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Streetscape funding awaits Bush’s signature

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The federal transportation bill that includes streetscape funding for Heidelberg, Scott and Carnegie is headed to the White House for approval.

H.R. Bill 1195, which as of last Thursday had passed both houses of Congress, contains $2.4 million that will be targeted for various street improvements between First and Third streets on Route 50 in Heidelberg, Carothers Avenue in Scott and Third Street in Carnegie.

“Being a center point between the airport and the city, and at the crossroads of two interstate highways, these communities have so much to offer,” said U. S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, who developed the revitalization initiative.

Specifics of the streetscape plan need to be worked out, but past discussions have included using the federal money to repair infrastructure, relocate utility lines, provide secure lighting and add other amenities such as decorative benches and planters to make the three communities more inviting.

In addition, the Port Authority and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation are working with the communities to introduce transit-oriented development and create a blueprint for revitalization.

Legislation containing the funding passed the U.S. House twice, most recently in March 2007, but was held up in the Senate.

Mr. Murphy, who secured money in the House version, worked with U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, to move the bill in the Senate with additional funding for the project.

“This is an exciting springboard for these areas that have tried to rebuild,” Mr. Murphy said. “As the plans are developed, community input will be essential.”

He estimated that it would be several months after President Bush signs the bill before the money would be available.

Mr. Murphy added that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the midst of a $4.5 million plan to remove sediment from areas prone to flooding, such as Chartiers Creek and Robinson Run.

Carole Gilbert Brown is a freelance writer.
First published on May 8, 2008 at 5:39 am
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