Multimodal projects ranging from improving barge docks to extending walking and biking trails are receiving a combined $84 million in grants from Pennsylvania’s Act 89. In announcing the awards Tuesday for 86 projects in 35 counties, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said the grants address a variety of transportation needs.
“People walk, they ride bicycles, they take public transportation, they ride passenger rail. For the first time ever, we’re investing in every mode,” Schoch said.
Seven of the grant recipients are in Allegheny County including:
- $917,000 for a 380-foot expansion of a barge dock on the Ohio River in Stowe Township.
- $1 million for the Port Authority of Allegheny County to construct a new multimodal terminal in McKeesport serving buses, vans, and paratransit as well as a park-and-ride lot and bicycle trail.
- $2.2 million to develop Three Crossings—a mixed use development in Pittsburgh featuring residential and office space, a transportation facility with parking, bicycle repair, electric vehicle charging stations, kayak storage and a transit station.
According to Schoch, there has been an under-investment in roads and bridges and also in communities. “We had over $300 million of requests. So there’s a clear backlog in need for investments in local roads, investments in bicycle facilities and streetscapes and the transportation facilities that serve local communities.”
Schoch says all types of transportation drive the economy and “Act 89 gave us the tools to ensure our non-highway modes receive the funding they need to maintain a connected transportation system.”
The $2.3 billion transportation funding package was enacted in November.
The PennDOT Secretary says states have been forced to deal with transportation funding because the federal government has not.
“They’ve been kicking the can down the road now for many, many years. They haven’t raised the rates on federal transportation revenues since 1992. So many states have taken it upon themselves to raise revenue.”
At the urging of then President Clinton, Congress increased the federal gas and diesel taxes in 1993.