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Sharpsburg awarded $1.5 million in state grants

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, 12:36 p.m.
James Sharp Landing along 13th Street in Sharpsburg will be upgraded, along with major reconstruction at 19th Street further along Freeport Road.
Jan Pakler | for Trib Total Media
James Sharp Landing along 13th Street in Sharpsburg will be upgraded, along with major reconstruction at 19th Street further along Freeport Road.

A state windfall of grants for Sharpsburg will help expedite revitalization of the riverfront town.

The borough last week was awarded a $1.5 million grant from PennDOT's Multimodal Transportation Fund for reconstruction of 19th Street and $25,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development for upgrades at James Sharp Landing that include adding lighting, improving its boat launch and entrance road.

“It's a clear indication that Harrisburg is paying close attention and buying into the growth and potential in Sharpsburg,” Mayor-elect Matt Rudzki said.

Money spent at 19th Street could pave the way for the road to be used as an entrance to the proposed Riverfront 47 commercial development along the Allegheny River. Sharpsburg officials applied jointly for the grant with R47 developers, The Mosites Co.

“This is a positive step towards the future development of (R47),” Manager Bill Rossey said. “The grant will help improve access to the riverfront property and aid in its future development.”

Council has not approved plans related to R47, which could bring housing, light industry and shopping to a 1.5-mile stretch of land in Sharpsburg, O'Hara and Aspinwall.

Work at 19th Street will include intersection upgrades, new traffic signals and the removal of an overpass and retaining walls. It will require a 30 percent match.

Rudzki said the project will impact residents far before any dirt is moved at the site.

“Even if we are still a year or two away from the site being shovel-ready, by improving the ease of access at 19th Street we enhance the safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in that area and make the approach to the riverfront more inviting,” he said.

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

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