by Jonathan Weaver
More than a half-dozen Armstrong County boroughs and townships will be able to make roadway and sidewalk improvements as soon as 2017 folllowing a grant announcement yesterday.
Commonwealth Financing Authority leaders awarded a nearly-$532,000 state grant through the Multimodal Transportation Fund to fund projects in Elderton, Ford City, Freeport, Kittanning and South Bethlehem Boroughs, as well as Madison and North Buffalo Townships.
The grant dollars require local agencies provide matching funding — with the total equaling a 70 percent share of state money matched by a local share of 30 percent, which will be provided by the municipalities and Armstrong County.
The project’s total price tag of more than $768,000 includes funding allocated for administration costs as well.
In a press release, State Senator Don White applauded the Commonwealth Financing Authority and local officials.
“This is a true testament to all of our local community, economic development and elected officials who worked together to provide the necessary local matching funds to help improve the infrastructure and quality of life here in our community,” Senator White wrote.
Kittanning Borough received additional funding in order to mill and pave Jefferson Street, from Jacob Street to Mulberry Street. Jacob Street was repaved earlier this year after initially being paved through Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funds in October 2015.
Ford City Borough received additional funding to mill and pave two blocks of 3rd Avenue, allowing for better access to the Armstrong Trail. This summer, Ford City also received multimodal grant funds to make sidewalks handicapped-accessible by adding 130 curbs.
In North Buffalo Township, funding will be used to restore a six-foot rotting drainage pipe under Sportsman Road. Township supervisors have been analyzing cost options with engineers as well as talking to PennDOT officials earlier this year in hopes of remedying the problem.
Grant funding will also benefit Elderton Borough (to improve sidewalks along Main and Quince Streets), Freeport Borough (by milling paving to create better access to the Butler-Freeport Community Trail in the Lanesville neighborhood), Madison Township (to upgrade Scenic Road and provide better access in and out of Rimer) and South Bethlehem (to repair 2,200 square feet of sidewalk and install nearly 30 handicapped-accessible ramps.
The Multimodal Transportation Fund grant was made possible by Act 89 (the Transportation Bill signed by then-Governor Tom Corbett in 2013 to fund road projects, bridge repairs and mass transit.
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