Saxonburg Gets $1.4 Million for Main Street
By Tom Fontaine
Friday, January 7, 2011
Saxonburg has received a $1.4 million state grant to make long-awaited improvements along historic Main Street without robbing any of its 19th century charm.
“We’re going to take new materials and create an atmosphere like it was in the 1850s and ’60s,” said Ray Rush, who will oversee the project for the tiny Butler County borough.
Saxonburg’s grant was the largest of six totaling more than $4.4 million announced Thursday by PennDOT. The agency awarded almost $25 million statewide through its Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative. The program provided $59.2 million for transportation projects in 2009.
Saxonburg will use its money to install new curbs, brick sidewalks, planter strips with trees, and period lighting along 1,100 feet of Main Street. That will cover roughly half of the area that is recognized as a historic district both nationally and by the state.
The borough can trace its roots to engineer John Roebling, famed for his designs of wire cable and suspension bridges. He designed and developed Saxonburg almost four decades before he began designing the Brooklyn Bridge in the late 1860s.
“It’s important to celebrate the old. It’s something all communities should be concerned about,” Rush said. The work will begin next fall and should be completed in 2012.
The city of Pittsburgh will receive $280,000 for a traffic study in the Strip District and Lawrenceville related to its Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard development project. The city wants to help make its largely industrial Allegheny riverfront home to lush green spaces, trails, housing, commercial development and commuter rail.
“This most recent grant will allow us to continue the positive momentum that is happening in these vibrant neighborhoods,” said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Other grant recipients include:
• Richland, $1.3 million, to improve pedestrian access and traffic flow near the intersection of Route 8 and Ewalt Road.
• Airport Corridor Transportation Association, $700,000, to reduce congestion and provide better transit, pedestrian and bicycle access in the Robinson and North Fayette commercial area.
• Washington County, $443,500, to develop 9 miles of recreational trail to complete the Panhandle Trail between Carnegie and Weirton, W.Va.
• Armstrong County, $300,000, to perform a traffic study in Kittanning.