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After avoiding cuts, Arnold Palmer Airport gets a federal grant

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

 U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has announced that a grant for $456,018 has been awarded to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe to expand a terminal parking lot.

“Arnold Palmer Regional Airport is important to the region’s economy,” he said in a statement. “This grant will allow the airport to improve its facilities to help ensure that it continues to be a safe and reliable hub of transportation for Western Pennsylvania.”

The control tower at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport was nearly closed this year because congressional inaction on the national debt triggered automatic spending cuts. The FAA in May backed off of its plan to close 149 towers to cope with the cuts. In doing so, it spared us the spectacle of Congress paying for a parking lot expansion at Palmer while not paying for air traffic controllers.

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Repeating this item from an earlier post because a technical glitch kept it mostly hidden from view earlier:

This map in a report issued today by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows the states that have banned hand-held cell phone use by drivers (along with states that ban texting while driving). Interesting that most of the states with cell phone bans are huddled on the coasts. The report, which describes progress against distracted driving, credits Pennsylvania for banning texting but notes that the ban is undermined by the lack of a ban on hand-held cell phone use. That makes it difficult for police to discern whether a driver is texting or simply dialing a phone number, which is still legal. Legislation to ban hand-held cell phone use has not gained any traction in the Legislature so far.

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And more from the report:

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To read the full report, go here.

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Reader Sandy S. wonders why PennDOT doesn’t have reversible traffic on the one lane of West Carson Street that will stay open during construction — allowing inbound traffic in the morning and outbound in the afternoon and evening. The answer is that elaborate safety measures including crossovers and gates would be needed to prevent traffic from entering in the wrong direction (similar to what’s in place at the Parkway North HOV lanes). PennDOT says it will use off-duty police and adjust traffic signals to keep the detour moving after the outbound side of West Carson is closed. Today's PG story on the impending project is here.

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Speaking of HOV, our other car pool facility, the Wabash Tunnel, remains closed. Port Authority is having problems getting the software for a new gate system to work properly. The tunnel has been closed or restricted since October when a truck damaged the gates. The authority says it expects to open the tunnel this month, but previous “this month”s have come and gone.

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workzoneA reminder that Castle Shannon Boulevard is NOT the place to be after 7 p.m. today, when milling and paving will restrict traffic to an alternating one-way pattern between Route 88 and Willow Avenue in Shannon.

A lane will be closed in the outbound Fort Pitt Tunnel from 10 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Thursday.

Inspections of railroad bridges in West Mifflin will restrict traffic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. On Thursday, the restrictions will be on Buttermilk Hollow Road between Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard and Thompson Run Road; on Saturday, the fun shifts to Delwar Road approximately 200 feet north of the intersection of Lebanon Church Road. Flaggers will direct traffic at both locations.

The Route 65 work zone will stretch out again this weekend, with single-lane traffic in both directions from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday from Elizabeth Avenue in Avalon to the McKees Rocks Bridge during milling and paving.

Short-term lane closures on Route 28 in East Deer, Fawn, Harrison and Tarentum will continue into mid-August as crews take core samples for a future project. The restrictions between Creighton (Exit 13) and the Butler County line are possible from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays on the northbound side; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays heading south.

Crack sealing will cause periodic evening and overnight lane closures on Route 30 from the Parkway East interchange in Wilkinsburg to Route 48 in North Versailles after 7 p.m. weekdays through Tuesday. Work wraps by 6 a.m. daily.

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