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Port authority awaits FTA recommendation on light-rail project

After a minor interruption, Port Authority of Allegheny County officials hope to soon begin final design of the North Shore Light Rail project.

In July 2002, the Federal Transit Administration gave the $390 million project a "recommended" status after analyzing the authority’s environmental plan. But several weeks ago, that status was changed to "not recommended" after the FTA completed a financial assessment.

"We have since given them updated financial information," says Port Authority spokesperson Bob Grove. "We’ve been told by FTA the financial plan is okay, and it’s certainly our hope that within the next month the status will be back to recommended and we’ll have the go-ahead to do the final design."

Until the authority is given FTA’s go-ahead, it is unable to secure $18 million for final design work, which will take 12 to 14 months to complete.

The light-rail system would connect downtown Pittsburgh with the north shore across the Allegheny River. Several development projects are planned in the area.

Angela Claypool

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/12/2003