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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has adopted a new approach to transportation project planning and development, state officials announced last week.Dubbed "PennDOT Connects," the department's approach will require more collaboration with local and planning stakeholders before project scopes are developed, according to a PennDOT press release. Discussion topics during collaborative meetings should include safety; bicycle and pedestrian accommodations; transit access; stormwater management; utilities; local and regional plans and studies; and freight-generating land uses.Collaboration will occur for projects without previously defined project phases, those that haven't started preliminary engineering or started preliminary engineering after July 1, 2016. Those equate to about 280 projects worth $2 billion, state officials said."Through PennDOT Connects, we're putting innovation, local resources, and strong partnerships to work so we can have the most sustainable, inclusive transportation assets possible," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards.
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