Groundbreaking celebration marks start of construction on trail renovation, rain gardens
June 30, 2016: One of Pittsburgh’s earliest modern riverfront parks is getting a makeover. Representatives from Riverlife, Carnegie Museum of Art, the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and Friends of Allegheny Landing celebrated the latest chapter in the renovation of Allegheny Landing, one of the nation’s first riverfront sculpture parks. Officials broke ground on reconstruction of the park’s lower trail which will include the addition of native plants and a rain garden.
“We are here to celebrate a riverfront park that was one of the first sparks in Pittsburgh’s riverfront renaissance,” said Vivien Li, Riverlife President and CEO. “These improvements represent a public-private partnership that came together to bring back one of the city’s riverfront gems.”
“This park is a wonderful snapshot of what makes Pittsburgh one of the greatest river cities in the world,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Stand here on a summer night when the Pirates are playing and you’ll see flocks of people walking on the trail to get to the game. You see fishermen, people on boats, people enjoying the public art.”
Situated between the 6th and 7th Street bridges on the north bank of the Allegheny River next to PNC Park, Allegheny Landing was dedicated in 1984 in recognition of Pittsburgh’s riverfront potential for recreation and incorporating arts within the urban landscape. After decades of deteriorating conditions and vandalism, a renovation effort was spearheaded by Riverlife, Carnegie Museum of Art, the City of Pittsburgh and Friends of Allegheny Landing.
The first phases of Allegheny Landing reconstruction began in 2013 with the renovation of the landing’s boat dock, which concluded and reopened for public use in 2014. Renovations the following summer included the relocation and restoration of artist Ned Smyth’s Piazza Lavoro.
A. Folino Construction will oversee this summer’s construction. This phase of reconstruction is estimated to cost $305,000. A detour for pedestrians and cyclists using the lower riverfront trail will be in effect during construction. Westbound users headed downriver will be detoured across the upper plaza to Federal Street, and across Federal to the switchback ramp by PNC Park. Eastbound users headed upriver will take the switchback at PNC Park, cross Federal Street, cross the upper plaza and will be directed back down to the riverfront under the 7th Street Bridge. Users should exercise caution during the construction period.
Photos by Nina Chase / Riverlife. For more photos from the event, visit our Facebook gallery.