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August 06, 2016

Philadelphia receives federal grant to reduce air pollution, traffic congestion

$7.3 million will be used to fund five projects across city

Grants Transportation
Carroll - City Hall and Benjamin Franklin Parkway Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia City Hall from the Parkway.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) awarded the City of Philadelphia more than $7 million that will be used to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.

Mayor Jim Kenney's Office announced Friday that the federal funds are part of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program.

The grants, $7.3 million in total, will fund five projects across the city.

“Residents of Philadelphia will greatly benefit from this infusion of $7.3 million to projects that reduce emissions and help the City meet federal air-quality standards,” City Councilman and DVRPC board member Mark Squilla said. “We are making strategic investments using technology to enhance recreational and commuting opportunities and neighborhood quality of life in several communities. The city is very appreciative of DVRPC and our regional partners’ support of these critical projects.”

Three projects will receive approximately $2 million each: the reconstruction of North 5th Street, the purchase of eco-friendly waste haulers and the construction of bus stations on the Roosevelt Boulevard.

To improve traffic congestion on 5th Street in the Hunting Park section of the city, $2.02 million will go toward signal upgrades, sidewalk improvements and street lighting.

Looking to reduce methane emissions, the city will use $2 million to purchase waste haulers that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and construct a CNG fueling station.

As part of the Roosevelt Boulevard ‘Route for Change’ Program, the city will direct $1,999,500 to the construction of 10 new bus stations at five intersections along the roadway. The stations would support a new bus service that is planned by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

The remaining $1.3 million will go toward a new multi-use trail in the Fox Chase section of the city and improved shuttle service that connects the Navy Yard and AT&T Station on the Broad Street Line.

In Fox Chase, $868,700 will be spent to convert defunct train tracks near SEPTA's Regional Rail station at Rhawn Street into a trail that connects to Pennypack Trail.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) will use $416,280 to expand shuttle service at the Navy Yard. The enhanced service will cut wait times from 20 minutes to 10 minutes, PIDC officials said.

The DVRPC awarded a total of $20.9 million this year in the CMAQ program for projects across Southeastern Pennsylvania.