Renovations to the fountain in Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh might be finished by spring, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
DCNR spokesperson Christina Novak said construction on the fountain is most likely running ahead of schedule due to mild weather last fall and winter. Past predictions had the dedication ceremony taking place summer 2013.
The $9.6 million overhaul to the iconic fountain began in 2011, although it was turned off in 2009. This is the first major work done to the landmark in the past 40 years.
Novak said, when they began the project, the plan was to start renovations on the downtown-side of the park and finish the fountain last.
“We did have some technical problems with the pump and some of the other equipment related to the fountain that caused us to turn it off,” said Novak. “But it was anticipated with this major overhaul of Point State Park that it would be a process that took a couple of phases and would have to be done over a number of years.”
She said even though there are currently safety fences around the fountain, a lot of activity can be seen in the park due to the new Café at the Point, and events held in conjunction with the Fort Pitt Museum.
Novak said as work on the fountain advanced, some changes had to be made.
“There will actually be, in the interior of the fountain, a waterfall that will be new,” said Novak. “And there will be some new lighting in the fountain as well as a few minor changes with respect to the peacock sprays and water column of the fountain.”
She said progress on the fountain might be bogged down if Pittsburgh is hit with rough weather this fall or winter. Once the fountain is done DCNR will work with Riverlife to connect the park with the Great Allegheny Passage, a 141 mile bike path between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Maryland.