City of Pittsburgh breaks ground for Urban Connector Project

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The City of Pittsburgh has broken ground for the I-579 Cap Urban Connector Project.

The Cap project will consist of the construction of a new “cap” structure spanning over a portion of I-579, and improvements to an adjacent intersection and underutilized vacant land parcels. The project will re-establish the physical link with downtown Pittsburgh and the Hill District community.

The three-acre project will create safe and accessible routes for walking and biking between the Hill District and Downtown.

According to the city, the Cap project will be transformative for the Hill District by removing a physical barrier and re-establishing connectivity to centers of employment, education and services in downtown Pittsburgh.

The final design includes accessible pedestrian pathways, sustainable features such as stormwater management, amphitheater, stage, lawns, landscaping, recreation areas, “embedded” art, and other amenities.

The existing non-ADA compliant walkways leading from Seventh Ave. to the Chatham St./Bigelow Boulevard intersection will be replaced and brought up to current design standards. Improvements to the intersection will include ADA compliant curb-cut ramps and crosswalks constructed with associated signs, audible/count-down pedestrian signals, and pavement markings.

The project will cost an estimated $32 million. Construction is anticipated to begin by July 2019 with completion by the end of 2021.

HDR Engineering is the lead engineer, while the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will manage the construction of the project.

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