Acting U.S. Federal Highways Administrator Stephanie Pollack announced that the Biden-Harris administration has awarded an $11.3 million Bipartisan Infrastructure Act grant to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to revitalize the Hill District neighborhood.
The project will improve pedestrian infrastructure and make other improvements to safely connect low-income residents to transit hubs and employment opportunities. New electric vehicle charging options and improvements to stormwater infrastructure will contribute to environmental sustainability.
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This announcement is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Building a Better America tour that Secretary Pete Buttigieg launched in Tampa, Florida on August 23, 2021. The tour sees DOT leaders roll out to show how the law presidential bipartisan infrastructure is safe, efficient and affordable transportation for communities across the United States.
“The City of Pittsburgh’s New Pathways to Equity project is a great example of federal investment from the Biden-Harris administration’s bipartisan infrastructure law supporting the best locally-developed, community-driven ideas,” said Pollack. . “The project prioritizes good building improvements in a community that has historically suffered from disconnection from Pittsburgh’s business district due to divestment and inadequate transportation choices.”
This grant is part of the Department of Transportation’s RAISE program which helps urban and rural communities upgrade roads, bridges, public transit, railways, ports, and intermodal transportation and make transportation safer, more accessible, more affordable and more sustainable. This year, Secretary Buttigieg awarded more than $2.2 billion in RAISE grants to 166 projects in all 50 states through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.
“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernizing America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible and more sustainable,” Buttigieg said. “With funds from President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, this year we are supporting more projects than ever before.”
Secretary Buttigieg awarded $36.3 million for two grants in Pennsylvania. First, under New Pathways to Equity, the City of Pittsburgh will receive $11.3 million to fund construction activities associated with public right-of-way improvements in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.
Improvements will include the reconstruction of intersections, street corridors and city steps and will include the installation of traffic calming measures, sidewalks and green infrastructure. The project will revitalize the Hill District, a community that has suffered deterioration and disconnection from Pittsburgh’s business district due to historic divestment.
By making improvements to ADA-compliant pedestrian infrastructure, the project will safely connect low-income residents to transit hubs and employment opportunities. New electric vehicle charging options and low-impact stormwater management infrastructure contribute to environmental sustainability
Second, the City of Philadelphia will also receive US$25 million to make improvements along seven high-collision corridors totaling about five miles. Proposed improvements include traffic safety treatments, signal upgrades, ADA accessibility improvements, and various roadway improvements.
The proposed improvements will significantly reduce collisions in the corridor and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians. The project will result in a reduction in vehicle kilometers traveled and improve sustainable transportation options. The project’s use of innovative technologies, such as fiber optic connections and wireless communications, will further improve security and accessibility for users. The project will also use workforce development programs to create high-quality, well-paying jobs for traditionally underrepresented Philadelphians, including women and people of color.
The funding news follows an announcement in early August that the City of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and micromobility service provider Spin have launched a first-of-its-kind study that will give up to 50 residents to low-income in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania free access to shared mobility and public transit services to examine its effects on the socioeconomic progress of participants.
The year-long research project will investigate the potential of free transport to improve people’s economic, health and social outcomes when financial barriers to transport are removed, with the aim of improving access to jobs, education, health care, social services and recreation. .