County transit plans to expand North Huntingdon park ‘n ride in 2020 |

County transit plans to expand North Huntingdon park ‘n ride in 2020

Joe Napsha
Riders leave bus at the Westmoreland County Transit Authority’s park and ride lot along Route 30 in North Huntingdon.

The county’s transit operator wants to expand its park-and-ride lot in North Huntingdon so more commuters could catch a bus to Pittsburgh, but work will not start until next year, transit officials said.

The Westmoreland County Transit Authority wants to add 55 spaces to its parking lot along Route 30 near the intersection of Carpenter Lane to accommodate 335 vehicles, Domenic A. Sacchetti, a senior project manager with HDR Inc. of Pittsburgh, told the North Huntingdon Planning Commission this week.

The extra spaces would be created by adding parking to the footprint of a former restaurant on the property.

The renovations would not begin this year because the project would not be finished by winter, Sacchetti told the planning commission. Work to expand the lot and add lighting and landscaping would not begin until April, and should be completed by October 2020, he said.

Sacchetti told planners the transit authority would lose approximately 20 parking spaces if it did not obtain a variance to decrease the length of the spaces from 20 feet to 18 feet to meet township regulations. The site will be landscaped so that motorists traveling along Route 30 will not see the parking lot, Sacchetti said.

The project will cost an estimated $3 million, said Alan Blahovec, transit authority executive director. The Federal Transit Administration will cover 80% of the cost — $2.4 million — while PennDOT will pay $588,800 and the county transit authority will pay $19,200, Blahovec said.

But, before it can tear up the existing parking area — including lowering the elevation of the rear of the lot by five feet — the transit authority still has to find a place where existing commuters can park, Blahovec said.

The planning commission recommended approval of the site plans for the project, pending the authority obtaining permits for the work. Township commissioners could consider approving the plans at its meeting June 19.

The transit authority presented plans for expanding the park ‘n ride lot and adding lighting and landscaping in November 2018 to create 300 parking spaces, but the issue arose in November 2017. The planning commission had wanted more information about the project and the authority postponed another review of the plans until the work was complete.

As the authority plans to renovate its park ‘n ride lot in North Huntingdon, it opened a new park-and-ride lot in New Stanton in April.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Norwin | Westmoreland
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