A long-awaited business district improvement project was kicked off Oct. 22 along the North Side’s Western Ave. corridor.
Dubbed Western Renewed
, the $1.7 million revitalization project involves removing the street’s badly decayed infrastructure, relocating overhead utility lines to alleyways, planting new trees, constructing new herring bone brick sidewalks and storm drains, and installing teardrop-shaped Victorian street lights.
Designed by Pashek Associates
, the project will help the corridor attract new businesses, residents, shoppers, and tourists by creating a more welcoming, accessible atmosphere. To mark the start of the one-year project, Mayor Ravenstahl joined members of the Allegheny West Civic Council
(AWCC) to lay the first sidewalk brick along the 900 block of Western Ave.
“If you walk down Western Avenue, the tree roots are pulling up sidewalks—it’s very hazardous. This is only the first step. It will create a common look to tie the neighborhood together,” says Gloria Rayman, with AWCC. "We're looking to get the right mix of businesses to best serve residents and people here during the day.”
Long delayed due to financial issues and rising construction costs, the project received a boost from the Mayor’s pay-as-you-go capital improvement fund. The project is also funded by the Western Avenue Neighborhood Improvement District, Urban Redevelopment Authority, and R.K. Mellon Foundation. Contractor ASTCO Construction. The Northside Leadership Conference provided project management services.
An eight-block city and national historic district, Allegheny West is home to some 400 residents. The average home price is $300,000. The AWCC is also working to transform underutilized commercial properties on North Ave. into affordable housing.To receive Pop City free every week, click here.
Writer: Jennifer Baron
Source: Gloria Rayman, president, Allegheny West Civic Council
Image courtesy Allegheny West Civic Association/Gloria Rayman