The Trail: a future 1.4-mile pedestrian & bicycle connection.
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.
NEXT STEPS FOR THE TRAIL
Almono LLC is nearing agreement with the railroad. As such, bids are expected in late June 2018, with an expected construction start in early August 2018. This final piece of construction includes the protective canopy and completion of the 150-foot gap in the trail (and roadway) this summer, 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. Redevelopment of this site is moving too slow for some and too fast for others. 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!
PAST WORK ON THE TRAIL
In late 2012, a trail easement was established 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).