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Traffic tangles on Freeport Road could improve if PennDOT approves grant

Tawnya Panizzi
| Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Crews work on traffic lights along Freeport Road in Aspinwall.
Jan Pakler | for Trib Total Media
Crews work on traffic lights along Freeport Road in Aspinwall.

Traffic woes along Freeport Road in Aspinwall, Sharpsburg and O'Hara could be alleviated next year if PennDOT approves a joint grant application from the municipalities.

The governments will apply for a $347,700 Green Light-Go grant to adjust timing of traffic lights along the road from O'Hara to Sharpsburg, including a portion that passes by The Waterworks shopping center in the city of Pittsburgh.

“The grant is to fund traffic signal timing improvements,” O'Hara Manager Julie Jakubec said.

The municipal partnership program is in its fourth year of a mission to improve safety and mobility along critical corridors like Freeport Road. The competitive grant requires a 20 percent match, which translates to $60,000 split among the three Lower Valley communities based on the number of lights in each.

In addition to timing improvements, projects include the removal of unwarranted traffic signals, modernization and maintenance.

The project would affect 12 traffic lights.

Sharpsburg Manager Bill Rossey said the borough would be minimally affected if the grant is approved, at least initially.

“We have one signal that is going to be involved, and that's on 21st Street,” he said.

If the Riverfront 47 development is approved, then additional lights in the borough would be automated to match the others' timing.

Riverfront 47, as proposed by the Mosites Co., could bring 500 housing units, retail shopping, a village square and a connection to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. It would stretch from Sharpsburg to O'Hara along the Allegheny River.

Sharpsburg and Riverfront 47 jointly have applied for a $3 million grant to improve 19th Street, which is pegged as an entrance to the development.

“If and when Riverfront 47 would begin development, 19th Street would then be adaptable to that system and coordinated in there as well,” Rossey said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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