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Essential Pittsburgh: Running Out of Road

Will the Highway Trust Fund have the money to get the city through spring and summer road construction?

As spring and summer road construction projects are about to get underway, they could be stopped before they get started. The reason being that the Highway Trust Fund will be broke come the end of May. We’ll address how this can impact southwestern PA with Chris Sandvig, Regional Policy Director of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group.

Asked to explain the Trust Fund and its current status, Sandvig says: 

"Locally, within our Southwestern Pennsylvania region, we receive well over $100 million a year in federal funds that are spent on roads, bridges, mass transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The Highway Trust Fund is where that money comes from. ... Long story short, we're running out of money." -- Chris Sandvig

Also in the program: Christopher Powell and Dayton Kinney discuss an innovative collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and the Pittsburgh Opera, Margaret J. Krauss reports on a harrowing 1902 prison break that gave us our modern police force and Rebecca Harris explains revitalization planned for the Pittsburgh neighborhood of St. Clair.

CMU and Pittsburgh Opera Present: CO-OPERA (starts at 22:15)

A collaborative effort between Carnegie Mellon's Schools of Music, Art, Drama and Master of Arts Management as well as the Pittsburgh Opera has produced five modern operas that will be performed for the first time this Friday. The student-driven project, called CO-OPERA, uses a projector to provide digital sets, making the productions cheap, mobile and multidimensional. Student composer Dayton Kinney and Pittsburgh Opera Music Administrator Christopher Powell offer their thoughts on the innovative nature of the upcoming performances and how it will affect the opera-going experience both now and in the future.

WESA Celebrates -- Inventing Pittsburgh (starts at 37:57)

A 1902 escape from the Allegheny County Jail gripped the country and catalyzed the formation of the county's modern-day police force. Margaret J. Krauss reports.

Rebecca Harris on Economic Growth in St. Clair (starts at 42:11)

Cities are made up of a collection of neighborhoods with unique features and characteristics. On the first Tuesday of the month, business contributor Rebecca Harris will focus on one of the city’s neighborhoods. Today's focus is on St.Clair, an almost empty neighborhood between Mt. Oliver and Hays where an urban farm is being planned.

More Essential Pittsburgh can be heard here