Development & Transportation

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

PWSA

Update: The flush and boil advisory has been lifted as of Wednesday, January 22. PWSA advises residents who have not run their water in recent days to flush their taps for at least one minute before using water for cooking or drinking.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has issued a flush and boil advisory for the Crafton Heights, Elliott, Esplen, Ridgemont, and Westwood neighborhoods.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Water company Aqua America will acquire Peoples Gas for $4.3 billion, after state regulators approved the merger on Thursday. By February the two companies will do business under the new name “Essential Utilities, Inc.” 

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto and his administration want to shift the focus of economic development and investment in the city. Instead of relying on the Urban Redevelopment Authority to drive broad growth, city hall and city agencies must work together to ensure all Pittsburghers thrive, said Dan Gilman, the mayor’s chief of staff.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

On today's program: PennDOT previews a full year of construction on Western PA roadways; aging infrastructure is putting river communities at risk of increased flooding; what it means to be "radically" body positive; a fond farewell to City Councilor Darlene Harris; and a local professor updates our understanding of Mars' topography.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

At the time when many of Pittsburgh’s streets were built, top travel speed was dictated by horses, and later, a trolley car at full tilt. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Construction of Pittsburgh’s proposed bus rapid transit or BRT system is expected to begin in 2021, a year later than initially planned.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

 Uber is increasing its footprint in the Pittsburgh area with the purchase of a $9.5 million parcel to be used as a new test track for self-driving cars.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

McKeesport is one of the largest municipalities in Allegheny County after Pittsburgh, but has taken longer to bounce back from de-industrialization. 

Record-Breaking Travel Volume Expected This Holiday Season

Dec 20, 2019
Jacqueline Larma / AP

The number of people traveling for the upcoming holiday period could break some records this year.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The population of the City of Pittsburgh has stabilized, according to five-year estimates just out from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. However, the same data show a rapid loss of the city’s black residents.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority expects to exit crisis mode in the next couple of years. Officials say decades of disinvestment weakened the system, and it’s taken time to stabilize. But with several years of investment and long-range planning behind them, PWSA expects to be able to spend more time on green and stormwater infrastructure. That could mean a new fee for ratepayers.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Riders on Port Authority of Allegheny County buses now have access to free WiFi, the agency announced on Monday. About half of Port Authority’s 700-bus fleet is connected, and a spokesperson said they expect all buses and light rail vehicles to offer WiFi within the next two months.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Brighton Heights residents may again have a direct connection to Riverview Park. A $200,000 state grant will go toward planning for a new pedestrian and bicycle-friendly span where the Davis Avenue Bridge once stood.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

State Correctional Institute Pittsburgh and Saints Peter and Paul Church are among the Pittsburgh area's historic sites to preserve, according to a new top 10 list by the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh. The organization created the list to highlight sites at risk of demolition, with the goal of breeding new life for the buildings.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The advisory board of Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Fund met Tuesday morning to discuss how to fund its six programs in 2020.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

At a public hearing on Pittsburgh’s proposed budget for 2020, dozens of residents called on city officials to show how its spending supports the values of equity and inclusion.

Google Maps

This month the city will seek final designs for a $14 million renovation of Homewood Park, home to Willie Stargell Field and the Homewood Pool. City officials and partners announced the investment last September, when pro football Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh native Curtis Martin helped land funding for a new sports field.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District recently finished a $6.6 million renovation of Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 2 near the Highland Park Bridge. The agency upgraded the concrete land wall inside the chamber, which required 400 cubic yards of concrete.

Vincent DeCarlo, deputy chief of operations for the Pittsburgh District, said pieces of concrete had been breaking off and falling into the chamber, which posed a hazard for commercial and recreational boats.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Travelers are urged to pack some patience as they use Pennsylvania’s roads, rails and airports over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

PennDOT

Pennsylvania’s governor is turning to an engineer who’s served most recently as a top PennDOT administrator to be the agency’s next transportation secretary.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Four city councilors introduced legislation on Tuesday that would scrutinize the city's relationship to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, calling for a review of all working agreements with the organization. 

Google Maps

The future of the Shop ’n Save plaza in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood will be decided by the public, the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority voted on Thursday. The agency will try to buy the mostly vacant Centre Heldman Plaza, which requires paying off the mortgage and back taxes.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Greg Flisram will be the next head of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Argo AI

On today's program: Argo AI’s CEO explores the future of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh; Hazelwood’s neighborhood plan gets approved after years of work by residents; and Honor Flight Pittsburgh is taking veterans on tours of Capitol memorials free of charge.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Potholes have long provided Pittsburgh a rich vein to mine for jokes and complaints. So when a sinkhole downtown swallowed a Port Authority bus two weeks ago—unaccompanied, thankfully, by serious injuries or fatalities—it was pure gold for wags and Halloween costumes alike.

For utility companies, it set off a flurry of infrastructure work.

AP

Pennsylvania is home to a lot of old dams—many of which are privately owned.

The state agency that regulates those dams says it has serious concerns about 145 of them.

The new numbers come from the Associated Press. After a two-year investigation, reporters found more than 1,600 dams around the country that could be susceptible to collapse.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is about to be the proud owner of a swimming pool.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Each year, the advisory board of the Housing Opportunity Fund  must decide how to split $10 million among its programs, from helping homeowners afford necessary repairs to providing emergency funding so people can make rent. On Thursday, the board began work on its 2020 allocation.

AP

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said Carnegie Mellon University is leading the way in automated transportation research on a visit to Pittsburgh Thursday, citing $8.4 million Department of Transportation grants the university received in conjunction with PennDOT.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved the Greater Hazelwood Neighborhood Plan. Residents are optimistic that with the plan in place, they can make sure future development furthers the community's goals.

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