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New traffic lights likely a go in Greensburg

| Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The city of Greensburg appears to be a step closer to installing traffic signals and making other improvements on Pittsburgh Street.

Nearly $113,000 has been included for design and engineering work for traffic-signal replacement and other improvements on East and West Pittsburgh streets in a regional planning group's updated 2013 transportation list.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a planning agency serving Pittsburgh and 10 surrounding counties, has added the design work for 2016 in its mulitphase Transportation Improvement Program list, or TIP.

Greensburg officials have tried unsuccessfully for years to obtain funding to replace the lights, which date back to the 1960s or early 1970s.

They last applied unsuccessfully for $1.5 million in federal stimulus money in 2010 to install new lights and do other work.

“I think they've come to realize it's bad,” said city Planning Director Barbara Ciampini. “We're happy. And it will provide safe passage through the city ... and they (the signals) all will be timed.”

The overall $3.3 million project calls for seven existing traffic signals to be replaced.

In addition, officials propose upgrading three intersections and developing a coordinated “plan for the corridor of a total 18 intersections from Hamilton Avenue to Route 130 (Humphrey Road) and ... the U.S. 30 off-ramp,” according to the project description.

“As far as I know it's on track, as it should be, and hopefully it will get done,” said Westmoreland County Commissioner Chuck Anderson, board chairman and a commission member.

Christopher Bova, deputy director for the county planning office, said he is hopeful the project will be completed as part of the competitive transportation program.

“We're hoping to have the construction funds in 2017, maybe 2018,” he said. “I'm feeling confident that it will be addressed in 2016 and on the TIP update (for later yearly phases).”

Officials have labeled the work a “Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality” improvement project, meaning efforts are being taken to ease congestion and pollution, transportation officials said. That labeling should help advance the project, Bova said.

The year 2016 was the earliest any project could be added to the updated list for design money, transportation officials said.

Ciampini remains hopeful that the lights will be replaced.

“They're becoming obsolete,” she said.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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