According to a release issued by PennDOT, Governor Tom Corbett and PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch hel a press conference last week highlighting how the agency's new ePermitting process for Highway Occupancy Permits (HOPs) is saving time and money for job-creating businesses across the state.
"PennDOT's new ePermitting process is a perfect example of my commitment to make state government more responsive and less bureaucratic," said Governor Corbett. "Highway occupancy permits are now being processed in less than half the time compared to PennDOT's old paper-based system, which means less down time for businesses and faster job creation."
Each year, PennDOT issues approximately 15,000 such permits to businesses, utilities, developers, homeowners and municipalities wanting to complete projects that require access to state roadways. Norristown has several state-owned roads within its boarders including:
- DeKalb Street
- Markley Street
- Airy Street
- Sandy Street
- Johnson Highway
- Forrest Avenue
Until last October, permit applications were submitted by hand or mailed to PennDOT offices. Now the process is entirely electronic and applicants can check the status of their permit application online.
"Permits that once took 30 to 45 days to review are now being returned to
our business partners within an average review time of about 10 days," said PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. "Customer response has been overwhelmingly positive and we're proud that the system is helping to deliver a more modern PennDOT."
According to PennDOT, the new system not only saves time for area businesses, but also saves them money by reducing paper, mailing and reproduction costs. The system's transparency also allows for businesses to communicate directly with the reviewers and anticipate when the permit will be issued.
"One of the chief goals of my administration has been to cut red tape, to reduce spending and where we can, eliminate waste altogether," Corbett said. "Above all, we look for ways that state government can do things more efficiently."
PennDOT's ePermitting system for HOPs was recently presented with a regional "Best Use of Innovation" Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Governor Corbett also recently presented the Governor's Innovator Award to two PennDOT employees – Glenn Rowe, P.E. and Roger Riley – for their roles in developing PennDOT's ePermitting system.
For more information, go to www.dot.state.pa.us.