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About Us: Press Room

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
January 31, 2018
CONTACT:
Daniel Alwine, Project Development Specialist
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
412-391-5590 ext. 388; email: dalwine@spcregion.org

SPC Approves Over $34 Million for 16 Projects Across Southwestern Pennsylvania Region
Adaptive Traffic Signal Systems, Corridor Improvements, and Traffic Demand Management Projects Approved to Relieve Congestion and Improve Air Quality

[ Download the PDF version of this press release here. ] [ Static Map of Selected CMAQ Program ]

Pittsburgh—The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) has approved $34.25 million in project funding through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. The projects approved for funding advance the region’s adopted long range plan, Mapping the Future: The Southwestern PA Plan, and its regional policy of designing the region’s infrastructure system to protect and enhance public health and the environment.

“I appreciate the efforts of the project sponsors and the Commission as they continue to promote new technologies that will improve the transportation network, invest in regionally significant corridors, increase transit service, and advance projects that will decrease delays while simultaneously improving our air quality,” said SPC Chairman and Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi. “Businesses and their employees thrive when we can provide them with a consistent transportation network, and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcomes of these projects, particularly the reinvestments occurring in Charleroi Borough.”

The federally-funded CMAQ Program provides funds for transportation projects and programs that will improve the air quality of the region. Projects were selected for the competitive program using an SPC-sponsored local process that utilizes performance based metrics to score, rank, and ultimately fund and program projects that provide the best air quality benefit for the investment.

“As the region continues to grow and attract new opportunities, investing in our regional transportation and transit systems are extremely important to sustain current businesses, while also encouraging new economic development,” said Allegheny County Executive and SPC Vice Chairman, Rich Fitzgerald. “CMAQ projects allow us to improve the movement of people and goods within our region while also focusing on improving our air quality. Through these investments, we can continue to see the region remain one of the most livable in the nation and provide additional benefits to all of our residents.”

The CMAQ program of projects reflect a well-rounded and inclusive investment for the region. The sixteen projects approved by SPC include strategic investments in the region’s congested corridors that will deploy state-of-the-art adaptive traffic signal systems, establishment of last mile transit service to enhance and support the RideACTA shuttle service, funding to support a major safety and congestion relieving project along the Parkway West (I-376), and traffic demand management strategies and outreach to support the budding development clusters within the City of Pittsburgh.

"Collaboration and planning at all levels has played a significant role in bringing to fruition these corridor and multimodal improvements in the high growth areas of Butler County," noted Butler County Commissioner Leslie Osche. "The CMAQ awards are a result of coordination among municipalities, PennDOT, Butler County and its Planning Department, our elected officials, and private and public partners. These important projects were identified as priorities by our community stakeholders, and I’m looking forward to seeing their hard efforts pay off.”

The federal CMAQ Program provides funds for transportation projects and programs that will improve the air quality of the region by contributing to attainment or maintenance of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM).

“Corridor communities like Connellsville experience both local and regional traffic which can cause congestion and safety concerns,” continued Fayette County Commissioner Vince Vicites. “Reinvesting in these key corridors will improve the vitality and quality of life for residents and commuters alike.”

The CMAQ Evaluation Committee, comprised of county planners, regional transit agencies, and PennDOT officials, recommended the 16 projects to SPC’s Transportation Technical Committee, which then recommended the projects to the full Commission for its approval in December.

“Transportation Demand Management is a proven strategy to support and enable economic growth and revitalization while reducing congestion by encouraging more efficient, affordable and reliable travel options,” said City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania are on the rise, and enacting these strategies to respond to the significant changes in transportation demand will enable sustainable growth.”

The 16 projects are programmed for federal fiscal years 2021 and 2022, and will be included in SPC’s 2019 – 2022 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), scheduled for adoption by the Commission in June. It is SPC’s policy to program projects for CMAQ funding that provide the best air quality benefit for the investment; are consistent with the policies set forth in SPC’s adopted long range plan; and, support two important goals of the federal Department of Transportation: improving air quality and relieving congestion.

PennDOT District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni expressed her enthusiasm to implement new signal technology within the region. “District 11 is very excited to advance these adaptive signals projects,” said Moon-Sirianni. “Considering that congestion continues to grow in our region and the difficulty, expense, and significant impacts to businesses and residences that come with building out highways, using traffic management strategies such as adaptive signals has shown to be an effective tool to mitigate our increasing traffic and congestion.”

The selected projects below can be viewed on an interactive story map, which features project details, descriptions, and locations. For more information on the SPC CMAQ Program, including program details, project maps, and other information please visit the
SPC CMAQ homepage.

The selected CMAQ projects include:

  • Adaptive Traffic Signal Systems; Allegheny County: Installation of seven adaptive traffic signal systems along major commuting corridors in Allegheny County identified within SPC’s Congestion Management Process. These systems, already employed on U.S. 19 in McCandless and Pine Townships and on U.S. 22 in Murrysville and Monroeville, will be supervised at the PennDOT District 11-0 Traffic Management Center to access and monitor the performance of the signalized corridors, and be placed on the PennDOT 511 system for public use. The seven strategic corridors that will benefit from these improvements are:
    • U.S. 19, Washington Road – Township of Upper St. Clair
    • U.S. 19, Banksville Road – City of Pittsburgh
    • State Route 51, Clairton Boulevard – Boroughs of Baldwin, Brentwood, Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills, and Whitehall; and, the City of Pittsburgh
    • State Route 88, Library Road – Castle Shannon Borough, Municipality of Bethel Park, and the City of Pittsburgh
    • State Route 1001, Freeport Road – Boroughs of Aspinwall, Blawnox, and Sharpsburg; Township of Ohara; and, the City of Pittsburgh
    • State Routes 1001 and 910, Freeport Road and Indianola Road – Harmar Township
    • State Route 3069, Washington Road and West Liberty Avenue – Borough of Dormont, Municipality of Mt. Lebanon, and the City of Pittsburgh
  • State Route 356 Corridor Improvements and State Route 356 Traffic Responsive Signal Upgrades; Buffalo and Butler Townships, Butler County: Two separate projects will address corridor improvements and traffic signal upgrades along S.R. 356 in Butler County. The S.R. 356 Corridor Improvements Project in Buffalo Township will increase mobility, accessibility and safety by adding a continuous two-way center left turn lane or dedicated left turn lanes where required, and replacing or upgrading existing traffic signals with adaptive or traffic responsive controls. This project also includes the expansion of the existing Park-n-Ride Lot near the Butler/Freeport Interchange of S.R. 356 and S.R. 28. The S.R. 356 Traffic Responsive Upgrade Project will study existing traffic patterns and upgrade signal control and detection platforms to incorporate traffic responsive systems along S.R. 356 from Moraine Pointe Drive to Campus Lane in Butler Township.
  • State Route 88 Corridor and Signal Enhancements; Borough of Charleroi, Washington County: Replacement or removal of 15 deteriorated traffic signals along the separated State Route 88 Corridor (McKean and Fallowfield Avenues) in the Borough of Charleroi. The project will include all new modern signals, support poles and related equipment, coordination of all signals in the corridor, vehicle and pedestrian detection, emergency vehicle and railroad preemption, and ADA accommodations. All of these improvements will reduce delays and increase safety for all users of the transportation network.
  • Traffic Demand Management (TDM) Coordinator and Outreach Program; City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County: A coordinated, city-wide TDM Coordinator will develop TDM strategies and work with existing Transportation Management Associations, business groups representing major employers, and organizations in emerging economic development clusters. The City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure will deploy TDM strategies such as public education, outreach, marketing, promotions, and improved multimodal options to reduce peak-hour congestion and single occupancy vehicle trips, and achieve vehicle emission goals.
  • State Route 119 Corridor Improvements; City of Connellsville, Fayette County: The upgrade or replacement of five traffic signals in the City of Connellsville, which will include improved vehicle detection and controller capabilities, increased ADA accommodations, and the implementation of timing coordination to promote efficient system management and operation.
  • Expansion of RideACTA Last Mile Service; Moon and Findlay Townships, Allegheny County: The service expansion and technology upgrades will extend new service between the Allegheny County Port Authority’s University Boulevard Park-n-Ride Lot and employers and destinations along University Boulevard in Moon Township, and key employers in Findlay Township. CMAQ funding will also enable the innovative RideACTA shuttle service to introduce new technology upgrades that will improve efficiency of service for riders and reduce overall trip costs.
  • State Route 8 Main Street Signal Improvements; City of Butler, Butler County: Traffic signal improvements along the S.R. 8 Main Street Corridor in Butler County from Penn Street to Pittsburgh Street. The project will increase the safety and
    operation of the corridor with improved signal capabilities, and accommodate the ongoing economic development through the City of Butler.
  • Interstate 376 (Parkway West) Banksville Interchange; City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County: Funding to advance a significant congestion reduction, system reliability, and safety improvement project at the Banksville Interchange of the Parkway West (I-376). The latest traffic data shows this location to be the fifth highest congested area in Pennsylvania due to the bottleneck at the eastbound I-376/Banksville Interchange. The project will improve the current condition by eliminating weaving on eastbound I-376 within the Banksville Interchange and by improving the merge, diverge, and weaving movements on the ramps from S.R. 51 to I-376 West/Banksville Road. The bottleneck reduction strategies will build upon the improvements already completed on the Park

Additional Background:

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) is the region's forum for collaboration, planning and public decision-making. As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the ten-county region including the City of Pittsburgh and the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland, SPC is responsible for planning and prioritizing the use of all state and federal transportation funds allocated to the region. As the Local Development District (LDD) and Economic Development District for Southwestern Pennsylvania (as designated by the U.S. Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce), SPC establishes regionaleconomic development priorities and provides a wide range of public services to the region.

[ Download the PDF version of this press release here. ] [ Static Map of Selected CMAQ Program ]

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