mon wharf ramp

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salty
Participant
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Caught this snippet in an article about RAD funding:

The Allegheny Land Trust will receive $50,000 next year and in 2013 to help build a switchback ramp at the Mon Wharf to connect the Three Rivers Heritage Trail to Point State Park.


mark
Participant
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wooooooooooooooooo!


salty
Participant
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Even better, from the full budget:

2012 capital: $34,000 for resurfacing Panhandle Trail,

$110,000 for Montour Trail Construction in South Park and

$50,000 for switchback construction at Mon Wharf;

2013 capital for switchback construction at Mon Wharf (Three Rivers Heritage Trail.)


Swalfoort
Participant
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Mon Wharf is definitely entering the general range of being completed. But, it will take a lot more than $100,000 to do it. Riverlife is working on the bulk of the funding. Nice to see Allegheny Land Trust kicking in too.


bear250220
Participant
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thats the part im waiting to be finished then i can ride from work over by the casino all the way to sandcastle without any road riding


Noah Mustion
Participant
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too bad it’ll be worthless three months out of the year :(


rsprake
Participant
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I am looking forward to this being done but I am curious what is going to happen to the narrow sidewalk that connects the wharf to point park.


Swalfoort
Participant
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@ryan – There are plans to address that, but at the moment I can’t recall what they are.

@noah – I believe the City is also looking and an on road routing of bike lanes or sharrows that will provide a connection between the trail and the Point for use when the Wharf is inaccessible due to flooding.


Steven
Participant
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They’re supposed to build a cantilevered trail swinging out over the river from the Mon Wharf to Point State Park. Riverlife was saying in 2009 that it was fully funded and would be built in 2010. Seems it’s been delayed….

Good to hear that there may be an on-road route too.


Mick
Participant
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@steven Seems it’s been delayed….

Now THERE’s a shocker.


Impala26
Participant
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@mick

Could you only imagine if the extent of these “delays” were done to road projects in the region?

“Oh yeah, Route 28 was scheduled to be done in 2014, but due to budget issues, its completion will be delayed until 2016 at the EARLIEST. Sorry.”


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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(Um… Route 28 was first envisioned in 1910…)


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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and…”in 1963, the Pittsburgh Area Transportation Plan recommended upgrading PA 28 and then PA 8, to a six-lane, limited-access highway starting 2,200 feet west of the 31st Street Bridge and ending at the 40th Street Bridge. Full interchanges would be constructed at both bridges; however, this recommendation was not carried out….”


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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but wait, there’s more: “In 1984, a “Priority Highway System Plan” was proposed by the Southwestern Regional Planning Commission. It called for building an interchange “with Route 28 depressed below the 31st Street Bridge,” and the permanent closing of Rialto Street. However, this plan was ignored just as it had been when first proposed in 1963.”


Steven
Participant
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Or the repairs to the Greenfield Bridge, whose concrete chunk catching underbridge will be over a decade old by the time they actually replace the decaying bridge in 2014. Or the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

Bike projects are hardly unique in experiencing construction delays sometimes. And they’ve been making plenty of progress every year on the GAP, overall. Just three major projects left!


Impala26
Participant
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@ALMKLM

All valid points. If anyone ever gets the chance to look at some of the highway studies done for the region in the 1950s and 60s they’re pretty damn absurd.

“Let’s just build highways EVERYWHERE!” Pretty much sums up the theme of those studies.

Fun fact: the Birmingham Bridge was to be a part of such a new system of expessways, and you can still see where future on/off ramps were to be on the South Side end of the bridge (the odd jut-outs on either side with jersey barries placed along the edge). This was supposed to link to a new inner beltway that would run through Junction (aka Panther) hollow and cross the Allegheny around Millvale.


Impala26
Participant
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Also, back on topic, couldn’t they just connect/upgrade the new Mon Wharf walkway with the EXISTING pathway that connects the wharf to Point State Park rather than unnecessarily build a new cantilevered walkway that could cost several hundred thousand dollars?

I mean, is the city really worried about its image so much with the vagrant/homeless folks that congregate around there? I mean, I wouldn’t put that past them…


Steven
Participant
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Several hundred thousand? They wish. Try $8 million.

The existing pathway is very narrow and winds around various bridge pillars and a highway ramp. I’m guessing in most areas it would be extremely difficult to widen it. Want to talk expensive? Try moving the supports for a bridge.

Surely Riverlife and the other groups looked at alternatives to building such an expensive segment? Presumably they couldn’t come up with anything acceptable. (And remember the city, PennDOT, and maybe the Feds would have to approve too, since they’d be building under part of an interstate highway.)

Also, from what I’ve seen, homeless folks mostly hang out under the wharf section the already-built Mon Wharf trail passes by, not on the narrow path that the new segment would bypass. So this segment wouldn’t effectively hide them.

Riverlife’s page on the project.

[Edited to change Friends of the Riverfront reference to Riverlife, since they’re the ones doing it, and to add link to their Connector page.]


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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I think this thread demonstrates the subtle ways in which some assumptions about the how’s and why’s these projects happen (or not – and for how much!) are easily misunderstood.

As Steven identifies above, in addition to the stakeholders and property entities (City, County, State, US Govt), you’ve got intersecting agencies at those multiple levels as well. Then there is the design process to satisfy within those limitations. Then there is funding, again with multiple requirements and limitations… and on and on before we even get to the realities of limitation which include identifying and vetting an appropriate contractor and getting it on a schedule.

In other threads I’ve seen phrases like “can’t they just take the money from this and spend it on that trail, etc.” and the reality is, it is just not at all simple, and money doesn’t just transfer from one column to the other. These projects – often decades in the making, are just way too much a house of cards. If you pull one element out (ie: design change, stake holder or agency has change of heart, funding dries up…) the whole thing collapses.

Or at best is interminably delayed…

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