Through the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Congress allocates funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies each year. In developing this legislation, Senators and Representatives are afforded the opportunity to seek funding for key local transportation projects and economic development initiatives.
Below is a list of the Pennsylvania projects for which I am seeking funding for in the fiscal 2010 appropriations cycle. It is important to note that each of these projects has been subjected to considerable scrutiny. All potential recipients are required to complete a detail project questionnaire, and each of these questionnaires has been thoroughly reviewed by my staff in both Washington and Pennsylvania. In many instances my regional field representatives have visited the projects and applicants have met with my staff in Washington for further evaluation.
During this period of economic difficulties, I am mindful that American taxpayers expect that their elected representatives will avoid actions that will lead to waste, fraud, and abuse. I take this obligation seriously. In evaluating these projects, I focused on the job creation potential associated with each initiative as well the project’s potential to improve the quality of life in Pennsylvania communities. I am also committed to working with my colleagues in the Pennsylvania delegation and on the Senate Appropriations Committee to make sure that only meritorious projects that are in the best interests of taxpayers are funded through this process.
In the interest of transparency and accountability, I am posting these projects on my website for your review. As the appropriations process for fiscal 2010 moves forward, I plan on posting more information on the status of these and other projects in Pennsylvania.
The projects for which I am requesting congressionally-directed funding in this appropriations bill are as follows:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Airport Improvement Program
Name of Potential Recipient: Fayette County
Location: Connellsville, Fayette County
Project Name: Connellsville Airport Runway Safety Area Project
Purpose: The requested funding will be used to construct a runway safety area (RSA) at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport. The RSA is required by the Federal Aviation Administration in order to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft that may overshoot or undershoot the runway. As all necessary engineering has been completed for this project, it can be bid and under construction within 90 days of the receipt of funding.
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
Transportation, Community and System Preservation
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Borough of Carlisle
Location: Cumberland County
Project Name: Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project
Purpose: Funding will be used for streetscape improvements to the Borough’s main thoroughfares, High and Hanover Streets and Carlisle Borough’s centrally-located courthouse area. The design calls for blending vehicular and pedestrian activities in a compatible setting and merging old and new materials and architectural styles that currently exist in the core of Carlisle’s business district. Based on the firms’ on-site surveys and interviews, streetscape improvements were proposed consisting of sidewalk and curb replacement; the introduction of curbed bump-outs and heavy duty ADA ramps; installation of new and salvaged brick; refurbished street lighting; colored, stamped concrete; new tree wells and street furniture.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Borough of Gettysburg
Location: Gettysburg Borough, Adams County
Project Name: Gettysburg Gateway Transportation Improvements
Purpose: Funding will be used for context sensitive traffic mobility, safety improvements, pedestrian infrastructure upgrades, multimodal accommodations, and visitor parking improvements to the Borough of Gettysburg’s southern and western gateways. The southern gateway is the commercial district of Steinwehr Avenue and the western gateway is Seminary Ridge. Transportation improvements to the southern and western gateways of the Borough of Gettysburg will prepare the town for an influx of visitors and media attention surrounding events commemorating the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013.
The transportation infrastructure systems of the southern and western gateways need improvements to preserve them and enable them to continue to support the visitors and residents of Gettysburg. This will minimize business closures and job losses, and will maximize use of already developed land in a county experiencing significant population growth and substantial development pressure on its open space. The infrastructure improvements needed are a combination of street resurfacing; crosswalk, sidewalk, traffic calming, signalization, and other safety improvements; context sensitive lighting, sidewalk treatment, and furnishings; sidewalk widening; multimodal accommodation; trail development; and parking accommodations and improvements.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/City of Lancaster
Location: Lancaster, Lancaster County, PA
Project Name: Dillerville Rail Yard Relocation
Purpose: If awarded, funding would be used to relocate the Norfolk Southern Dillerville Rail Yard that currently blocks connecting the City of Lancaster’s east and west street grid system and the new campuses of Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster General Hospital. The project is the second phase (Phase II) of a larger economic development initiative known as the “Northwest Gateway Project” that will transform nearly one-quarter of the City of Lancaster by redeveloping the abandoned Armstrong Industrial site into a project consisting of educational and medical facilities and mixed uses, and will provide Norfolk Southern the ability to meet their customers’ growing demands.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/City of Lock Haven
Location: Lock Haven City, Clinton County
Project Name: Lock Haven Pedestrian Mall Project
Purpose: If awarded, funding will be used to construct a pedestrian mall in the City of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania between Lock Haven University and the Downtown area. The City is proposing to construct a pedestrian mall connecting the Lock Haven University’s Durrwacher Conference Center to the downtown and Susquehanna Square, a new $18 million development currently under construction consisting of a hotel, condominium units and restaurants. The pedestrian mall will support each of these facilities and will serve as a vital link between the University’s student population and downtown merchants. LHU has a student population of approximately 5,000 and employs 600 faculty and staff.
The estimated cost for the pedestrian mall is $2,065,000 and will include new sidewalks, curbing, street lights, street trees, tree grates and an existing city roadway will be narrowed to accommodate one-way traffic and provide sufficient space to add the pedestrian facilities. In addition, a fence will be provided to prohibit pedestrians access to the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks adjoining the street. The project is currently under design. The City is committing $563,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for engineering design and construction and has secured $1,002,000 in Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds for this project. The City is requesting $500,000 to assist with the construction of the pedestrian mall. During the construction of the project it is estimated that 17 jobs will be temporarily created, 4 indirect jobs will be created and 8 induced jobs will be created.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Location: City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
Project Name: Interstate 579 “Cap” - Urban Green Space & Park Plaza
Purpose: Funding will be used to build a pedestrian “cap” over I-579 where it cuts in between downtown Pittsburgh to the east and the Lower Hill District to the west. The “cap” would be a new urban green space that finally reconnects the Lower Hill District to downtown, is a plaza up to the new Consol Energy Center, and further promotes development of the Lower Hill District.
In addition to adding valuable urban green space, the cap would finally connect the Lower Hill District to the rest of downtown Pittsburgh and enable further/stronger development in and around the new Consol Energy Center site by attracting new ideas and development projects.
Name of Potential Recipient: National Park Service
Location: Shankesville, Somerset County
Project Name: Flight 93 National Memorial
Purpose: In 2002, the Flight 93 National Memorial Act (P.L. 107-226) established the creation of the Flight 93 National Memorial “to commemorate the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who, on September 11, 2001, courageously gave their lives thereby thwarting a planned attack on our Nation’s Capitol.” Funding will be used for the federal share of the infrastructure needs costs to accomplish Phase 1A and 1B of the project as described and approved in the park’s General Management Plan. Federal funding will be combined with private and state funding to protect the crash site, and build the memorial, visitor center and exhibits, approximately 3 miles of roads, parking, pedestrian access and circulation, water, sewer, electricity, & other infrastructure needs.
Surface Transportation Priorities
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Location: Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Interstate 81 Rebuild/Expansion
Purpose: Funding for this portion of the I-81 Rebuild/Expansion project will be utilized for improvement initiatives within the targeted I-81 corridor stretching from Nanticoke in Luzerne County to Clarks Summit in Lackawanna County. Improvement measures may include, but are not limited to ramp extensions, traffic calming activities, widening initiatives or other improvements as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
This corridor of I-81 is a link of strategic significance for Northeastern U.S. Cities, the Mid-Atlantic region and Southern States and a conduit for interstate and international trade. Further, it serves as an alternate route to the highly congested I-95 corridor and includes major interchanges with Interstates 380 and 476 and services extensions to Interstates 80 and 84, all major routes for the movement of goods and people in the northeast United States.
Improvements slated for the targeted corridor of I-81 will address ramp deficiencies, bridge deficiencies and mainline roadway deficiencies leading to increased safety, congestion reduction and positive economic impacts. Further, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements will enhance management of this roadway by PennDOT and allow for the increased flow of information to the public.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Antrim Township
Location: Franklin County
Project Name: Interstate 81 Exit 3 Interchange Improvements
Purpose: Funding will be used for improvements to the interchange of Interstate 81 at Exit 3, connecting Interstate 81 and U.S. Route 11 to the east. These improvements will address existing traffic deficiencies as well as create capacity for planned economic development, including 6 million square feet of industrial space and 300,000 square feet of retail and commercial development upon full build-out.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Centre County
Location: Centre County
Project Name: U.S. Route 322 Corridor Safety Improvements
Purpose: The nine mile section of U.S. Route 322 between Potters Mills and Boalsburg, Centre County, PA is a major east/west arterial, serving as the eastern connector of the 100 mile transportation corridor between Hershey/Harrisburg and State College, PA. The project for which funds are being requested will complete two modules of an overall safety improvement plan for the corridor. Route 322 has seen a steady increase in traffic, in the number of accidents, and unfortunately in the number of fatalities over the last twenty years. Based on 2007 traffic counts, this section of Route 322 currently has an average daily traffic count of 11,550. Of this volume, 2,553, or 22 percent , was truck traffic. In addition to the increase in typical daily traffic counts, this roadway experiences exceptional traffic increases at certain times during the year related to events at The Pennsylvania State University (i.e., football games, graduation, and other events). Project proponents estimate that this project will create approximately 50 temporary construction jobs.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/City of Allentown
Location: Allentown City, Lehigh County
Project Name: American Parkway Bridge
Purpose: The project consists of the Engineering design and contract document preparation for American Parkway Architectural Enhancements along the proposed roadway corridor. The construction of the new bridge and roadway as a safe and higher capacity access to and through the City will encourage local residents to use the bridge to access and patronize local businesses. The additional local community support will strengthen and better establish the local businesses and encourage their economic prosperity in the state of Pennsylvania. The City of Allentown is reviving the economic conditions of the downtown area and will use the bridge gateways that enter the City as a means to provide functional, structural, and sound bridges that are aesthetically inviting accesses into the City. The American Parkway Architectural Enhancements project will provide a much needed aesthetic improvement of the link to the downtown area from the surrounding townships.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/City of Harrisburg
Location: Harrisburg City, Dauphin County
Project Name: Southern Gateway (planning phase)
Purpose: Funding will provide for the planning and coordination of land uses, utilities and roadway designs for a sustainable community that will be the largest economic development project in the history of the City of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The 26-acre site, with proper planning, will result in 3.6 million square feet of mixed use space including laboratories for education and food industry research, 6,500 jobs, and an expected 1.5 billion dollars of private investment.
The Southern Gateway Project began as an economic development project to access a landlocked lot maintained by Harristown Development Corporation. After years of road design work toward that goal, the resulting grid pattern revealed the ability to do a larger project, further enhanced in capacity with the realization that buildings could be constructed upon a plinth, raising buildings out of a floodplain and creating a holistic, sustainable community. The site occupies a 26 acre brownfield site at the southern tip of the landlocked downtown of Harrisburg, PA., poised as a strategic location for a regional center—served by existing rail and interstate transportation corridors and controlled by only two interested institutional parties: a hospital and local development agency.
The Southern Gateway Project is poised to create substantial primary and secondary job growth, shift the City’s economic foundation from government toward research/manufacturing and transform the purpose and image of an at-risk city. The Project doubles the downtown area and will double the municipal tax-base, stabilizing the City financially. Due to the Project’s size, site constraints and sensitive location, detailed urban design is necessary to optimize the benefits of a high-density urban development integrating University-affiliated research and development activities, mixed-income housing, commercial space and regional multimodal transportation.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Cumberland County
Location: Cumberland County
Project Name: Craighead Bridge Replacement Project
Purpose: Funding will be used to engineer, design, and replace Craighead Bridge in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County. Craighead Bridge is one of the worst bridges in Pennsylvania and is located in a rapidly developing part of Cumberland County. The 110 year-old steel thru truss bridge carries nearly 2000 vehicles per day across the Yellow Breeches Creek and connects two of the largest manufacturing businesses in Cumberland County to adjacent state highways. The bridge is functionally obsolete, structurally deficient, and has an estimated remaining life span of only 4 years. Further, the bridge has a sufficiency rating of 2 on a scale from 1-100, which makes it the worst bridge in South Central Pennsylvania and the 15th worst conditioned municipally owned bridge in Pennsylvania. Project proponents estimate that the project will create 60 jobs.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Downingtown Borough
Location: Downingtown Borough, Chester County
Project Name: Boot Road Extension Bridge over Brandywine Creek
Purpose: Federal funding will be used for construction of a new 300-foot, multi-span bridge over the Brandywine Creek that will connect Boot Road (S.R. 2020) to Viaduct Avenue (S.R. 3053), both components of the State Highway System. The bridge will have one travel lane in each direction with sidewalks.
The bridge is a central component of the Boot Road Extension Project, a $7.7 million project that will improve the functionality of U.S. Route 322 (S.R. 0322), establish a gateway to key redevelopment sites in the Borough of Downingtown, and greatly expand intermodal access to the Downingtown Train Station, a regional transportation center serviced by Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor and the SEPTA R5 line, one of the busiest regional rail lines in the Philadelphia region. The project will provide vital access to several key sites targeted for redevelopment.
Project proponents report that this project will create significant opportunities to redevelop underutilized industrial sites within the Borough. At full build-out, project proponents expect that these redevelopment projects are anticipated to create 2,200 jobs.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Lackawanna County
Location: Lackawanna County
Project Name: SR 6247 Section 000 Valley View Business Park Access Road
Purpose: Funding will be used to construct a new access road to support the 1,300 acre Valley View Business Park (VVBP) regional commerce center in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. As a result of a working partnership between government (local, state and federal), business and environmental interest groups, a premier commerce center for Northeast Pennsylvania, VVBP, has been created on what was once abandoned mine property – turning an environmental problem into a solution. However, because a reclamation site was chosen, existing roadways do not exist, and a new road alignment must be built to open up the remaining lands of VVBP. Project proponents estimate that this initiative will create over 1,000 construction related jobs and 5,000 new full-time jobs as a result of the business development opportunities that may arise from this project.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Lawrence County
Location: Lawrence County
Project Name: Route 60/422 Interchange
Purpose: This project involves the widening of the on and off ramps from single lane access to double lane access at the Route 422 and Route 60 Interchange in Union Township. This will allow for the redesignation of Route 60 to Interstate 376, which will begin in Allegheny County, flow into Beaver County, up into Lawrence County and end at Interstate 80 in Mercer County. This project will create efficient roadways and promote economic development. Project proponents estimate that this project will create approximately 100 temporary construction jobs.
Name of Potential Recipient: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/Moon Township
Location: Allegheny County
Project Name: Thorn Run Road Interchange Upgrade
Purpose: Funding will be used for the Thorn Run Road Interchange upgrade in Pennsylvania. This project consists of signalizing and reconfiguring the ramps of the Business Route 60 Thorn Run Road exit in Moon Township, Allegheny County.
The Thorn Run Road Interchange opened to traffic in 1987. Coincidentally, development activity increased tremendously. The Thorn Run Road Interchange supports over 2.5 million square feet of commercial development. As a result of this increased growth and the many developments within Moon Township, it is now necessary to perform minor upgrades at the interchange. A recent Web survey of Moon residents cited improvements to the Thorn Run Road Interchange as the number one transportation-related priority within the township.
With regard to job creation, the proposed Thorn Run Road Interchange upgrade will support existing jobs in Moon Township. While project proponents contend that it is difficult to determine the total employment within the vicinity of the interchange; it is important to note that there is approximately 2,500,000 square feet of commercial office space accessed through this interchange.
FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION
Bus and Bus Facilities
Name of Potential Recipient: Area Transportation Authority of North Central Pennsylvania
Location: Counties of Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter
Project Name: Bus Terminal/Storage Facilities
Purpose: If awarded, funding will be used for site locations, appraisals, preliminary engineering and environmental studies, property appraisal/acquisition costs for multiple bus terminals/storage facilities. The Authority has an established terminal facilities capital program including the location of five terminals throughout a 5087 square mile service area (six counties) served by ATA. These terminals provide facilities to secure revenue equipment purchased with federal, state and local funds but also provide a place for the riding public to access transit services out of the elements ensuring safe loading/disembarking. The terminals will also provide a location to purchase tickets and to obtain schedules for the riding public. Due to the geographic dispersion of the region, terminals/storage facilities are necessary in the larger communities of the service area. These facilities provide for safe access to public transit as well as the security of capital equipment purchased with federal, state and local funds.
Name of Potential Recipient: Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA)
Location: Centre County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Compressed Natural Gas Powered Articulated Transit Buses
Purpose: Funding will be used to purchase up to four compressed natural gas powered articulated transit buses for use in Centre County, Pennsylvania. CATA began its alternative fuel program in 1996 with the purchase of 16 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered buses, all of which reached the end of their expected service life in 2008 and must be replaced.
Name of Potential Recipient: County of Lackawanna Transit System
Location: Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Bus replacement
Purpose: Funding will be used to purchase (22) 35’ hybrid buses. The buses will be used to provide public transportation services in Lackawanna and part of Luzerne Counties. New buses will be hybrid state of the art vehicles that will enable COLTS to continue, enhance and expand our service to the citizens of both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.
The purchase of these new hybrid buses will allow COLTS to increase the mobility of all riders, in a safe, economic fashion that will enhance the environment with less fuels, toxins and travel time, while the reduction of individual commuters who switch to public transit can reduce a household carbon footprint by 10%.
Name of Potential Recipient: Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA)
Location: Erie County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Joint Transit Operational Facility, Erie, PA
Purpose: Funding will be used be used for building demolition and site preparation for a 61,256-square-foot maintenance facility that will provide 15 maintenance bays, an additional 2 bays for the body shop, and an additional 2 bays for the paint area.
Currently, the EMTA operates two facilities, separated by location and purpose. One facility is used to operate the fixed-route service while the other is used to operate the paratransit service. In Pennsylvania, no other public transit agency operates separate facilities. Most consolidated their services years ago. The existing fixed route building, built in 1967, is obsolete. It is one of the oldest transit operation facilities in the Commonwealth. The building has issues with exhaust fumes entering into the administrative offices, which requires more than 20% of the bus fleet to be parked outside. The facility is not ADA compliant. In addition, the configuration of the facility does not provide adequate or safe vehicle movements into the maintenance area. The newly designed facility will accommodate and correct these short comings as well as function as a joint operations facility for both the paratransit and fixed route vehicles.
EMTA is taking a lead role in designing its new facility, which will be located adjacent to the existing fixed-route facility. The new facility will streamline operations and incorporate information technology management tools to allow the facility to serve a dual purpose: make operations efficient and serve the community during an emergency by providing evacuation services. The current building’s emergency generator is undersized and cannot provide adequate power to maintain critical functions for maintenance, scheduling, and dispatching. This limits the EMTA’s ability to support emergency management operations in the community. Federal funding for Phase I of this project will assist in funding the building demolition and site preparation for a 61,256-square-foot maintenance facility that will provide 15 maintenance bays, an additional 2 bays for the body shop, and an additional 2 bays for the paint area.
Name of Potential Recipient: Port Authority of Allegheny County
Location: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Hybrid Bus Purchase
Purpose: Funding would be used to purchase hybrid buses, which have proven to reduce fuel consumption, maintenance costs and emissions to improve air quality. Port Authority replaces approximately 75-80 buses per year, and funding is critical to obtain a safe and efficient vehicle fleet to service 70 million passengers on an annual basis.
Port Authority of Allegheny County provides a network of public transportation services to persons traveling within a 775 square-mile area including the City of Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County. The funding required will provide for the replacement of “retired” regular 100% diesel powered buses with new 20 hybrid 36 seated passenger buses.
Port Authority has currently operated (6) hybrid buses since the summer of 2005. These buses and technology have proved to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and the overall cost to maintain the vehicle on an annual basis. Due to the proven success and overall efficiencies these vehicles have provided in a short amount of time, Port Authority would like to introduce more Hybrid technology to their existing 800 plus bus fleet.
Name of Potential Recipient: Shenango Valley Shuttle Service
Location: Hermitage, Crawford County
Project Name: Shenango Valley Shuttle Service, PA
Purpose: Funding will be used to replace an aging fleet of three forty foot “Low Floor” ADA accessible shuttle buses that serves Mercer County’s most in need residents of the Shenango Valley. The importance of the SVSS to be able to begin replacing its current fixed route bus fleet, consisting of 4 vehicles, is now becoming critical. Three of the four shuttle buses, which are used on a daily basis, have exceeded 75% of their 10 year useful life. The SVSS provided its service area of approximately 39,483 residents with over 100,000 one-way much needed transportation rides. This proposed project would provide for the replacement purchase of three (3) forty-foot Gillig “Low Floor” ADA wheelchair accessible, 30- passener shuttle buses.
The SVSS serves riders in the population center of Mercer County, approximately 40,000, who in the vast majority are under-employed or the elderly which depend on this service for all their transportation needs.
Name of Potential Recipient: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
Location: Counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery and the City of Philadelphia.
Project Name: Bus Fare Collection System Modernization
Purpose: This funding increment will be used for the acquisition of an Electronic Payment and Fare Collection System for buses. The goal of this project is to create an electronic fare payment and fare collection system that enables SEPTA riders to access all transit services through a common electronic fare media.
The existing farebox equipment is 14 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. With its age and constant usage, there is a continual struggle to keep the equipment operating with minimal malfunctions, down time, delays and customer inconvenience. These fareboxes are utilized on SEPTA’s bus and trackless trolley fleet that serve 120 routes in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties and the City of Philadelphia. The electronic system will feature an open payment system, including contactless "smart card" technology, or other emerging media forms that are secure, reliable, convenient and customer-friendly for passengers, and that provides continuous ridership data and complete and accurate revenue accountability for SEPTA. Project proponents expect to create 475 jobs through this project.
Name of Potential Recipient: Federal Transit Administration & NJ Transit
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania & Northwest New Jersey
Project Name: Lackawanna Cut-Off Restoration Project
Purpose: This project involves the startup of commuter trains service between Scranton, Pennsylvania and New York City. A dire need exists for this service to alleviate the critical congestion that is occurring on Interstate 80 which is the only existing transportation alternative in this corridor. This rail startup commuter service will provide service to Monroe, Wayne, Lackawanna and Pike Counties regions of Pennsylvania which include the fastest growing counties in Pennsylvania in terms of population growth. This service will benefit commuters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by providing an alternative means of commuter service.
Over 20,000 Pennsylvania residents commute to jobs in New Jersey and New York City everyday and use an extremely congested Interstate 80 that is approaching gridlock. This passenger rail service will offer these residents the only alternative to this congestion disaster that is growing worse every year on Interstate 80. Project proponents estimate that this project has the potential to create 450 jobs.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Economic Development Initiatives
Name of Potential Recipient: Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation
Location: Altoona City, Blair County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Blair County Sustainable Communities Project
Purpose: If awarded, funding would be used for acquisition, demolition and site preparation within Blair County’s blighted urban core areas, including downtown Altoona. The Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD) and its partners will facilitate redevelopment efforts of underutilized sites and buildings through sustainable smart growth principals with the goal of providing suitable locations for new commercial, residential, industrial and mixed-use development in the county’s urban centers.
Blair County communities such as the City of Altoona continue to combat urban blight even as they struggle with limited resources. Blighted structures and the associated societal problems within these neighborhoods result in a more rapid deterioration of adjoining structures, de-investment in property upkeep, devaluation of real estate and, in many cases, an increase in criminal activity including drug trafficking and related crimes. The Blair County communities have partnered with “Operation Our Town”, an organization dedicated to fighting drugs and violent crime in Central Pennsylvania, with the goal of working to eliminate blight which tends to be a heaven for this type of criminal activity. This Sustainable Communities Project will be an effective tool in supporting the “Operation Our Town” initiatives as it relates to housing and the elimination of blight. In addition, the Sustainable Communities program will provide an impetus to spur mixed-use redevelopment within urban core areas by opening up new land to investment opportunities to the benefit of all including those living in these depressed areas.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Aliquippa
Location: Aliquippa City, Beaver County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Downtown Development Initiative
Purpose: Funding will be used for improvements of 4 acres of commercial property in Downtown Aliquippa for the purpose of a retail development project. This project will involve new streetscape and lighting, as well as the acquisition of property necessary to complete a proposed retail development project which will include a grocery store, gas station, and other satellite businesses. There is no grocery store presently in existence in the City. Private Developers are available for investment.
The City of Aliquippa will benefit from this project by removing severely blighted and vacant substandard buildings from the City. Presently these buildings harbor illegal drug activities and destroy property values as well as community pride. By eliminating this problem, neighborhoods will be less prone to drug trafficking and the property valuations will no doubt increase. Residents will develop a greater sense of civic pride, knowing that these blighted conditions have been removed, will be more apt to improve and maintain their properties. Additionally, these properties will be made available for purchase by both residents and developers. Ultimately, properties will be placed back on the tax rolls, benefiting the City and School District with additional revenues, per capita and the creation of jobs.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Coatesville
Location: Coatesville City, Chester County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: The Fleetwood Street Redevelopment Project
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to encourage revitalization of a fire damaged city block that is blighted and has underutilized properties. This plan seeks to encourage new development of mixed use buildings located in the City of Coatesville & its Downtown Revitalization Area. This plan is intended to promote the revitalization of the City of Coatesville through acquisition, demolition, and redevelopment.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Lancaster
Location: Lancaster City, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Redevelopment of the Lancaster Stockyards
Purpose: The Lancaster Stockyards was a blighted 21-acre property on the north side of the City of Lancaster, with numerous dilapidated structures. The project has a critical need of support for drainage, paving, streetscape improvements, landscaping, low-level site lighting, traffic calming and pedestrian accessibility features. The project serves as a critical first step in the revitalization of a severely blighted area and compliments PennDOT’s TIP plan to support the Lititz Pike Corridor Improvement Project. The site’s current environmental condition creates significant redevelopment roadblocks that need to be rectified in order to spur the Lancaster Gateway vision. . The project will be a high-quality urban redevelopment project that transforms the Stockyards into an economic and social hub of the community. Project proponents expect that the project will generate the create of more than 500 full-time high-paying jobs for the City.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia City, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: 9th and Berks Economic Development Project
Purpose: This initiative would support diverse development – from mixed income housing to neighborhood retail – around the existing rail station and 9th and Berks Streets, adjacent to Temple University. This area is currently occupied by City-owned office and parking facilities that are not the highest and best use for the land, as they contribute little to the neighborhood and do not make full use of the excellent transit access.
City officials expect that this project will create a hub of commercial, and real estate development that will bring life to the surrounding area while providing the accessible, appealing link to the rest of the City that has long been an important objective for the University. Critically, because a portion of the funds will be used to support the creation of affordable housing, they will help ensure that the development of the neighborhood does not come with blanket gentrification that destabilizes the community and drives existing residents out. Without consistent investment in these amenities, it will be more difficult in particular for the neighborhood to capitalize on Temple’s historic expansion plans.
Federal funds would be combined with local sources, including in-kind contributions of City-owned land, to support mixed-use development in the area around the 9th and Berks rail station. Projects to be supported may include affordable housing, streetscape and façade improvements, and commercial development.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Reading
Location: Reading City, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: The Reading Berks Research and Technology Center
Purpose: Funding will be used for the Reading Berks Research and Technology Center, the centerpiece of a planned research zone along Route 183 in Berks County. In addition to extensive market research, scientists from Penn State-Berks, Penn State-University Park, USDA, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, the Department of Energy and private sector companies will be convened to identify the research and scientists to be recruited and based at the center. These experts will make the center a nationally recognized research institution. Additionally, the tract, previously used for ammunition testing and POW barracks, qualifies as a brownfield site and has been certified as blighted and will be redeveloped.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Scranton
Location: Scranton City, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Demolition of Hazardous Structures
Purpose: Funding will be used for elimination of slum and blight in Scranton. The City of Scranton has a very successful demolition program. The Neighborhood Police Patrol funded through CDBG funding teamed up with the City’s Department of Licensing, Inspections & Permits to identify hazardous or blighted structures. When the Neighborhood Police Patrol walking the beat in low moderate income areas reports locates a property that is a threat to the public safety they report the property to the City’s Department of Licensing, Inspections & Permits. This allows LIPS, in addition to their regular condemnation of blighted properties, additional help in locating blighted properties to eliminate the threat of public safety and welfare. Receiving additional federal funding along with the City’s Community Development Block grant funding would have a greater impact on the safety of the community.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of Warren
Location: Warren City, Warren County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Warren Downtown Economic Development Project
Purpose: The project will improve and/or rebuild deteriorated streets, sidewalks with handicap accessibility, and storm drainage on principal corridor streets of Pennsylvania and Third Avenue, including Hickory and Liberty Streets. The public improvements will generate private-sector investments (approximately 20 new businesses/expansions and 285 new jobs over three years) and support new neighborhood home ownership programs and the recruitment of faculty and students to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Proponents estimate that the project would create expansion/new development of 20 businesses and 285 new jobs.
Name of Potential Recipient: City of York
Location: York City, York County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Restoration of York City’s Farmers Markets
Purpose: Funding will be used to restore the Central Market, Beaver and Philadelphia Streets and the Farmers Market, Penn and Market Streets in York City, Pennsylvania. Both historic markets are in need of repairs to restore the structural integrity and preserve the buildings for the future. These markets are essential to many city residents who do not have access to transportation to outlying supermarkets; and serve as the only locations where fresh, high quality produce and meats can be purchased in or near downtown.
Name of Potential Recipient: Co-Operative Farmers’ Market of Scranton
Location: Scranton City, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Project Name: Scranton Farmers Market Restoration Project
Purpose: The revitalization of the Co-Operative Farmers’ Market of Scranton is an ambitious project proposed by the farmers themselves. The objective of the project is to replace and update an existing structure, built 70 years ago by the ancestors of the many of the current members. The existing market is an open air pavilion style roof covering the farmers and a block building to house a concession type kitchen, a fresh meat market and public restroom facilities. The depletion of the current structure, the increasing growth of consumer demand and the future generations of agriculture are the needs to be met by this project.
The new structure will offer a complete roofing system to cover the farmers and the consumer, extending the marketing season to year round and offering the possibility of community use of the facility. Including but not limited to solar energy for heating and cooling, an incubator kitchen for educational events of agriculture, fresh food handling, and preparation and preserving. The Market currently offers health and nutrition clinics, Penn State Master Gardeners, Pa Dept of Ag. and Lackawanna County Extension services. The final stage is to partner with the Lackawanna River Corridor and The Steamtown National Historic Park Trolley Excursion. The continuation of the Market insures the security of approximately 100+ agriculture related jobs along with new job possibilities in management, custodial, construction, nutrition and medical, environmental and many others as the Market fulfills the needs of our community as it grows.