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Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

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NEWS
September 13, 2016
Like death and taxes, there are two guarantees when it comes to driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: potholes and toll increases. But despite nine years of annual toll hikes, the Turnpike Commission's finances have crumbled worse than the 360-mile road. In fact, the commission has amassed a debt level that is "potentially unsustainable," according to a recent audit by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The audit found the commission's net position - assets minus liabilities - has ballooned from $1.76 billion in 2007 to a negative $4.11 billion in 2015.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has quietly hired a private investigator from Western Pennsylvania to examine the turnpike's purchasing and contract-compliance practices. The turnpike authority hired Corporate Security and Investigations of Monaca, Pa., for $75,000 a year to provide "confidential investigative and audit services related to procurement, contract compliance and invoicing policies and practices as they apply to vendors providing supplies, services or construction.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Thousands of motorists are getting an expensive lesson in sign reading from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. At a new E-ZPass-only interchange on the turnpike's Northeast Extension in Carbon County, 4,537 motorists used the ramps without an E-ZPass between June 30 and July 13, ignoring large green-and-purple-and-yellow signs proclaiming "E-ZPass Tagholders Only. " Now, each of them can expect a bill of $64.75 in the mail. That includes a $25 administrative fee and a $39.75 toll based on the most distant exit on the turnpike: the Ohio border, 400 miles away.
NEWS
September 10, 2016
ISSUE | PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE Lack of leadership driving debt crisis It was disappointing, but not surprising, to read about the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's crippling debt ("Auditor: Turnpike finances in decline," Wednesday). The fact that the state legislature and governor enacted a law in 2007 requiring annual payments from collected tolls and turnpike reserves to help fund PennDot is a blatant example of our elected officials ducking the difficult fiscal decisions they are elected to make.
NEWS
January 4, 2013
TURNPIKE TOLLS will increase Sunday by 10 percent for cash customers and 2 percent for E-ZPass customers, generating about $25 million in new revenue, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Wednesday. It said the funding is needed in part to address a shortfall in transportation funding. By law, the authority annually contributes $450 million to PennDOT. The boost is also needed to fund reconstruction and widening projects, which have historically cost the authority about $20 million per mile.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Construction is to start late next month or in early October on the long-awaited direct connection between Interstate 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, after the award of a $142.9 million contract to a Bucks County firm. PKF-Mark III Inc., of Newtown, won the contract from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to build the first section of the $420 million Stage 1 of the new interchange that will finally provide an unbroken I-95 between Maine and Florida. For decades, I-95 has been incomplete in New Jersey near Trenton.
NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
Two former employees of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission were charged Wednesday by state prosecutors with collecting pay for time they did not work. Sharie Anne Sacco, 56, and Stephen Michael Dombek, 51, were accused of stealing more than $8,000 by falsifying their work hours and using state vehicles for personal use. The Turnpike Commission conducted 39 days of surveillance between April and June last year on Sacco, a construction manager, and caught her submitting bogus time reports for all 39 days, prosecutors said.
NEWS
April 18, 2016
ISSUE | BLIZZARD OF 2016 Drivers at fault for getting stuck on turnpike Regarding the editorial "Turnpike's snow job" (Thursday), maybe we should look at this not from the perspective of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission or its critics, but from that of the drivers who, though "this storm was extraordinarily well predicted," still decided to use the highway. Why would those truck and car drivers venture out after there was "warning of a major Northeast snowstorm a week in advance"?
NEWS
October 19, 2015 | By Scott Sturgis, For The Inquirer
I'm ready to toss my E-ZPass transponder in the trash - and that may be possible in the future. With one transponder shared among the Sturgis Family of Fine Automobiles, I've stumbled into a labyrinth of missed transponder readings, missed letters, and added fees. So I took my indignation to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, from whom I purchased the transponder a few years back, and stumbled upon a plan to make everyone's ride on the turnpike a little quicker, and some tips to avoid E-ZPass problems.
NEWS
February 22, 1991 | By John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
Philadelphia Democratic Party chief Robert A. Brady is likely to be named by Gov. Casey to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, replacing Peter C. Camiel, who died last month. Casey administration sources yesterday confirmed that Brady was interested in the post. Brady, in an interview, said he has "talked to some people" in the administration and the state Senate about the job. He said those people seem favorably inclined toward his nomination. "They're telling me it's kind of a tradition for a party chairman from an eastern county" to get the appointment, Brady said.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 13, 2016
Like death and taxes, there are two guarantees when it comes to driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: potholes and toll increases. But despite nine years of annual toll hikes, the Turnpike Commission's finances have crumbled worse than the 360-mile road. In fact, the commission has amassed a debt level that is "potentially unsustainable," according to a recent audit by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The audit found the commission's net position - assets minus liabilities - has ballooned from $1.76 billion in 2007 to a negative $4.11 billion in 2015.
NEWS
September 10, 2016
ISSUE | PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE Lack of leadership driving debt crisis It was disappointing, but not surprising, to read about the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's crippling debt ("Auditor: Turnpike finances in decline," Wednesday). The fact that the state legislature and governor enacted a law in 2007 requiring annual payments from collected tolls and turnpike reserves to help fund PennDot is a blatant example of our elected officials ducking the difficult fiscal decisions they are elected to make.
NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
Two former employees of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission were charged Wednesday by state prosecutors with collecting pay for time they did not work. Sharie Anne Sacco, 56, and Stephen Michael Dombek, 51, were accused of stealing more than $8,000 by falsifying their work hours and using state vehicles for personal use. The Turnpike Commission conducted 39 days of surveillance between April and June last year on Sacco, a construction manager, and caught her submitting bogus time reports for all 39 days, prosecutors said.
NEWS
April 18, 2016
ISSUE | BLIZZARD OF 2016 Drivers at fault for getting stuck on turnpike Regarding the editorial "Turnpike's snow job" (Thursday), maybe we should look at this not from the perspective of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission or its critics, but from that of the drivers who, though "this storm was extraordinarily well predicted," still decided to use the highway. Why would those truck and car drivers venture out after there was "warning of a major Northeast snowstorm a week in advance"?
NEWS
January 26, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf and other state officials praised the work of road crews and emergency responders Sunday for the absence of fatalities or serious injuries on Pennsylvania's highways during the weekend snowstorm. But they left unanswered the many questions remaining after several tractor-trailer trucks jackknifed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near milepost 123 on Friday night, causing a backup that stranded an estimated 500 cars, trucks, and buses for hours into Saturday night. The backup forced the Turnpike Commission to close miles of I-76 east of Pittsburgh and dozens of marooned trucks were not cleared until Sunday.
NEWS
December 19, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
When it came to his employment, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was a revolving door for Philadelphia Democratic ward leader Dan Savage, a steady paycheck between political campaigns. Now Savage is suing the commission, contending that his bosses changed the rules about running for office without notifying employees even as he was campaigning unsuccessfully last year for a seat in the state Senate. A spokesman for the Turnpike Commission on Thursday said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.
NEWS
October 19, 2015 | By Scott Sturgis, For The Inquirer
I'm ready to toss my E-ZPass transponder in the trash - and that may be possible in the future. With one transponder shared among the Sturgis Family of Fine Automobiles, I've stumbled into a labyrinth of missed transponder readings, missed letters, and added fees. So I took my indignation to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, from whom I purchased the transponder a few years back, and stumbled upon a plan to make everyone's ride on the turnpike a little quicker, and some tips to avoid E-ZPass problems.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Thousands of motorists are getting an expensive lesson in sign reading from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. At a new E-ZPass-only interchange on the turnpike's Northeast Extension in Carbon County, 4,537 motorists used the ramps without an E-ZPass between June 30 and July 13, ignoring large green-and-purple-and-yellow signs proclaiming "E-ZPass Tagholders Only. " Now, each of them can expect a bill of $64.75 in the mail. That includes a $25 administrative fee and a $39.75 toll based on the most distant exit on the turnpike: the Ohio border, 400 miles away.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is seeking about $45 million from a tech company that was central to a state investigation into corruption at the Turnpike Commission. In a lawsuit filed in Dauphin County Court, the Turnpike Commission contends that Ciber Inc., a Colorado-based technology firm, overcharged and under-delivered on its $82 million in contracts to create and install a computerized financial-reporting system for the turnpike. Former Ciber vice president Dennis Miller is also a defendant in the suit.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chinese investors have begun signing up to spend $500,000 each to help pay for a long-awaited connection between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95. In exchange, the investors hope to get permanent residency in the United States for themselves and their families. Agents for the novel financing plan have been pitching the proposal in China since September, touting the project's financial stability and showcasing photos of Gov. Corbett and Turnpike Commission officials breaking ground for the construction in Bucks County.
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