A future 1.8-mile pedestrian & bicycle connection.
Multi-Use Path: A 10-foot wide permeable asphalt trail runs the length of Blair Street and will connect to the Hot Metal Bridge to the north, and Hazelwood Avenue and Gloster Street to the south.
>> 11.14.2018 UPDATE
The concrete curbs have been placed for the last stretch of Blair Street under the railroad bridge. Paving, which is weather dependent, is expected to take place during the next few days of warmer temperatures. The foundations (footers) for the canopies are getting underway this week, while the canopies are in fabrication. Installation of the two canopies is expected to carry into December.
A few other steps need to be completed to finish and open the trail, all of which are underway. These include:
Two crushed limestone trail segments (on the north end of the site and along Gloster Street) are being completed in a collaborative effort of workforce development organizations: Landforce and POORLAW, with Mele providing heavy equipment support. This work is underway now and expected to be complete before the end of the year.
The trail connection outside of Hazelwood Green (between the Hot Metal Bridge and the northern end of the site) is being coordinated and undertaken by Friends of the Riverfront. They're holding a volunteer event the morning of Saturday, November 17, 2018 to complete this work. Learn more and RSVP at Eventbrite.
The intersection of Blair Street & Second Avenue requires minor re-striping, light activation, and replacement of the street sign from "Signature Boulevard" to "Blair Street." This will need to be coordinated with the City, and is expected to occur in November/December.
Public dedication. The team is working with the Department of Mobility & Infrastructure to begin the public dedication process concurrent with completion of the last 1% of the roadway (i.e. the work outlined above: the trail connections, the canopies, etc). Ultimately, dedication will need to go through and be approved by City Council. We expect the City Council process to occur in December / January. The trail will not open until public dedication is complete. We will continue to post updates as we know more about the City Council process and schedule.
>> 10.01.2018 UPDATE
Construction under the rail underpass is underway! Initial work is composed of connecting utilities and completing the roadway.
>> 08.21.2018 UPDATE
Almono LLC and CSX have reached and signed the agreement for pedestrian / cyclist access under the railroad bridge on-site! Additionally, the construction contract has been awarded with an imminent start of construction. While the construction of the road / trail will be relatively quick, the steel fabrication and delivery (for the protective canopy) is anticipated to have a longer lead time. As such, construction is anticipated to take approximately 3 months.
SIMILAR PROTECTIVE PEDESTRIAN CANOPY IN PHILADELPHIA
NEXT STEPS FOR THE TRAIL
This final piece of construction includes the protective canopy and completion of the 150-foot gap in the trail (and roadway) this fall, as well as restoration of connections on the northern and southern ends. After construction, the trail (and roadway) will be able to be opened after public approval and acceptance by the City.
As a former industrial site that was not open to the general public for decades, the railroads and riverfront infrastructure operated within private property in an industrial context. The future for Hazelwood Green and the restoration of public access is a significant change of use from the days of J&L and LTV Steel. This trail will be a wonderful amenity not only for the site and Hazelwood residents, but for all of Pittsburgh. The opening of this trail is an important and exciting step for achieving the vision for this site – one that we're looking forward to!
HISTORY OF THE TRAIL
In late 2012, a trail easement was established with Friends of the Riverfront along the Monongahela River to connect Hazelwood Green and Greater Hazelwood to the Hot Metal Bridge and Pittsburgh's city-wide trail network. However, consultation with the railroad and consideration of public safety underneath a rail overpass did not take place prior to opening the trail to the public. As a result the trail was closed six months later to determine appropriate safety measures for pedestrians and bicyclists at the crossing under the railroad.
Since then, the plan and construction for the permanent trail occurred from 2013 to 2016 in coordination with the new Blair Street and Hazelwood Avenue, while discussions with the railroad took place on how to best and safely create a pedestrian crossing. Through 2016 and 2017 negotiations and design were underway for a protective canopy to be built over the trail and sidewalk areas as a safety measure for the public from the overhead railroad use. An example of this type of canopy exists on the other side of the state at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (see images below).