The Herald Standard: Greene awarded $946,000 to support sidewalk, pedestrian safety improvements

Greene County was awarded $946,083 in grant funding from Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission for sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements as part of phase 2 of the Waynesburg Commons Multimodal Improvement Project.

The roughly $1.5 million project, which aims to make the area safer for students and community residents, includes construction of four new sidewalks in and around the Waynesburg Commons Park. It also will include the installation of five new pedestrian warning signs on the pedestrian routes that cross state Route 19 and on Washington Street, and the installation of new light poles along the new and repaired sidewalks.

“The (project) will enhance the livelihood of students that attend Waynesburg University and local residents that frequent the park,” said Jared Edgreen, chairman of the Greene County Board of Commissioners. “This park is a vital part of our community, and we want to ensure that anyone walking in or near it has safe sidewalks to use.”

SPC recently completed selecting projects for its competitive grants program, which chooses projects in the region to receive federal funding. A selection committee reviewed and scored the grant applications.

The multimodal improvement project qualified for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Set Aside (TASA) program.

The TASA program accepts applications from counties and municipalities for projects that support transportation alternatives, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improving access to public transportation, enhanced mobility, recreational trails, safe routes to schools, and environmental mitigation.

“Increasing safety for pedestrians is one of our organization’s priorities, and this funding will directly impact local residents,” said Rich Fitzgerald, executive director of the SPC. “When we create environments that foster mechanisms which protect and keep residents safe during their travels, communities have the opportunity to thrive.”

Phase 1 of the project will cover improvements to Monument Park. The county and Waynesburg University secured a $450,000 grant for those improvements, and work is expected to start in the summer.

The funding for Phase 2 will be programmed into the 2025-28 Transportation Improvement Program.

Commissioner Betsy McClure said she is pleased with the grant.

“These improvements are needed for safety when individuals and families are utilizing the Commons. These improvements, along with the downtown Waynesburg Betterment Project that is currently in progress, will give the county seat a long-overdue facelift,” said McClure.

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