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Transportation authority would oversee East Liberty improvements

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Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday introduced legislation to create a state-mandated authority to oversee $12 million in publicly funded transportation improvements for East Liberty.

The authority would shepherd public money and infrastructure improvements within the Transit Revitalization Investment District that includes East Liberty and a small section of Shadyside, according to Robert Rubinstein, interim executive director of the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The plan calls for using 75 percent of tax revenue from within the district to pay back loans for infrastructure around $327 million in potential development. The loans would be repaid over 20 years.

Rubinstein said the authority would consist of an unpaid executive director and a five-member board including representatives of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County government. It would also include paid URA staff working under contract for the authority.

Annual authority overhead is expected to be $50,000, Rubinstein said. The $12 million would be used to build a 550-space public parking garage, maintenance of a new busway station, pedestrian and intersection improvements, converting Penn Circle to two-way traffic, a public plaza and area for public art.

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