Trib: Reviews to prod traffic projects

CMAQ is an important part of funding for alternative transportation projects around the Country

We’re mentioned toward the end of the article – ed.

By Matthew Santoni
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Groups seeking federal transportation money to reduce traffic and air pollution in the Pittsburgh area will face extra scrutiny next year to prevent projects stuck in planning stages from holding government money in limbo.

Four times a year, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will review projects funded through the federal Congestion Management and Air Quality program after October 2010 to ensure they are meeting deadlines for things like getting planning approval, completing environmental studies, awarding contracts and finishing construction.

If projects aren’t moving forward, funding could be pushed back or shifted to projects that are ready to go, said Leanne Doren, a consultant with Philadelphia-based McCormick Taylor.

The effort is designed to get projects finished, so they don’t take up space and money on the region’s four-year Transportation Improvement Plan — the list prioritizing projects and determining how federal funding is distributed in Allegheny and 10 surrounding counties, said Chuck Imbrogno, models and data analysis manager for the SPC. The commission is beginning to put together the plan for 2011-2014 this month.

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