Pittsburgh Riverfronts

Mon Wharf Switchback


The Mon Wharf Switchback Ramp is a Riverlife project in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh. The switchback connects trail users using the Smithfield Street Bridge, Three Rivers Heritage Trail and Great Allegheny Passage down to the eastern end of the Mon Wharf Landing, a linear park along the Monongahela River in downtown Pittsburgh. The top entrance to the switchback is located off of the upriver (eastern) pedestrian walkway of the Smithfield Street Bridge. The ramp is ADA accessible and fully lit at night.

Users will eventually be able to ride the riverfront trail directly into Point State Park via the western end of the Mon Wharf to reach the western terminus of the Great Allegheny Passage. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), which opens and operates Point State Park, is planning an improved trail connection from the western end of the Mon Wharf into Point State Park. Read more about DCNR’s Point State Park Connector.

RELATED: Throughout the winter of 2017-2018, Riverlife completed the implementation of improvements to the crosswalk at Grant Street and Fort Pitt Boulevard. Known as “Grant Street Crossing,” the project aims to create a clearer, safer route to access the Monogahela River waterfront for trail users.

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“Before” Photos

Construction Photos

Project Partners

PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
City of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Parking Authority


After the Mon Wharf Landing opened to the public in 2009, creating new riverfront public open space on what was formerly rows of parking spaces, Riverlife began planning, permitting and fundraising for a connection on the eastern end of the Landing up to the Smithfield Street Bridge.  The ramp restores pedestrian access to the Mon Wharf and Mon River after decades of limited access.

Riverlife has taken a leadership role in the planning, permitting, and fundraising of the Mon Wharf Switchback, and construction is in joint partnership with the City of Pittsburgh. Site preparation for construction of the Switchback began in April of 2017. Construction was completed in late 2018. View photos of the ribbon cutting celebration here.