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Vote to make the Monongahela Pennsylvania’s River of the Year

By December 10, 2021December 17th, 2021Blog

Voting is now open for Pennsylvania’s 2022 River of the Year and Pittsburgh’s own Monongahela River is one of the four contenders! You can vote for the Mon as your favorite state waterway through 5:00 PM Friday, January 14, 2022.

If the Mon is selected, our friends at Three Rivers Waterkeeper will receive a $10,000 leadership grant from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to help fund River of the Year activities like a community paddle or sojourn. Your vote for the Mon can help make sure those resources and activities come here to Pittsburgh!

Riverlife’s “Completing the Loop” vision for the Mon

We’re planning big moves on the Mon to complete the loop of Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfront parks and trails. Over the past year, Riverlife worked with architecture firm evolveEA to plan for upgrading current riverfront connections and creating new connections for neighborhoods on both sides of the river.

See examples of our visions for the future of the Mon below, and check out our vision for the whole 15-mile loop of riverfront in our Completing the Loop plan.

Fourth Street Landing & Park Extension

We want to connect surrounding neighborhoods to the riverfronts by creating meaningful trails, connections and experiences along the south shore of the Mon. We’re envisioning trail and landing improvements that will allow recreational and industrial users to get to the riverfront safely and will better connect Station Square to the existing trail network.

In our vision, The Highline-Station Square Connector will create a safe, continuous riverfront experience without forcing trail users to detour on narrow city streets with heavy truck traffic. Artistic installations at the concrete plant will make the site a destination and allow trail users to safely coexist with industrial users and the railroad. Renovating the existing 4th Street Kayak landing will create a larger, more accessible facility.

Eliza Furnace Trail Connections

Steep slopes and more than 15 highway lanes of traffic separate adjacent neighborhoods from the north shore of the Monongahela River, but we aim to create “connectors” on the Eliza Furnace Trail as respite areas with repair stations, signage, and other amenities that promote the nearby neighborhood destinations to connect neighbors to the riverfront.

We’re envisioning a new Pittsburgh Technology Center spur to the Eliza Furnace Trail that could be a riverfront alternative to connect Schenley Park and Hazelwood Green while providing riverfront access to Uptown and the Hill. An Uptown trail connector would connect the Uptown, Hill District, and Oakland neighborhoods to the riverfront when a future outfall park is created.

Point State Park Connector

The Point State Park Connector will be a traffic-free, non-motorized ramp that will provide easy access from Point State Park to the western side of the Mon Wharf Landing. Currently, the only access in this area is via a 4 foot wide path adjacent to Interstate 376, separated from traffic by a jersey barrier and from the Monongahela River by a chain link fence.

The Point State Park Connector is a project of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources with engineering support from Riverlife. The project is expected to begin construction in 2022.