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Conshy Hopes to Improve Fayette Street Traffic with Fed Funds

Conshohocken Borough has voted to apply for a $500,000 grant to install new traffic lights on Fayette Street.

hopes to get in on the action of some federal grant money available to the Delaware Valley, in order to improve traffic along Fayette Street.

Christine Stetler, Zoning and Community Development officer for the Borough, appeared before council at Wednesday night's monthly meeting to ask permission to apply for a $500,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

"This would be a grant to upgrade the traffic signals on Fayette Street and include a loop system," said Stetler. "[The goal is] to improve congestion and air quality."

According to Stetler, roughly $8.5 million is available to dole out to communities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

"This is one of the congested corridors in the county," said Stetler, citing a DVRPC study. "Their reports say traffic signal upgrades along Fayette Street should be done in the next five years, and that report is over five years old."

Paul Hughes, borough engineer, said that the money would be used to buy new traffic light equipment at the intersections with Third, Ninth, and 11th Avenues, as well as fiber optic systems to share data with West Elm Street.

"PennDOT deems the equipment at Elm, First, and Sixth  Avenues to be up to date and adequate," Hughes said. "In the future, we hope to tie the [fiber optic] systems with Ridge Pike and West Conshohocken."

The grant requires an 80/20 split between the federal government and borough, meaning that Conshohocken would have to spend approximately $100,000 of its own funds. Council President Paul McConnell said that these funds could be appropriated from the capital improvements fund, and would likely be paid out near the end of 2012 or early 2013 if the grant is approved.

McConnell also asked Stetler about the likelihood of receiving the grant.

"We have been trying to fund something like this for quite some time… but we've been told by the GVF TMA that we should continue to put this forth," Stetler said. "[They] said it sounds better than most other applications…and PennDOT seems to think it is a good idea as well."

Council voted unanimously to apply for the grant, and Stetler said the Borough will likely hear back from the DVRPC as early as July or August.

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