Mon-Fayette Expressway might never run to Pittsburgh

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Tabby
Participant
#

While I love hearing news about the MFX not having funding to go through, I won’t really ever feel at peace about it until it gets declared dead. I hate that it’s basically shovel ready and could be built (if funding were made available) even though the road makes no sense. It was never a good idea, but it’s an even worse idea now.


Lyle
Participant
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How much taxpayer money got paid to all those consultants and contractors when they built that park? What, 7 years ago? And now they want to tear it up? WTF.


Steven
Participant
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Tear it up? I think their original plan when they redid Schenley Plaza was to include a restaurant in that location. It’s just taken them a while to pick a company to make it happen.


rsprake
Participant
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Future plans for the site include the restoration of the Magee Memorial Fountain in front of the Carnegie Library, and a full-service restaurant in the Plaza’s northwest corner.

http://www.pittsburghparks.org/schenleyplaza

With the right company and design it could be an outstanding addition and great for tourists and locals alike. I say get r done.


edmonds59
Participant
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I couldn’t tell from the article, are the art commission meetings public or closed?

Doug Cooper is a great dude. It would be outstanding if public input could entice E&P to develop a template for a really urban restaurant for public settings, really euro cafe, keep the family friendly menu and prices. Anybody have any “ins”?

I could envision a really kitschy “Eat’n Park” neon sign with the “Park” left intentionally burned out, just “Eat’n”.


Lyle
Participant
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Oh, I see. This would be a restaurant with no parking lot, just on the edge of the park. Hm.


alankhg
Participant
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Sounds like a reasonable restaurant in an attractive setting with no additional parking: solid urbanism. It’ll bring revenue to the Parks Department as well. Sounds good.


erok
Keymaster
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why take the “park” out of the name? just change the meaning. Eat’n (the) Park?


dwillen
Participant
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I could envision a really kitschy “Eat’n Park” neon sign with the “Park” left intentionally burned out, just “Eat’n”.

Eat’n d’Park?


dwillen
Participant
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Damn it, Erok beat me :(


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Eat n Park – local company, buys local produce, etc., support tons of charitable events, relatively healthy menu (seriously!), and way kid-friendly.

I agree with this. And Six Penn Kitchen downtown is consistently good. The good thing about having a company like Eat ‘n Park open this restaruant is that they know what they are doing, and have the finances to keep it going at the start while folks figure out that it is there. Undercapitalization is the main reason small businesses fail in their first year and no business is more punishing of undercapitalization than a restaurant where you have to throw out (or donate) “inventory” you don’t sell because it spoils. Having a well capitalized company do this means it will stick around long enough to do well.

Info about the Art Comission


erok
Keymaster
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dwillen, i like your d’park. it sorta adds a french, parisian feel to it. now we just hope they erect a kitchy eiffel tower in the plaza and make their wait staff wear berets, and we’ll really be on the way to our paris of appalachia title


edmonds59
Participant
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All excellent ideas!

Pittsburgh beret = babushka.


Impala26
Participant
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As per the restaurant’s name I believe I read that it was to be called “Currant”. By the way, how did this thread go from the MFSOB to the restaurant in Schenley Plaza? LOL. Also yes the original plans for the plaza called for a small restaurant space, so no one go lambasting Eat ‘n Park or the Parks/City or anything.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I repeat: This road is a true zombie. No matter how many times you kill it, it still lives.

Here’s the story.

Here’s the quote that matters:

“Kirk said he supports raising the wholesale gas tax because a portion of its revenue is set aside for the Mon-Fayette Expressway, the Pittsburgh-to-West Virginia toll road. The final connections of the highway to Pittsburgh have stalled without funding for years.”

And to reiterate what I said in an earlier post: “All they need is the money. And don’t be too surprised if, in all this Act 44 post-mortem, that they find it.”


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@stu – your characterization is kind of unfair to zombies.

I think of the Mon/Fay as more of a cockroach.


Tabby
Participant
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In that article stu just linked, I hate how they’ve got “Rendell said the state has 5,646 bridges that are rated “structurally deficient” and 10,000 miles of roadway behind schedule for repaving.” And then they have that nimrod Kirk talking about setting aside taxes for MFX.

They’re not even close to being able to maintain current infrastructure so why keep revisiting the MFX??? And if new infrastructure is to be built it should focus on rail and complete street networks, NOT a sprawl-way.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@ALMKLM, true enough. Cincinnati had to deal with a cockroach once [YouTube], as did Chicago with an eggplant.

“OlĂ©? That’s dumb.” *reference to 1st link*


erok
Keymaster
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so i just read in this article about trying to resurrect I80 tolling that a portion of the wholesale gas tax goes to the MFE? WTF is that? how does that even happen?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/regional/s_678655.html


sloaps
Participant
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Joe Kirk has been pushing for that road for more than 20 years. A generation ago perhaps it was needed to resuscitate the Mon valley, but not today and certainly not tomorrow.

Also Barry Stout, state Senator who has been pushing for this highway, is retiring this year.


Impala26
Participant
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Every time I ride with my friend to his place on California University’s campus, I admit that it’s a great way to get there from Pittsburgh. On the other side of the coin though, I don’t see it as much more than a fast way between the city and California with virtually no one else on it when I ride with him. It’s almost a ghost highway.

Let’s only hope that all its proponents retire (or worse) long before the money materializes for the project. Or the Turnpike Commission gets disbanded.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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One year later, and here we are, with this damned road STILL leading the headlines.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/roadwork/s_746298.html

Recently appointed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman William K. Lieberman of Squirrel Hill called finishing the highway his top priority, saying it is vital to the region’s economy.

“While it may be pie in the sky, I want to see (the highway) go all the way to Monroeville. We’ll go mile marker by mile marker if we have to,” Lieberman said.

The zombie lives. Kill the zombie.


Tabby
Participant
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I don’t think this project can be killed. Since it’s shovel ready they truly can just go mile by mile if they have to with no further sign-offs to do.


sloaps
Participant
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You know what’s funny about the Bill Lieberman character? Williman Lieberman’s business is in amusement, vending machines and ATMs

Apparently, selling arcade machines gives you the unique ability to manage the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

And his offhand comment of constructing the last section of MFSoB (thanks, Stu) mile by mile would turn $4Billion into $8Billion quite easily.

This moron, William Lieberman, is providing substantial fodder for those in Harrisburg who wish to dissolve the Commission and fold its assets into PennDOT.


ieverhart
Participant
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substantial fodder for those in Harrisburg who wish to dissolve the Commission and fold its assets into PennDOT.

Um, what are the reasons for not doing that? They seem to have very much overlapping areas of competency. Expertise at managing toll booths?


spinballer
Participant
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Apparently, selling arcade machines gives you the unique ability to manage the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

i lol’d. hard.


brian j
Participant
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Wait, you mean political appointees are supposed to be qualified for their positions?

Huh.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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“Last week’s opening was a 4-mile segment from Interstate 68 east of Morgantown, W.Va., to the Pennsylvania line. Built over rugged terrain, it cost more than $150 million.”

That’s $37.5 million. PER. MILE.

If anyone needs a reason for why the TPC will never fold into PaDOT there it is. The corruption is WHY it will continue to exist. Too much money to spread around with too little accountability.

(However, unless the Commonwealth can find a way to “privatize,” ie: sell-off to a chummy corporate interest, ie: BIG DONOR, the TPC and all of it’s flaws is here to stay.)


rsprake
Participant
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It’s absurd.


Mick
Participant
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Sloaps Apparently, selling arcade machines gives you the unique ability to manage the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Experience with corruption?


sloaps
Participant
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To be fair, each requires making coins from paper money.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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For those for whom this is a new thread, please review some of the posts above.

Then read this (new, 21 Dec 2012):

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/turnpike-commission-restores-plan-for-southern-beltway-667327/

THIS GODDAMNED ROAD CANNOT BE KILLED!


Anonymous #

$48 million per mile?

what are they paving it with? solid gold bricks?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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They’re using money that should be better spent fixing what we already have. But the legislation enabling the funding was passed in 1991 after years and years of fighting to get the road passed, based on traffic analyses from the early 1980s, based on reasoning from the 1960s and 1970s.

It’s passed all environmental challenges. All they’ve been waiting for is funding, and they’re probably going to get it.

How do you stop this? It’s a lot easier to change ink than bulldozers.


Kordite
Participant
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Let’s see. 4 lane highway would take a million bricks per mile. I know that a gold brick would cost a lot more than $48. Restoration of brick roads cost from $13 to $17 per square foot. One mile of highway would be 264,000 square feet and cost us upwards of 4 and a half million dollars. Of course, that assuming we are refurbishing a brick road and not building from scratch.


jonawebb
Participant
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It is expensive, I looked at some numbers for how much it normally costs to build a multi-lane rural highway (ftp://ftp.dot.state.fl.us/LTS/CO/Estimates/CPM/summary.pdf) and it is several million dollars per mile, not $48 million. I expect that there’s something else feeding into the $48 million than simple construction costs.


edmonds59
Participant
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I know shamefully little about this issue, but wild-guessing, I would think that property acquisition and /or right-of-way rights would far exceed actual construction costs, perhaps? Especially given that property owners on the published route are aware this is coming and see the cha$$$$ching?


Pseudacris
Participant
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My guess is that this will serve the burgeoning natural gas industry.

We will pay for it — our taxes and our health.//end soapbox

[edit]

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pa-ranks-just-after-texas-in-shale-jobs-667121/


edmonds59
Participant
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Gosh, Pseuda, I was thinking if only the mountaintop-exploding industry and the fracking industry could get together with the highway building industry, this project might just be a $ wash. [sarcasm]


Pseudacris
Participant
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You left out gambling.

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