Plan to pave Route 30 park-and-ride lot in North Huntingdon has hurdles to clear
Five years after moving its park-and-ride lot from Norwin Town Square to a partially paved lot along Route 30 in North Huntingdon, the Westmoreland County Transit Authority wants to finally pave the property and bring it into compliance with township rules for parking lots.
But in order to complete the $2.4 million project, the transit authority needs permission from township officials for smaller parking spaces. It also will have to find an alternate parking place for approximately 250 customers who park in the lot next to Sheetz at the intersection of Route 30 and Carpenter Lane and ride the bus into Pittsburgh, Alan Blahovec, transit authority executive director, said Friday.
Commuters use the lot for about 12 hours each weekday, he said.
The project, which will include landscaping and lighting in addition to uniform spaces, would take about five months to complete, said Domenic A. Sacchetti, an engineer with HDR Inc. of Pittsburgh.
The lot — the authority's largest in Westmoreland County — has room for about 275 vehicles in unlined spaces. The authority wants to create parking for more than 300 vehicles but needs permission for 18-foot-long spaces rather than the 20 feet required by the township, Sacchetti said. Without the variance, the paved lot would lose about 30 parking spaces, he said.
The lot will have eight handicapped parking spaces.
The authority started using the parking lot of the former Tomato Patch restaurant in 2012. It bought part of the park-and-ride property in July 2015 for $318,000 and two rights of way to the site for $278,000, according to Westmoreland County Recorder of Deeds files. The county condemned those properties and threatened to take them via eminent domain after years of failed attempts to get the property owners to sell.
The transit authority received funding from the Federal Transit Administration to cover 80 percent of the construction cost of the park-and-ride lot, with the authority responsible for 6 percent. The remainder will be covered by PennDOT, Blahovec said.
The transit authority previously used the Norwin Town Square parking lot before having to move five years ago because of renovation work at the site, Sacchetti said.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @jnapsha.