The first phase of a riverfront revitalization project north of Pittsburgh is now complete.
The official ribbon cutting ceremony for Bridge Street freight access took place Thursday morning. It's an effort that has been in development for about a decade.
“The road was in horrible condition, and the business fronting the road makes specialty window systems, and for a number of years they weren’t able to use the road effectively because of the potholes and such,” said Iris Whitworth, executive director of the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone (ARTEZ).
In addition to the road’s problems, heaving runoff from the 62nd Street Bridge, which runs over the road, prompted concern that a new road wouldn’t last. That issue has been addressed, the $175,000 project included efforts to decrease storm water runoff including a perennial garden. The revitalization of the road is the first phase of a larger effort to better connect Etna and Sharpsburg to the riverfront.
“We’ve developed a partnership with an organization called Friends of the Riverfront, which recently purchased some land at the end of this road and it looks out over the river,” Whitworth said. “In the next two years we’re going to be completing fundraising and development of a park and also a trail connection that will be part of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system.”
State and local officials were on hand for the ribbon cutting, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Congressman Mike Doyle, Senators Jim Ferlo and Randy Vulakovich and Sharpsburg and Etna officials. Construction on the park and trail is expected to start either in late 2014 or early 2015.