On Tuesday, December 6th, Governor Wolf announced investments to support statewide economic development and infrastructure efforts and job creation through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which approved 94 projects totaling $55,068,228 in funding. The Borough of Wilkinsburg received $350,000. “The projects approved today through the Commonwealth Financing Authority will serve as a catalyst for other revitalization efforts,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “These funds will help communities and companies with projects that will improve the lives of Pennsylvania residents and further spur job growth and create new jobs.”
Wilkinsburg Council President Patrick Shattuck says these funds, along with a grant already secured through the Community Investment Tourism Fund from Allegheny County and municipal funds will provide for a substantial overhaul of the Ardmore Boulevard corridor leading into Wilkinsburg. Following the demolition of up to 60 blighted structures flanking Ardmore Boulevard already underway, the Multimodal Transportation funds from DCED will allow for the restoration of the Ardmore Wall, a WPA project which includes a significant retaining wall with integrated sidewalk and stairs running for full block. The sidewalk has been closed for over a generation and the wall has been a visual blight at this important gateway to Wilkinsburg’s downtown and the entire East End. “Wilkinsburg is so grateful for this latest infusion of funding that will not only beautify our community but provide improved access across our neighborhoods. The Borough has worked diligently to implement a comprehensive strategy for improving this corridor and these improvements will not only benefit our residents but also indicate to those outside our community of the incredible potential and value in investing in Wilkinsburg.
Borough Council has been working for several years with local groups as well as County, State and Federal officials to stabilize the community and address the goals identified in their 2010 Comprehensive Plan. Senator Costa and Representative Gainey were instrumental in attaining the grants according to Shattuck.
Demolitions are nearly complete at the Ardmore wall site and work on the actual wall and sidewalk should begin in late summer 2017.