Funds sought for work at former Civic Arena site

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Faced with a big shortfall in the money needed to build roads and make other improvements at the former Civic Arena site, local officials are turning to the federal government for help.

The city and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority are applying for a U.S. Department of Commerce grant of up to $3 million to help pay for roads, utilities and other site work estimated at nearly $40 million.

So far, the SEA has been able to secure a $15 million state capital grant for the work, but is still well short of the amount needed to pave the way for the residential, office and commercial development proposed by the Pittsburgh Penguins on the 28-acre site.

The SEA hopes to start the infrastructure work this summer on the eastern part of the site near Crawford Square. The Penguins are under an October deadline to take down at least 2.8 acres for development or risk losing the rights to the parcels.

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