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Line painting planned for next year as part of Oakmont’s pedestrian safety improvements

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An Oakmont pedestrian safety project, inspired by a traffic study and a borough Girl Scout, is planned for next year.

Borough officials earmarked $40,000 in the 2021 budget for line painting for crosswalks along Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue.

It is unclear how much painting could be done with that amount of money.

The decision to improve the crosswalks was done after reviewing a traffic study by Wooster and Associates of Pittsburgh and a report from resident Audrey Myers, a ninth-grader at Riverview High School.

“I think she inspired us to move forward on it, and she has given us a wonderful tool to work with,” Councilwoman Nancy Ride said. “We’re able to use it rather than doing our research with our own staff, and we thank her.”

Audrey examined about 120 intersections this past spring and noted the quality of the crosswalks and whether there were sidewalk ramps. Audrey also took photos of all of the intersections.

She submitted her data to the borough in March. Officials put that data into an interactive dashboard for Oakmont’s geographic information systems a few months later.

According to Audrey’s report, 53 of the intersections examined had crosswalks while 61 only had sidewalk ramps.

Out of those crosswalks, seven were listed in good condition, 20 in fair condition, 21 were poor and three earned mixed reviews.

Myers is a member of Girl Scout Troop 52359 in Oakmont and Boy Scout Troop 9143 in Monroeville.

Her efforts will go toward her Girl Scouts Silver Award.

The traffic study was released a few months ago. It included an analysis of traffic along Allegheny Avenue, Third Street and Cedar Way from Hulton

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Maryland Takes Over Hundreds Of Purple Line Contracts After Fallout With Contractors : NPR

The Maryland Transit Administration will now oversee the day-to-day management of the construction of the Purple Line.

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The Maryland Transit Administration has taken over hundreds of contracts for the Purple Line light rail construction, following a months-long battle with the private-partner consortium working on the $5.6 billion project.

State officials announced the news Friday, according to the Washington Post, potentially upending one of the largest public-private partnerships in the country.

The takeover comes after contractors with Purple Line Transit Partners LLC, the consortium of private companies that partnered with the state to develop the line, quit construction over cost disputes with the state — squabbles that had persisted for years. Under the public-private partnership, the state owns the project, but the contractors under PLTP oversaw the build-out of the light-rail, which would connect New Carrolton to Bethesda.

In September, a judge ruled that the contractors could quit amid cost overruns and construction delays, and required them to stay on the job until Sept. 14. On Sept. 23, many crews began packing up.

The disruption now leaves roads torn up and bridges half-built across Montgomery and Prince George’s County. The state and subcontractors will work together to continue working on the corridors in the county over the next 30 days, according to Maryland Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater wrote in a statement provided to DCist that the state will now oversee the “day-to-day” management of the light rail (including manufacturing, maintenance, and 233 design and construction agreements), but the move will likely delay final completion — which was originally slated for March 2022 — by years.

In mid-September, following the judge’s ruling, state transportation officials met with Montgomery County councilmembers to assure them that the rail would be completed

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MDOT takes over rail contracts from Purple Line contractors

Just weeks after work on the Purple Line ground to a halt in the wake of a bitter, years-long financial dispute, the state Department of Transportation announced on Friday that it has assumed numerous key construction contracts.

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

Just weeks after work on the Purple Line ground to a halt in the wake of a bitter, years-long financial dispute, the state Department of Transportation announced on Friday that it has assumed numerous key construction contracts.

The move is the first tangible sign that MDOT intends to make good on its promise to jump-start the 16.5-mile project, despite the demise of the agency’s relationship with the financing consortium, Purple Line Transit Partners, and its prime subcontractor, Purple Line Transit Constructors, last month.

Despite the assumption of contracts, the state’s Transportation secretary insisted that MDOT is “committed” to ongoing negotiations to bring PLTC back to the project. A dispute over nearly $800 million in cost overruns led the firm to exercise its right to walk away with the line partially built.

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) officially took over the project on Sept. 28. MDOT senior official Matthew Pollack is now serving as Purple Line executive director for the agency.

“MDOT and MTA have assumed the Purple Line’s key contracts and hundreds of subcontracts to continue the delivery of the Purple Line, “ said MDOT spokeswoman Erin Henson in a statement.

She said the contracts assumed by the state from PLTC include light rail car manufacturing, operations and maintenance, 233 design and construction contracts and six commercial leases and licenses.

Last week PLTP entered a forbearance agreement with its lenders, a move that allowed the firm to make a $7.8 million

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Maryland takes over hundreds of Purple Line contracts to continue construction

It is PLTP’s construction contractor, a joint venture led by Texas-based Fluor, that quit over the cost overruns. Maryland officials said they are continuing to negotiate with PLTP over whether the project’s larger $5.6 billion partnership can be saved.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater said the state “officially took over the day-to-day management” of the 16-mile light-rail project through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties Sept. 28. Matthew Pollack, the state’s Purple Line project director, met with subcontractors Sept. 30 “to outline the next steps,” said Erin Henson, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Henson said it then took time to figure out what work could continue. Most new construction stopped in mid-September, after a Baltimore judge ruled that the contractor had a legal right to quit.

The contracts that the state has assumed include the manufacturing of the light-rail vehicles, the eventual operations and maintenance of the rail line, and 233 design and construction contracts and other agreements.

Under state management, work will continue on erosion and sediment control, relocating overhead electrical wires and underground utilities, and some final design work, Henson said.

“While the state is committed to ongoing negotiations, we have to continue to deliver the Purple Line for the citizens of Maryland and protect the state’s interest, which includes ensuring construction continues,” Slater said in a statement.

Maryland transit officials have said they will decide in the next four to six months whether they will continue managing the project, seek a new construction contractor or procure another public-private partnership if the agreement with PLTP dissolves.

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Celebrated textile designer Anna Benham develops new tile line | Home | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander

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Compared to her exuberantly colored textiles, Anna Benham’s new tile designs are more about line and pattern, subtle yet timeless, like the locations throughout Uzbekistan, Jerusalem and other regions which inspired them.

“My aim as an artist is to try and create something that has a longevity, that has a subtle stunningness,” says Benham, who is originally from Bath, England, and now makes her home near Moscow, Idaho. “My style is very English, because I am English, but I love history.”

Benham’s early influences include her father, a craftsman and maker of Windsor chairs, and a neighboring family who made pottery in the midcentury modern style. Stronger still was the influence of Bath itself, whose history is a panoply of cultures and styles, from initial occupation by the Romans in the first century AD to the city’s revival during the 18th century as a resort town in the Georgian architectural style.

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Despite being surrounded by the arts and attending Glasgow School of Art, Benham didn’t initially see herself as an artist. She had early success, however, with her paintings which were soon translated into a range of fashion and home décor items, launching a lengthy and celebrated career.

Then a few years ago, Benham connected with Quarry Tile, a Spokane Valley tile manufacturer, and spent the next few years learning a new design process. Working with a Northwest-inspired color palette — grays, blues, earth tones — Benham creates a single, square design. The company then uses digital technology to translate the design into glaze that’s applied to mostly local clay tiles. Once fired, the tiles are waterproof like any commercial tile, yet slight variations in the glaze application lend the tiles a hand-painted look.

Visit annabenham.com/collections/tiles

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