Pittsburgh (Phase 1 Airport Busway/Wabash HOV)

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Phase I Airport Busway/Wabash HOV Facility

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

(November 1996)

Description

The Port Authority of Allegheny County (PATransit) is constructing a 7-mile busway and a 1-mile HOV facility to serve a 20-mile corridor between the airport and downtown Pittsburgh. The busway, extending from Carnegie to downtown Pittsburgh, will follow sections of active and abandoned railroad right-of-way from Carnegie to Station Square, which is across the Monongahela River from downtown Pittsburgh. At Station Square the exclusive busway will merge with a 1.1 mile HOV facility comprised of a rehabilitated Wabash Tunnel and new bridge across the Monongahela River to complete the connection into downtown Pittsburgh. In the remaining 12 miles of the corridor, from Carnegie to the airport, buses will operate in mixed traffic on the relatively uncongested Parkway West (I-279). There will be a direct ramp connection in Carnegie between the busway and the Parkway West. New daily transit and carpool trips are estimated to be 17,900.


Original cost estimates at the time the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) was signed totaled $326.80 million; however, due to an increase in the amount that was awarded to this project, that amount has been increased to $337.14 million. In the Fall of 1996, PATransit announced a revised cost estimate totaling $419.20 million. Any cost increases are a local responsibility. The project was originally expected to open for revenue service by January 1999.

Status

In 1992, the PATransit Board completed alternatives analysis and selected the Busway/Wabash HOV/New River Crossing to Market Street as the locally preferred alternative. The final EIS was approved in June 1994.


Section 1069 and Section 1108 of Title I of ISTEA authorized $39.5 million and $9.8 million, respectively, for design and construction of a busway linking downtown Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Airport. An FFGA was signed in October 1994 which formalized the Federal commitment of $121.00 million in Section 5309 New Start funds based on a total project cost of $326.8 million. The remainder of the project budget is funded through Section 5309 bus funds, CMAQ funds, intermodal funds pursuant to ISTEA Sections 1108 and 1069, and funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Congress appropriated an additional $9.9 million in Section 5309 New Start funds in FY 1997 to dreplace previously anticipated Section 1069 funding which did not materialize. Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $130.9 million in Section 5309 New Start funds, $18.93 million in


Section 5309 bus funds, $15.8 million in ISTEA Section 1069 funds, and $9.57 million in Section 1108 funds.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Appropriations to Date
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start (FFGA Amount) * $130.90 $130.90 million appropriated through FY 1997
Section 5309 Bus $18.93

 

CMAQ $76.50

 

Section 1108 $9.57

 

Section 1069 $15.80

 

State:
State Bond Funds $70.00

 

Total: $321.70

Note: This table reflects the actual figures that have been applied to the project and do not reflect any cost overruns.

* In 1994, the FFGA committed $121.0 million in Section 5309 New Start funds to the project. However, Congress appropriated an additional $9.9 million in Section 5309 New Start funds to partially replace previously anticipated Section 1069 (Miscellaneous Highway Project Authorizations) funding which did not materialize. The total amount of $321.70 million reflects the shortfall in anticipated Section 1108 and Section 1069 funds.

Map of a 7-mile busway and a 1-mile HOV facility to serve a 20-mile corridor between the airport and downtown Pittsburgh. The busway, extending from Carnegie to downtown Pittsburgh, will follow sections of active and abandoned railroad right-of-way from Carnegie to Station Square, which is across the Monongahela River from downtown Pittsburgh. At Station Square the exclusive busway will merge with a 1.1 mile HOV facility comprised of a rehabilitated Wabash Tunnel and new bridge across the Monongahela River to complete the connection into downtown Pittsburgh. In the remaining 12 miles of the corridor, from Carnegie to the airport, buses will operate in mixed traffic on the relatively uncongested Parkway West (I-279). There will be a direct ramp connection in Carnegie between the busway and the Parkway West.