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Grant money could help make Aspinwall Riverfront Park entrance safer

| Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Aspinwall officials are hoping government money can help make the entrance to the borough's Riverfront Park safer.

Organizers of Aspinwall Riverfront Park are up for a $500,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant. The funding would be used to realign the entrance of the park with Brilliant Avenue, Susan Crookston, who is leading efforts to develop the park, said.

“What we're hoping is that the government can step up and help us correct this crossing, which will help us improve economic development and obviously make it a lot safer to access the park,” Crookston said.

Crookston said support for the project has come from Norfolk Southern, the Allegheny Valley Railroad, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and the borough. The grant has a public-comment period until March 19, when people can submit reasons why they are for or against the project.

Previously, a $250,000 grant was secured from Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund for the entrance project. Crookston said that part of the park is expected to cost about $2.6 million.

Crookston said the realigned intersection could benefit more than just the park.

“We think increasing the flow between the park and Brilliant Avenue will not only improve safety, we think it will also grow the businesses in Aspinwall,” Crookston said.

Comments on the grant proposal can be sent to RA-OB-PublicComment@pa.gov with the subject line “7898 for construction, infrastructure, redevelopment and other related cost for the Aspinwall Riverfront Park project.” Comments also can be mailed to RACP Public Comment Period, Office of the Budget, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 18th Floor, Harristown 2, 333 Market St., Harrisburg, PA 17101.

For more information on the grant program, see www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/office_of_the_budget_home/4408.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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