore funding options. From the Parkersburg News and Sentinel:
The governor by executive order on Tuesday created the West Virginia Blue Ribbon Highway Commission to study the state’s transportation system and develop a long-term strategic plan of action.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the plan will include funding options for the maintenance, construction and expansion of the state’s roadway system. Joined by West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox, House Speaker Rick Thompson and Senate President Jeff Kessler, the announcement took place near the nearly 80-year-old Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge in Saint Albans, which is undergoing a $24 million renovation and expansion.
“West Virginia maintains the nation’s sixth largest highway system,” Tomblin said. “This new commission comprised of unions, associations, legislators, state and local leaders in transportation and travel industries will develop a long-term plan to help us meet our current and future needs for the safety of the traveling public and the economic development of the state.”
Which brings to mind that it has now been more than a year since Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s blue-ribbon commission presented its proposals for improving transportation. They remain on a shelf somewhere.
That brought criticism from a Democratic legislator this week. Rep. Mike Hanna, who represents Centre and Clinton counties, issued this:
Every day Pennsylvania waits to solve its transportation crisis, the bill rises by $1 million, and state Rep. Mike Hanna said that is unacceptable.
“Governor Tom Corbett has failed the people of Pennsylvania by ignoring his handpicked Transportation Funding Advisory Commission’s report for more than a year. His lack of leadership on this issue means even fewer bridges will be repaired in the future, putting our economy and Pennsylvanians’ safety at risk,” Hanna said.
“The commonwealth faces a massive crisis with regard to fixing our crumbling roads, bridges and public transit systems. When will Governor Corbett finally propose a comprehensive plan to fix our ailing transportation network?”
Riders of the T are getting “countdown clocks” that tell when the next train is arriving. But not Pittsburgh’s T -- the one in Boston. For our Port Authority, such a system is beyond its financial reach, at least for now. Here is the Boston Globe’s story.
Here’s the daily dose of road work updates:
Construction on Route 50 in Bridgeville will continue next week with milling and paving between the bridge over Chartiers Creek and Bower Hill Road. Alternating one-way traffic with flag crews will be in force nightly after 8 p.m. through Friday, wrapping up by 6 a.m.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane in both directions on the bridge that carries Route 837 (Duquesne/Kennywood Boulevard) over railroad tracks near Kennywood in West Mifflin around the clock starting next Wednesday (Aug. 22) through Oct. 12.
Inspection of bridges that carry Interstate 79 over Route 19 in Marshall will cause short-term lane and shoulder closures on weekdays starting Monday and continuing through Aug. 31. Work hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. northbound and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. southbound.
Traffic signal improvements will be made at four Boulevard of the Allies intersections in Downtown Pittsburgh starting Monday night. Affected intersections are at Commonwealth Place and Stanwix, Market and Cherry streets. Lane closures are possible weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and after 6 p.m. overnight concluding by 7 a.m. the next day, through next summer.
Drilling and research on Steubenville Pike in North Fayette and Robinson will begin Friday and bring short-term lane closures at times from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 21. Work will occur in various locations between McKee and Moon Run road.
Finally, a reminder that traffic on Route 28 will be stopped for about 15 minutes in both directions between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday while PennDOT demolishes the remaining old beams of the 31st Street Bridge where it connects with Route 28.
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