Local projects receive federal funds to improve transportation alternatives

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Fifty-six projects to improve transportation alternatives are in line for $33 million in federal funds, PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch announced.

Transportation alternative projects enhance pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improve access to public transportation, create safe routes to school, preserve historic transportation structures, provide environmental mitigation, create trails that serve a transportation purpose, and promote safety and mobility.

“These awards represent yet another way PennDOT is working to broaden the reach of transportation investments in Pennsylvania,” Schoch said. “Combined with awards from the new state Multimodal Fund and the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund, this program opens the door to an even wider variety of improvements for the people of Pennsylvania.”

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, the 2012 federal transportation authorization act known as MAP-21, introduced fundamental changes to the administration of local programs, including those that had existed as separate programs in SAFETEA-LU, the previous authorization act. Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, Scenic Byways and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) are now consolidated into the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).

PennDOT evaluated the applications and made selections based on such criteria as safety benefits, reasonableness of cost, readiness for implementation, statewide or regional significance, integration of land use and transportation decision making, collaboration with stakeholders, and leverage of other projects or funding.

The following is a list of awards of local interest:

Carbon County:

Carbon County — $2 million for installation of a prefabricated pedestrian bridge across the Lehigh River to connect the 60 miles of D&L Trail north in Carbon and Luzerne counties to the 105 miles of D&L Trail in Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties.

Columbia County:

Bloomsburg — $459,600 for installation of new curb cuts and high visibility crosswalks, and a new lighting system meeting current standards.

Lackawanna County:

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority — $126,422 for a two-mile section of the Carbondale Riverwalk in Carbondale and Fell Township.

Luzerne County:

Dallas Township — $130,000 for design and construction of an extension of the Back Mountain Trail from Overbrook Road to Dorchester Road.

Wilkes University — $1 million for streetscape and pedestrian safety improvements for two streets in the City of Wilkes-Barre: South Franklin Street and West South Street.

Lycoming County:

Williamsport — $1 million for the Williamsport Pathway to Health Project, a multi-phased streetscape, safety improvement and primary health service delivery program for the City of Williamsport. This award covers phase three of the project.

Pike County:

Pike County — $461,725 for construction of the Mott Street Pedestrian Bridge to connect Milford with the National Park Service’s McDade Trail, Milford Knob, and the Pinchot Trail.

Susquehanna County:

Montrose Borough — $189,000 for new sidewalks along South Main Street.

Herrick Township — $1 million for construction of seven miles of a 70-mile rail-trail in Herrick and Ararat townships. Includes drainage improvements, grading, surfacing, access control and signage.

■ Wyoming County:

Keystone College — $755,903 for construction of a 1.2-mile non-motorized community-use pedestrian & bike trail, which will serve as a connection to facilitate travel between high-use community recreational and educational facilities in La Plume and Factoryville.

Wyoming County — $821,276 for the Nicholson Tourism Center at the Historic DL&W Railroad Station, which will revitalize the region by attracting tourists to the rehabilitated station, the Tunkhannock Viaduct (the Nicholson Bridge), Nicholson, Wyoming County, and the Endless Mountains.

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