Export seeks to unify downtown projects, local improvements, the trail
For several years, those responsible for Export have been undertaking projects aimed at revitalizing this 110-year-old district. They range from Eagle Scout flower planters to the relocation of the Borough’s Veterans Memorial to the almost complete construction of a replica of the former Export Station.
Now they’re working with an architect from Monroeville to bring it all together.
“A few months ago, the council approved a contract with Lisa Intrieri of Design 3 Architecture, the same group that helped design the Veterans Memorial,” City Councilor Melanie Litz said. “So we drew her in to help coordinate the downtown area, especially the parking lot. “
Litz said the goal is to “give us a global, coordinated and central community gathering space.”
The plan, dubbed “Heritage Square,” would define the movement of vehicles, buses and bicycles within Export through newly designed crosswalks, cycle paths and parking areas.
“We’re looking to connect these different functionalities that they’ve worked so hard to create over the past few years,” Intrieri said. “These are all kinds of little islands. This project tries to unify all of this with paved parking lots, a more defined entrance to the bike path and green spaces as well.
Intrieri also helped the borough apply for a grant from the state’s Department of Conservation and Economic Development of up to $ 2.6 million to help fund the project. The borough has committed $ 45,000 in matching funds, Litz said.
“Obviously, there is a great need for parking and cohesion downtown,” she said. “So instead of breaking it up like we did, we knew we needed a comprehensive plan. “
DCED Multimodal Transportation Grant recipients will be announced in November. Litz said district officials plan to spend this time seeking additional support for the plan.
“The Westmoreland County Planning and Development Department noted that this aligned with the overall county plan, as well as Re-Imagining Our Westmoreland,” she said. “We have secured the support of State Representative Bob Brooks and State Senator Joe Pittman. They like it too.
Litz said she was grateful for the work Intrieri has done so far.
“Lisa was able to not only complete the design but also complete the grant application on our behalf,” she said. “It was an important job, since we only gave him about a month and a half to do it.”