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PAT: LOCALLY PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE CHOSEN FOR AIRPORT BUSWAY/WABASH HOV

PAT: LOCALLY PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE CHOSEN FOR AIRPORT BUSWAY/WABASH HOV
 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than a year of study, meetings, and hearings, the Port Authority Transit (PAT) board today selected the Locally Preferred Alternative for Phase I of the Airport Busway/Wabash HOV project.
 A special meeting of the board was held to select an option that calls for an exclusive busway between Carnegie, Pa., and Station Square, connecting to a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) facility through the Wabash Tunnel and a new HOV bridge over the Monongahela River to downtown Pittsburgh.
 The first phase of the Airport Busway/Wabash HOV would be 8.1 miles long, located along the base of Mount Washington from the Wabash Tunnel to the Corliss area of the City of Pittsburgh, where it would then follow an abandoned railroad right-of-way to Carnegie Borough. The busway would include up to eight passenger stations and 10 access ramps allowing for improved transit service throughout the Airport Corridor, including such communities as McKees Rocks, Sheraden, Ingram, Crafton, Carnegie, Green Tree, Elliott, Broadhead/Westgate, Coraopolis, Stowe, Kennedy, Robinson, Neville, Moon, Findlay, North Fayette, South Fayette, Collier, Heidelberg, Bridgeville, Crescent, Oakdale and Rosslyn Farms.
 Port Authority Executive Director William W. Millar said input received from the public, including residents and officials from communities through which the busway would operate, indicated overwhelming support for implementation of the alternative chosen.
 "The Locally Preferred Alternative is a highly cost-effective project that will build on the success of Port Authority's South Busway and Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway," Millar said. "Our goal continues to be to fast-track the construction of this project not only to improve transportation to the new Greater Pittsburgh Airport and the western portion of Allegheny County, but to help alleviate traffic congestion when the Fort Pitt Bridge is rehabilitated."
 Among other benefits, the project is expected to:
 -- Reduce traffic congestion and travel time from downtown Pittsburgh to the western suburbs;
 -- Dramatically increase transit ridership throughout the western corridor of Allegheny County to over 50,000 riders per weekday;
 -- Provide access to existing and future job opportunities and service as an economic stimulant to future development and job growth; and
 -- Help conserve energy and reduce air pollution.
 Next steps to be taken include preliminary engineering and completion of a final environmental impact statement. Depending upon available funding, bids for construction contracts could be released by late 1993, with the goal of completing the project before the closing of the Fort Pitt Bridge in 1997. The total cost of the Airport Busway/ Wasbash HOV is estimated to be $250 million.
 -0- 10/27/92
 /CONTACT: Judi McNeil of PAT, 412-237-7344/ CO: Port Authority Transit ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


DM-JG -- PG013 -- 5622 10/27/92 16:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1992
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