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Townships eye development along Route 51

| Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 11:06 p.m.

As more people move to Rostraver Township, Andy Temoshenka Jr. wants to give them more to do.

With that in mind, he's pondering ways to turn 111/2 acres of land he owns along Route 51 South into a center for retail and entertainment businesses and restaurants.

"I feel like I have a pulse for the area, and we're lacking entertainment," said Temoshenka, 36, who lives two miles from the undeveloped property. "If you talk to anybody in Mon Valley area, they'll tell you there's nothing to do. I think if we had a T.G.I. Friday's, a Ground Round or a Red Lobster down here, it would be busy every day of the week."

Township residents may share their ideas at an open house from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the township's municipal complex.

The meeting is the first in a series of three similar events. It will highlight a study on how best to prepare the Route 51 corridor for development by improving traffic controls and analyzing land-use options.

The $50,000 study, funded largely by a $40,000 grant from the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission, examines a 15-mile portion of the road running through the township, Perry Township in Fayette County and Elizabeth Township in Allegheny County.

The three townships each contributed to the remaining $10,000 necessary to develop a 20-year plan based on the reports of traffic engineers at Herbert, Rowland and Grubic Inc., of Cranberry Township, and land-use analysts at Graney, Grossman, Colosimo and Associates Inc., of Slippery Rock.

In each township, the firms are working with an advisory committee composed of community leaders, representatives of PennDOT districts 11 and 12 and those with business affiliations in the affected areas, said Matt Radinovic, of HRG Inc.

Those who attend the open house may examine early study data about current conditions along the highway. They'll have a chance to offer comments, as well.

"It is basically our opportunity to hear what vision people have for this corridor and to show them things we have in the toolbox to take care of issues that may be coming down that road at some later point," Radinovic said.

Upgrades are being considered, including new secondary roads to improve traffic flow and perhaps more traffic signals.

Similar open house meetings will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Perry Township municipal building and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Elizabeth Township municipal building.

"We're looking at the entire length of corridor through the three communities, and focusing on each separately because it's so long," Radinovic said.

Community leaders in Rostraver will attend a meeting about the study beginning at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Commissioner President Don Yoder encouraged residents to attend the public meeting afterward.

"We hope all citizens come to the public meeting," he said. "We want to hear comments from everyone on what should be done on Route 51."

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