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Casey, Specter Announce $25.8 million for Pennsylvania Transportation Projects

Casey, Specter Announce $25.8 million for Pennsylvania Transportation Projects

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter today announced that the Department of Transportation has awarded $25.8 million in federal funding for three Pennsylvania transportation projects.  The funding is from the second round of the “TIGER” (“Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery”)” Discretionary Grants Program.  

 “The funds going to these transportation projects will help create jobs and encourage economic growth in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Casey.  “These investments will go a long way towards reducing congestion, increasing mobility, and improving accessibility in these communities.”
 
 “I am pleased to see funds going to these transportation projects,” said Senator Specter.  “This funding will help ensure a diverse array of efficient transportation options for Pennsylvanians and promote economic development in the Commonwealth.”
 
Congress provided $600 million for “TIGER II” grants in the bill that funded the U.S.  Department of Transportation in fiscal year 2010.  As with the original TIGER program, which was established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded these funds through a competitive process to projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region.
 
Awards to Pennsylvania are as follows: 
Central PA Infrastructure Expansions to Meet Marcellus Shale Development – The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority and Lycoming County was awarded $10 million in TIGER II funds from DOT.  This funding will support a $53 million multi-modal project with 18 components in six counties in Central Pennsylvania.  The counties affected are Lycoming, Centre, Northumberland, Montour, Union and Blair. 
 
It will primarily consist of highway and freight rail infrastructure improvements to address emerging demands on the region’s transportation system resulting from Marcellus Shale development.  It also includes air, bicycle, truck, and passenger vehicle improvements. The improvements will help position the railroads to accommodate increases in rail freight traffic associated with natural gas exploration.
 
Dilworth Plaza (Philadelphia) – The Center City District (CCD), in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), is proposing a complete overhaul of the Dilworth Plaza, the public space to the west of City Hall.  This project was awarded $15 million in TIGER II funds from the DOT. The goal of the project is to make Dilworth Plaza a more accessible hub for regional transportation and create a civic gathering space for residents, employees and visitors. 
 
Construction on this project is expected to begin in early 2011.  The total project cost is $50 million.  This project will increase access to public transit in Philadelphia and create public space at the center of the city and will compliment other major renovation projects occurring in the downtown region including the Avenue of the Arts, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and the expansion of the convention center.   
Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Planning (Pittsburgh)—The City of Pittsburgh has been awarded a total of $1.5 million to sustain a plan to transform a six mile stretch of rail right of way to a green riverfront boulevard trail corridor.  DOT funded $825,000 of this and HUD provided the remaining $675,000. 
 
This project will connect downtown Pittsburgh to the eastern edge of the city along the Monongahela River.  The planning will reflect recent city wide strategies on housing and ecological restoration. 

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