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Riverlife Invests Over $2 Million in Design and Engineering to improve Accessibility at Pittsburgh’s West End Bridge

By November 21, 2023December 20th, 2023Blog, Press Releases, West End

PITTSBURGH- Riverlife announces a strategic investment exceeding $2 million in design and engineering to create accessible connections leading to the West End Bridge from the Manchester-Chateau and West End neighborhoods.  This critical infrastructure design aims to introduce key enhancements and multimodal improvements to the historic bridge structure.

“We are working to create essential connections to neighborhoods historically disconnected from the river,” said Matt Galluzzo, Riverlife’s President and CEO. “We are committed to inclusive, sustainable, and artful infrastructure that will reshape the experience on the riverfronts across and around the West End Bridge. Our engagement with the community, including working with young leaders, community groups, residents and businesses has guided our vision.”

This effort is being underwritten by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County’s Trail Development Fund, which has provided nearly $22 million in grant funding to county-wide projects that create new trail opportunities, expand and enhance existing trail facilities, and facilitate local connections to existing trail and multimodal transportation systems.  

In Riverlife’s award-winning “Completing the Loop” report, outlining a plan to enhance Pittsburgh’s 15-mile, 1,055-acre Downtown riverfront experience, the West End Bridge is ranked as one of the most challenged and extraordinary opportunities for transformation. The existing pedestrian access to the West End Bridge is compromised by deteriorating staircases. This effort aims to link the West End and Manchester-Chateau communities to a continuous riverfront park system and the river. 

“Connecting our residents, providing meaningful access to our county’s historical treasures, and creating experiences that Allegheny County’s residents can be proud of and enjoy have always been a priority,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We were delighted to support funding in the design phase of this project. We have been committed to building bridges and fostering community strength through connectivity, and are glad to see this project come to fruition.”

Earlier this year, Riverlife and partners selected El Dorado, an integrated architecture, education, urban design, fabrication, and curatorial firm to lead this endeavor. El Dorado and their diverse team of subconsultants brings a wealth of experience in design, planning, structure, landscape, art, and more to the design process.

“This project exemplifies the positive impact we can achieve through public-private partnerships” said City Council President Theresa Kail-Smith. “As a representative deeply rooted in the community, I applaud the collaborative efforts underway for the West End Bridge. Investing in our city’s infrastructure is an investment into our neighborhoods. I’m grateful to Riverlife, the elected officials, and our partners, including ALCOSAN, for bringing this worthwhile project to fruition, which will connect District 2’s west and north neighborhoods.”

“At PennDOT, we are committed to addressing the overall infrastructure needs of the communities we serve,” said PennDOT district 11 executive, Jason Zang. “The West End Bridge stands as a vital link, connecting neighborhoods and enhancing the overall vitality of Pittsburgh. We look forward to collaborating with Riverlife’s plans to advance safe, efficient and innovative transportation solutions.” 

Riverlife will continue to engage with the community through meetings and virtual engagements as the design process progresses. A virtual meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 4 at 6pm. An in-person meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5 at 6pm at Pittsburgh Musical Theater (327 S. Main Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15220). Additional information and registration information for both meetings can be found at

“Big changes are on the horizon that will make this area of the Ohio River a real treasure for this city,” said Galluzzo. “Riverlife is working across partnerships with PennDOT, ALCOSAN, and the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to build the foundation for what is to come. This design process is a cornerstone that lays the groundwork for transformation in the next decade.”

Riverlife is proud to lead this effort in collaboration with Manchester Citizens Corporation, Hope for Tomorrow, Watersheds of South Pittsburgh, Bike Pittsburgh, Friends of the Riverfront and many more.

The design and engineering of these improvements marks a milestone in the redevelopment of this crucial connection. 


About Riverlife

Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, connecting people through exceptional places and experiences. Riverlife has been a leader in building a community vision for over 15 miles and 1,055 acres of Downtown riverfront parks, trails, and public open space. Learn more at