Two expansion projects on the Montour Trail have been funded with a state grant.
One will extend the trail into the Coraopolis business district, which should be a win for merchants and trail users. The other will connect the Library Viaduct over Route 88 with Pleasant Street in South Park Township.
Excerpts from the announcement by state Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon:
The Montour Trail Council was awarded $313,300 to construct approximately 0.8 miles of trail, which will complete the mainline of the Montour Trail from Moon Township into downtown Coraopolis Borough. The completed Montour Junction trial segment will wind directly through a major Allegheny County recreation project, currently in development, and will ultimately provide a connection point for future trails extending along the Ohio River to the state line.
“Bringing the Montour Trail into a town full of services is of great benefit to trail users and to the businesses that they will visit,” said Ned Williams, Montour Trail Council representative. “Tying into a new Allegheny County park and to other future trail systems makes this project even more valuable to the public. We are most grateful to our partners for their strong support.”
South Park Township was awarded $243,000 to construct approximately 900 feet of the Montour Trail, which would connect the east end of the Library Viaduct to residential Pleasant Street. The Viaduct is scheduled to be rehabilitated for trail use this coming year.
“Completion of the Pleasant Street project will provide an important amenity for the neighborhood as well as a key intermodal connection to the Port Authority’s Library Station park-and-ride lot in South Park,” Smith said.
Williams added, “Over thirty five miles of the mainline of the Montour Trail is nearly finished, up to the Library Viaduct. This Pleasant Street section sets the stage for continuing the trail further east to connect with completed Montour sections, and to link with the Great Allegheny Passage trail to Washington, D.C. South Park Township is a great partner in trail development.”
More than 9,700 volunteers from 35 counties across Pennsylvania canvassed their communities to remove 459,076 pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup event.
From September through October, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful worked together with local groups and organizations to coordinate 385 events throughout the state. Volunteers in Pennsylvania documented the trash that was picked up and the “top five” types of trash found during the 2013 cleanup included: 17,344 cigarette butts; 4,062 food wrappers; 3,259 plastic beverage bottles; 3,011 plastic pieces; 2,018 plastic bottle caps. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Allegheny CleanWays and the University of Pittsburgh led the state with 4,011 volunteers.
The good news, of course, is the volunteerism and improvement of our environment. The bad news is we’re pigs.
PennDOT will host an open house to present plans and construction schedules for the $19 million Route 51-Route 88 intersection project, which has already begun. The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday at St. Norbert Church meeting hall.
This is more of a minor nuisance than anything for Pittsburghers, but a federal tax break for transit riders is due to shrink starting Jan. 1 unless Congress acts. Currently, transit riders can pay for up to $245 per month in fares with pre-tax dollars and those who drive to work can do the same for their parking fees. Come Jan. 1, the parking allowance will increase to $250 per month, but if nothing is done, the transit benefit will go back to $130. That won't impact most Port Authority patrons in Zone 1 but will nick those who buy Zone 2 monthly passes for $146.25, as the reduced ceiling wouldn't cover all of their expense. Of course it's dumb to increase the incentive to drive vs. riding transit, but that's our Congress.
Here's a letter from several Pennsylvania congress members to the House leadership calling for a solution.
Route 88 will have lane restrictions until 3 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting, near the Route 51 intersection during pavement work.
The Wabash Tunnel will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily next Monday through Friday for replacement of ventilation fans.
UPDATE -- The Washington Boulevard closure scheduled for Saturday in Larimer has been postponed.
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