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PennDOT awards funds for red light enforcement

| Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 1:41 a.m.

McKeesport and Elizabeth are two of 24 municipalities statewide to receive a share of $8.8 million for automated red light enforcement through PennDOT.

PennDOT officials announced the awards for 32 safety projects on Wednesday. No timetable was announced for when the funds will be distributed.

McKeesport will use its $279,000 to replace and upgrade the traffic signals at the intersections of Fifth Avenue and Romine Street, and Walnut and Ninth streets.

“Those were two intersections we were looking to update to red lights,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “Those were two that did not get done over the last year or two when we reset the lights.”

Cherepko said most of the city's traffic lights on Lysle Boulevard, W. Fifth Avenue and Walnut Street were addressed the past two years.

“At this point we are extremely excited and grateful, and greatly anticipating the arrival of funds so we can get busy and work toward completing these two projects,” Cherepko said.

Elizabeth will get $120,800 to improve the traffic signal controller and add light emitting diode lights at the intersection of Market Street, Second and Third avenues, and at McKeesport Road and Church Street.

“We're absolutely thrilled. This is something that we were waiting on,” council president Monica Glowinski said.

Glowinski said the borough applied for the funds in July 2013 with the help of Twin Rivers Council of Governments engineers and Trans Associates.

Glowinski said the new LED lights will improve efficiency, and the traffic signal box will be moved so that it won't be struck by big trucks.

“It's very much needed for our municipality,” Glowinski said. “It's a shot in the arm. It will improve public safety. It will improve the bottom line.”

McKeesport and Elizabeth officials were notified Wednesday of the state funding.

Other Allegheny County municipalities to receive funding are Coraopolis, Millvale, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair.

Under state law, fines from red light violations at 25 Philadelphia intersections supply funds for the grants. The program aims to improve safety at signalized intersections by providing automated enforcement where data shows red-light violations have been a problem.

More information is available online at www.dot.state.pa.us by searching automated red light enforcement, or by emailing ARLE_Grants@pa.gov.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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