PennDOT announces $24.7 million for smart transportation projects in 41 communities
“Smart Transportation” projects in 41 communities across the state will get a boost from $24.7 million in funding under the second round of Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative grants, PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. announced on Jan. 6.
The Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative, or PCTI, is a competitive funding program to support and encourage local transportation projects that exemplify the goals of Smart Transportation.
“Smart Transportation means partnering to build great communities for future generations of Pennsylvanians by linking transportation investments and land-use planning and decision-making,” said Biehler. “The Smart Transportation initiative has made great progress in advancing livability and sustainability goals.
“With PCTI, we want to underwrite and encourage planning and construction projects that demonstrate creative and efficient ways of bringing together local partners for transportation projects that improve our communities,” said Biehler.
PennDOT received 238 applications from cities, boroughs, townships, Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations, transit agencies, and advocacy groups requesting more than $175 million. The list of successful projects support local economic development; encourage walkable, multimodal, mixed-use development; improve regional connectivity; or enhance the existing transportation network.
In the first round of PCTI funding in 2009, $59.2 million was allotted to 50 Smart Transportation-related projects. Planning studies from the first round are nearing completion, and most of the construction projects were either initiated during the 2010 construction season or will go to construction in 2011.
Two of the completed construction projects from the first round are a mixed-use trail linking Altoona’s Penn State University campus to the central business district in Blair County and a free shared ride lot located near Interstate 81 and U.S. Route 22 in Lebanon County that serves commuters from Berks, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties. Lebanon Transit provides bus service to downtown Harrisburg from the lot.
PCTI funding comes from the state’s Transportation Improvement Program and is provided to project sponsors on a reimbursement basis after work is completed.
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