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'Cap' Project to Give Pittsburgh Green Space

Thursday, November 28, 2019

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Pittsburgh will be getting a new bit of green space: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is managing the construction of what is known as the “Cap” project, a structure that will span the I-579 connection to downtown, which will create three acres of green space.

The project is being built for the Sports & Exhibition Authority, with the city holding the construction contract. Both the city and the SEA are working in collaboration when it comes to administration.

“Cap” Project Development

The $32 million project will also offer pedestrian pathways, as well as bicycle routes. A nearby intersection is also to be improved. Funding is being provided by a combination of sources, including: the Federal Highway Administration, Multimodal PennDOT and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, among others. City leaders approved funding in May.

The bridge will cover 1.2 acres of the three-acre park area. When I-579 was originally built, it reportedly severed an important connection between downtown and the Hill District. Now, the Cap will provide a space for opportunity and a way to get for pedestrians and cyclists to get from one area to the other.

According to an update from PennDOT dating back to mid-July, work will cover retrofitting existing retaining walls and bridges, roadway reconstruction, drainage improvements and other changes. Jason Zang, PennDOT's Assistant District Executive of Construction, said that micropiles are going behind retaining walls and new piers.

As part of the final phase of the design, input was welcomed from the community, with a number of meetings held throughout 2016. At the time, the community expressed an interest in art being part of the Cap. Although standalone art features are being considered for the future, for now, embedded design elements were worked out with a committee composed of Hill District stakeholders, SEA representatives and others.

The integrated enhancements will include:

  • Story walls depicting celebrating the lives of local figures;
  • Wayfinding signage;
  • Art pylons;
  • Colored paving that will portray the Sanokfa bird;
  • An outdoor classroom garden equipped with an interactive musical theme; and
  • A water course that does double duty in managing stormwater.

HDR Engineering is serving as the designer and engineer on the contract. Subconsultants include: e A&A; American Geotechnical & Environmental Services; Cardno TBE; Christine Davis Consultants; Collective Efforts; LaQuatra Bonci and Associates; Monaloh Basin Engineers; and Santangelo & Lindsay.

Foundation work is expected to run through into the winter, with construction slated for completion in November 2021.


Tagged categories: Infrastructure; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Urban Planning

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