Latest News

Statement from SPC Executive Director Vincent Valdes on the Passing of Joe Grata

“It is a sad day for Southwestern Pennsylvania with the passing of Joe Grata. Joe was a lifelong public servant and advocate for our region’s transportation system first as a longtime transportation reporter who shared his deep understanding of the planning, engineering and funding of infrastructure with the public. Later, in his retirement, he worked to advance connectivity, safety and regionalism as an SPC Commissioner representing Fayette County. Joe recognized that all transportation is ‘local’ in the minds of our communities and further understood the role of mobility to regional economic vitality and quality of life. The Commissioners and staff of SPC will miss his perspective, intellect, and sense of humor as we continue our work to keep Southwestern Pennsylvania connected and moving forward.”

Vincent Valdes
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Southwestern Pa. set to receive billions in transportation infrastructure improvements

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure is slated to receive a slew of expansions, updates and remodels after officials approved a regional transportation improvement plan at a meeting Monday.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission approved about $6 billion in funding over a four-year period as part of the 10-county region’s plan to improve its transportation infrastructure, according to a 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) investment summary.

The program’s summary includes $740 million for bridge maintenance, $2.2 billion for roads, $186 million for buses and passenger vehicles and $420 million for operations and safety projects.

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Southwestern Pa. transit plan allocates $1.5 billion for bridge, other infrastructure improvements

Roads and bridges in Southwestern Pennsylvania will see a $300 million boost in funding because of the infrastructure law enacted in 2021.

The extra money is included in a regional plan for $1.5 billion in transportation projects that is set to be approved June 27 by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

The commission’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) covers 2023 through 2026 and includes increases in funding for bridges, highway safety improvements and bike-and-pedestrian infrastructure compared to the previous program.

The SPC is responsible for allocating state and federal funds to local transportation infrastructure projects across 10 Southwestern Pennsylvania counties that surround Pittsburgh.

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Allegheny, Indiana, Fayette lead 10-county region in number of slow internet connections

Allegheny County, followed by Indiana and Fayette counties, had the highest number of homes and businesses with internet connections in a 10-county region with connections so slow they didn’t even qualify as broadband, according to a new study by a Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission-led coalition of nonprofits.

At the same time, the study named Allegheny, Beaver and Armstrong as counties as places with remarkably fast online speeds as well.

Although Allegheny County had among the fastest internet speeds in the 10-county region, the study identified pockets of the county where internet access lagged — in municipalities along the Monongahela River, for example. Western Washington County, Greene County and much of Indiana County, traditionally Amish country, also lacked the fiber cables, towers and other gear necessary for speedy connections.

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Regional Partnership Launches Connectivity Roadmap to Guide Broadband Investments in 10 County Region

The Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) Connected initiative today announced the launch of the Connectivity Roadmap, a guidance tool, to support the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), county leadership, and regional stakeholders in the 10-county region and the City of Pittsburgh to develop and prioritize connectivity projects and associated programs to secure funding.

The Connectivity Roadmap was developed in collaboration with representatives of the 10 counties, state and local governments, and industry experts, and through public engagement in the communities most impacted by the lack of reliable or affordable internet. Southwestern Pennsylvania is now positioned to secure federal and state broadband funding through the roadmap’s implementation guide and tools.

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2022 CommuteInfo ‘Commuter Challenge’ Launched

CommuteInfo is hosting a “Commuter Challenge” to encourage people to try transit, vanpool, carpool, biking, walking and telework for their commuting trips during the week of May 16 – 22, 2022.

Overview of the CommuteInfo Commuter Challenge 2022

  • The CommuteInfo Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition for anyone 18 years old or older, who live, work or go to school in one of these 10 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.
  • The CommuteInfo Commuter Challenge will be held May 16-22, 2022.
  • Commuters can try transit, vanpooling, carpooling, biking or walking to their jobsite or school or telework.
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SPC launches re-vamped Regional Data Center

SPC is excited to announce our Regional Data Center web presence has received a complete overhaul and re-design!

Data-driven and casual users alike will now find a wealth of on-demand and fully customizable options to access a variety of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources for information focused on the Southwestern Pennsylvania Region.

Auto-generated PDF, excel, csv, and html file export options offer complete flexibility on how our users want their data delivered.

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Brodhead Road Corridor Planning Study Released

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission has developed a corridor plan for Brodhead Road (State Route 3007/State Route 18) between Old Brodhead Road and the Allegheny County/Beaver County border. The corridor plan includes short, medium, and long term recommendations that will improve the transportation operations and safety for all users and serve as an investment plan that will guide the planning and programming of transportation projects in the study area.

The study makes recommendations that improve regional mobility and accessibility for all, enhance the quality of life and livability of the community, and advance economic and community development goals.

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Pennsylvania County With Long History Preps for Digital World

Washington County has begun a three-year, $30 million project to expand internet access in the rural county, which is located about 35 miles south of Pittsburgh. The first baby steps in the project will bring service to about 50 homes in Avella, home to fewer than 1,000 people, and also to the nearby Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Meadowcroft, a National Historic Landmark operated by the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, was a campsite used 19,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers who left behind traces of ice age fire pits, stone and bone tools and pottery fragments.

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How Bridge Financing Can Help Small Businesses

Author: Steve Meredith, Manager, Business Finance.

On several occasions throughout the year, I will have a promising opportunity come across my desk, only to fall apart because the timeline for my organization’s economic development loans does not fit with what the client needs. While I can certainly understand the need to be flexible and work with clients, their sellers, and other financial institutions, there are a few aspects of economic development lending that can delay closing on publicly funded loans. This results in a tricky “dance,” in which economic development lenders, their borrowers, sellers, and often private lending institutions must participate to ensure the best interest rates and terms for small business clients.

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