April 20, 2024

Springswines

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Centre County Commissioners Consider Local Transportation Project Funding for 2024

3 min read
Centre County Commissioners Consider Local Transportation Project Funding for 2024
Centre County Commissioners Consider Local Transportation Project Funding for 2024

Centre County’s Board of Commissioners on Tuesday heard recommendations for six municipal transportation projects to receive funding in 2024.

The county’s Local Transportation Funding Program annually awards money to municipalities for road and bridge projects from multiple sources, including the Fee for Local Use (the $5 fee added to vehicle registrations in Centre County) and the Liquid Fuels Fund (the county’s allocation from the state gas tax), as well as any Act 13 funding for at-risk bridges allocated by PennDOT.

Out of 14 applications for projects totaling more than $1 million, the county Office of Planning and Community Development recommended six projects to be funded by $262,562 from the Liquid Fuels Fund and the Fee for Local Use, assistant director Liz Lose told the commissioners. Another $663,058 from the Fee for Local Use has been held in reserve to be allocated to two long-planned bridge projects in June 2024.

Projects are evaluated through a selection process based on need, safety, municipal contribution and last allocation year.

“As always, the allocations requested far outweigh what is available,” Lose said.

A total of $187,565 from the Liquid Fuels Fund is recommended for three projects:

Howard Township
Project: Bullit Run Road resurfacing
Total project cost: $98,895
County allocation: $58,895 (59.55%)

Huston Township
Project: Partial paving of Railroad Street for access over the railroad crossing
Total project cost: $38,670
County allocation: $28,670 (74.14%)

Penn Township
Project: Seal coat the entire length of Smithtown Road and pulverizing and reconstruction of Green Grove Road
Total project cost: $159,717
County allocation: $100,000 (62.61%)

“Green Grove Road is very close to the Penns Valley high school so we thought that would be a viable project with any future improvements to the high school,” Lose said.

From the Fee for Local Use, $75,000 is recommended for three projects

Bellefonte
Project: Install stamped asphalt pavement at West Bishop Street and South Spring Street as part of a pedestrian safety project.
Project cost: $28,762
County allocation: $25,000 (86.92%)

Centre Hall
Project: Milling of paving notches on Colyer Avenue, Decatur Alley, Pine Alley and Kelly Street
Project cost: $39,720
County allocation: $15,000 (37.76%)

Snow Shoe Township
Project: Paving and shoulder repair of Gordon Road
Project cost: $91,190
County allocation: $35,000 (38.33%)

Replacements of the Railroad Street bridge in Bellefonte and Mill Street bridge in Howard are also slated to receive in June $663,058 that has been held in reserve in the Fee for Local Use fund, bringing the total expected 2024 allocation from the fund to $738,058. The bundled projects total $3,854,000 and have previously been awarded a $2.07 million grant from PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund and $1 million in Act 13 funding, in addition to municipal and county contributions.

Both bridges have been deemed structurally deficient. The Railroad Street bridge was built in 1925 and provides sole access to a neighborhood. The Mill Street bridge, built in 1915, provides the lone access to a neighborhood and a boat launch at Bald Eagle State Park.

“It’s the only way in and out of those neighborhoods,” board Chair Mark Higgins said. “No bridge, no access to housing, to kayaks, to boat launches and several businesses.”

Commissioners voted to add the recommended 2024 Liquid Fuels and Fee for Local Use allocations to the consent agenda for a final vote at their next meeting on Dec. 5.