Development & Transportation

We cover how people move about the region, as well as trends in housing and commercial development.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The specter of rising housing costs in the neighborhood of Hazelwood is prompting Pittsburgh City Council to consider reserving some publicly owned property for use as affordable housing.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

For a while it seemed as though every day brought some fresh disaster for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority: billing errors, elevated lead levels, boil water advisories

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority voted Friday to increase the 2018 budget by about $12 million. They approved money to cover the costs of complying with brand new regulations—and some old ones—as well as to fund urgent repair work.

A big chunk of the increase, about $7 million, comes from the costs of organizing PWSA to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), according to chief of administration Debbie Lestitian. PUC began its oversight of PWSA on April 1.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County will re-submit an application in September for federal funding for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit project.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Officials with Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation say the 300-foot section of Route 30 that collapsed during a landslide in East Pittsburgh earlier this month will re-open in mid-July. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

At a charged public meeting Monday night, residents decried a plan to build retail and office space at the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, once home to more than 200 low-income and elderly people. 

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

On Monday, crews will begin patching and resurfacing 37 miles of streets, spread across the city’s nine council districts. Through coordination with various utilities, a total of 55 miles of roadway will once again be made traversable.

courtesy of Vivien Li

Riverlife president and CEO Vivien Li will leave the organization after two-and-a-half years at its helm.

The organization said in a release Friday morning that Li is leaving to spend more time with her family. She tendered her resignation this week, with Friday being her last day.

Pete Mendez, owner of Mendez Consulting, will take over as interim director in Li’s absence.

In a statement, Li said she enjoyed her time with the organization, but needed to prioritize family members in ill health.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It could be 60 more days before the future of the Strip District’s Produce Terminal is finally decided.

On Thursday, the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority approved an extension of lease negotiations between the building’s longtime tenant, the nonprofit Society for Contemporary Craft and developer McCaffery Interests.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

After nearly a year of vocal opposition to a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan predicated on deep reductions of service to some Pittsburgh neighborhoods and the Mon Valley, the Port Authority of Allegheny County presented a new plan Thursday night to a packed hal

Keith Srakocic / AP

Route 30 near East Pittsburgh had been buckling for weeks under the stress of continued rain and snow until it finally collapsed on Saturday.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania will remain an integral player in the development of self-driving vehicles, but ensuring that the roads are safe must be the state’s top priority, said PennDOT secretary Leslie Richards on Monday as she announced interim regulations for the industry.

Googlemaps

A road that collapsed during a landslide in western Pennsylvania that prompted the evacuation of an apartment complex will be closed for months, state transportation officials said.

Keith Srakocic / AP

On Thursday, Pittsburgh was one of 10 new cities chosen to join the Smart Cities Collaborative, part of the nonprofit group Transportation For America. 

Developers of the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty made their first presentation Tuesday to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission since that body rejected its development plan more than a year ago. That deal included a mixed-use development anchored by a Whole Foods, which has since pulled out.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

It’s a classic image of American cinema: The outlaw saunters down a deserted main street while a sheriff holds the other end. They face off, guns drawn.

On Monday, Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission will begin oversight of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. Though it won't be quite like a scene from a Western, there are plenty of legal questions involved.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Last week’s 2,200-page omnibus spending bill nearly doubled funding for construction work led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from $1 billion to $2 billion.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The mournful blast of freight trains as they roll through Pittsburgh is a familiar sound. And with good reason. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Ah, the harbingers of spring: daylight savings time, the insistent, early morning song of robins and large construction projects. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Pennsylvania's highest court is upholding a $3.2 million verdict in favor of a whistleblower fired after exposing waste and wrongdoing in Pennsylvania Turnpike contracts, hiring practices and E-ZPass discounts for large trucking firms.

The state Supreme Court said Tuesday Pennsylvania's Whistleblower Law allows judgments for non-economic damages in matters that cause embarrassment, humiliation, reputational damage and mental anguish.

Port Authority of Allegheny County

Katharine Kelleman started work as Port Authority’s chief executive the first week of January, but she began immersing herself in the system well before. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Uber’s self-driving car operations remain on pause while authorities in Arizona investigate the fatal crash that occurred in Tempe last week. One of the company’s vehicles was in autonomous mode when it struck and killed a woman. Pittsburgh is one of four sites—along with Tempe, San Francisco and Toronto—where Uber tests its autonomous technology.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Some advocates are worried that recent changes to Pittsburgh’s public transit system could hurt the riders that use it most. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It’s going to be a very busy construction season for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. By the end of 2018, the authority must replace 2,100 lead service lines and aims to conduct 15,000 curb box inspections.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

People packed a church hall Wednesday night to demand affordable housing be built on the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, owned by LG Realty Advisors. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Uber's self-driving car operations in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh, have been suspended after a woman was killed in Arizona. 

90.5 WESA

A federal grant program expected to be a critical funding source for Pittsburgh’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, could disappear.  

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Michigan Department of Transportation

Last week, a partially-constructed pedestrian bridge collapsed in Miami, Florida, killing six people and sending more to the hospital. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to the site to figure out what happened.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning writes on its website that South Side Park is unique and hidden, which essentially translates as “hard to get to.”

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

A mayoral panel appointed to oversee the restructuring of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has drafted a new contract to govern PWSA. 

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