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SPC approves funding for air quality improvement projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) has approved US$34.25m in funding through the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program, which will pay for 16 transportation projects and programs that will improve the region’s air quality.

As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the 10-county region, including the City of Pittsburgh, SPC is responsible for planning and prioritizing the use of all state and federal transportation funds allocated to the region.

The projects approved for funding advance the region’s adopted long-range plan, ‘Mapping the Future: The Southwestern PA Plan’, and its regional policy of designing the region’s infrastructure system to protect and enhance public health and the environment.

The federally-funded CMAQ Program provides finance for projects that were selected for the competitive program using an SPC-sponsored local process that uses performance-based metrics to score, rank and ultimately fund projects that provide the best air quality benefit for the investment.

The CMAQ program of projects reflect a well-rounded and inclusive investment for the region. The 16 projects approved by SPC include strategic investments in the region’s congested corridors that will deploy seven state-of-the-art adaptive traffic signal systems, establishment of last-mile transit services to enhance and support the RideACTA shuttle service, funding to support a major safety and congestion relieving project along the Parkway West (I-376) corridor, and traffic demand management (TDM) strategies and outreach to support the budding development clusters within the City of Pittsburgh.

The federal CMAQ Program provides funds for transportation projects and programs that will improve the air quality of the region by contributing to attainment or maintenance of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM).

“I appreciate the efforts of the project sponsors and the Commission as they continue to promote new technologies that will improve the transportation network, invest in regionally significant corridors, increase transit service, and advance projects that will decrease delays while simultaneously improving our air quality,” said SPC chairman and Washington County commissioner Larry Maggi.

“Businesses and their employees thrive when we can provide them with a consistent transportation network, and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcomes of these projects.”

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto commented, “Transportation Demand Management is a proven strategy to support and enable economic growth and revitalization, while reducing congestion by encouraging more efficient, affordable and reliable travel options. This region is on the rise, and enacting these strategies to respond to the significant changes in transportation demand will enable sustainable growth.”

February 5, 2018

Written by Adam Frost

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