Media & Public Relations

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Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

October 2 , 2007


PTC Selects McCormick Taylor for I-80 Project

Engineering firm to help Turnpike implement Pennsylvania’s
transportation-funding solution.

HARRISBURG, PA (10/02/2007; 1630)(readMedia)-- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) has engaged McCormick Taylor Inc., a Pennsylvania-based engineering and planning firm, to spearhead the agency’s efforts to implement Act 44, the state’s transportation-funding law that will generate, on average, $1.6 billon a year over the next 50 years for repairs to local roads and bridges as well as badly needed investment for mass-transit agencies throughout the commonwealth.

McCormick Taylor, selected by the PTC through a competitive-bidding process, is a recognized firm with extensive Pennsylvania experience. The firm — which was awarded a 3-year, $3 million contract on Aug. 28 — has led the engineering and planning for dozens of major infrastructure projects in the commonwealth. Their communications and management practice is ideally suited to the challenges of advancing the I-80 project.

“We’re fortunate to have an innovative partner with the experience to help us navigate what will be a challenging process,” said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. “McCormick Taylor has the experience, the bench strength and the know-how to make sure we are successful in implementing this legislation.”

Brimmeier noted that public engagement and outreach is one of the firm’s core strengths, making McCormick Taylor a well-suited partner for the project.

“Our goals are to ensure public education and public engagement so that residents have the opportunity to be heard about this project,” Brimmeier said. “We need to make sure that residents across the I-80 corridor and the entire state understand what we are doing and why.”

McCormick Taylor Project Manager Barry Schoch noted that this legislation represents a major transition for both neighbors and motorists along this corridor. “We will approach the implementation of Act 44 very carefully, making sure we keep local officials across the I-80 corridor informed with plenty of opportunities to be involved in this process,” said Schoch.

He noted that the majority of the environmental and engineering work will be confined to the I-80 right-of-way, however area residents and commuters may see team members conducting field work. McCormick Taylor and the Turnpike will also be coordinating with affected counties and municipalities to collect information and plan for public meetings.

Brimmeier noted that progress toward full Act 44 implementation has already been made: The PTC made its first payment of $62.5 million to PennDOT as required by the legislation. The commonwealth and PTC have filed an expression of interest with the Federal Highway Administration and are seeking approval under a pilot program designed by the U.S. Congress and FHWA to encourage states to develop innovative funding streams for road and bridge maintenance and repairs.

The PTC has hired Wilbur-Smith, a nationally known firm, to conduct an I-80 traffic-and-revenue study to determine: • who the users are as a first step toward placement of up to 10 toll-collection facilities that Act 44 allows; • traffic-diversion impacts along the I-80 corridor and between the mainline Turnpike and I-80 (for example: with tolls on I-80, Route 322 may see changes in truck-traffic patterns as I-80 becomes a less desirable alternate route to the Turnpike mainline); and, • the types of toll facilities that will be proposed.

The PTC has launched a new web site found at dedicated to Act 44 and the I-80 conversion project.

McCormick Taylor engineers have begun the comprehensive analysis of I-80 to determine what improvements are needed including bridge work and selected safety and operational improvements such as new truck climbing lanes, interchange improvements and other roadway pavement maintenance. The Turnpike will invest approximately $2 billion in improvements to the road during the next 10 years.

In the coming weeks, the Turnpike will announce a series of public meetings along the I-80 corridor to gain input directly from local users.