Pittsburgh's interconnected trail system is coming together with the completion and the construction of new portions along the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers.
On Monday, a 2,017-foot long stretch of riverbank between the Fort Pitt and Smithfield Street Bridges was dedicated as the Mon Wharf Landing. The $3 million project transformed parking spaces into a park with public riverfront access. The area features new lighting, seating and steps to the Monongahela River, as well as native shrubs and plants. The park was designed by South Side-based LaQuatra Bonci Associates to withstand flooding, and construction was overseen by Pittsburgh-based Clearwater Construction.
The Mon Wharf Landing is the first phase of a project that will eventually connect Point State Park to the Eliza Furnace Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage.
"Right now it's a little island of a park," says Stephan Bontrager with Riverlife. "But for the cycling community, patience is going to pay off. This trail will eventually lead to Washington, D.C."
Support for the project was provided in part by Riverlife, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PennDOT, the K. Mabis McKenna Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
Additionally, Friends of the Riverfront announced this week that construction is starting on new section of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail as part of PennDOT's Route 28 East Ohio Street Improvement Project. The half-mile segment will offer users a dedicated trail corridor along the Allegheny Riverfront between Pittsburgh and Millvale.
To complete this $2.8 million segment, Friends of the Riverfront is partnering with the City of Pittsburgh and PennDOT. Funding has been provided by PennDOT through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Federal Earmarks, Laurel Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and membership support from Friends of the Riverfront.
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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Stephan Bontrager, director of communications, Riverlife; Thomas E. Baxter, executive director, Friends of the Riverfront
Before and after photographs of the Mon Wharf Landing courtesy of Riverlife