WTAE-TV: $142 million in federal funding to improve Parkway East and MLK Busway

Members of Western Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation just announced $142 million in federal grant money secured for a series of projects to improve both the Parkway East and the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway.

“This is a tough commute coming in or out of town,” Congressman Chris Deluzio said. “I think this could have a big impact and improve our quality of life.”

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission applied for the grant funding, which will go to rehab 10 aging bridges along the Busway, add new technology to ease traffic congestion between Monroeville and downtown, and install a new flood wall to prevent flooding on a stretch of road known as “the Bathtub.”

Variable speed limits are among the tech planned to limit traffic along the busy roadway, which is one of the most congested in the country.

“The research seems to be that if you can spread that out, keep folks moving, that actually moves traffic more efficiently,” Deluzio said.

DJ Ryan, the SPC’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Policy, said the project could reduce rear-end crashes on the Parkway East by 50%.

“So some of the projects are ready to go pretty much immediately, and we’re going to start to see shovels in the ground this year,” Ryan said. “Other things have to do a little more design and planning and might take a little longer than that, but I think that commuters are going to see changes almost right away.”

View the full story at wtae.com.