In fall 2022, Friends of the Riverfront secured funding for a feasibility study and the preliminary engineering for the extension of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail from the Hazelwood Green development to the Carrie Furnace redevelopment site.
The feasibility study component of the project is evaluating the potential for on and off-road trail alignments on either side of the existing Duck Hollow Trail: downriver to Hazelwood Green and upriver to the Carrie Furnace redevelopment site. Once an alignment is finalized, the consultant will begin developing preliminary engineering documents for the proposed trail alignment.
Thorough community engagement is needed to determine the preferred trail alignment and a high level of coordination with other agencies to address accessibility, railroad crossings, etc. This trail will be used by the local community as a recreational asset and a transit facility, we well as being used by regional visitors.
Funding for this project was provided by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County (RAAC)’s Trail Development Fund, which was made possible via the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021.
Based on the responses and feedback received through two (2) public comment surveys, community events and the November Public Meeting, a preferred route has been selected. The route begins at the intersection of Tecumseh Street and Blair Street, where it will connect into the bicycle infrastructure along Blair Street within Hazelwood Green in the future. From this intersection, the route continues along Blair Street as on-street infrastructure (detailed design in progress) to Blair Street Park.
From Blair Street Park, the route goes toward the existing Melanchton Street pedestrian bridge, but the final design proposes to build a new, ADA-accessible bridge (similar to the Hot Metal Bridge or the Whitaker flyover across the railroad tracks to Dyke Street. The route continues past the City’s DPW lot to Dyke Street, then uses Herbert Way to Sickle Street (the on-road design of these portions is in progress).
From the end of Sickle Street, the trail will continue below the Glenwood Bridge to a second flyover bridge (similar to Whitaker flyover) to cross the railroad tracks and connect users to the existing Duck Hollow trail. From the Duck Hollow Trail to Carrie Furnace, the project team is working with the County, CSX and other stakeholders to determine the exact alignment of the connection to the Carrie Furnace site. Stay tuned for more information as the project progresses!
Frequently Asked Questions
How will this connect over the railroad tracks to Duck Hollow?
This project includes the preliminary design and engineering of a pedestrian and cyclist bridge that will go up and over the railroad tracks and connect into the existing Duck Hollow trail.
Where will the trail go from Carrie Furnace?
There are several trail connections being planned in/out of the Carrie Furnace site. The Turtle Creek Connector (a separate project) is in the design and engineering stage, which will start at Carrie Furnace and continue toward Braddock, through the Turtle Creek valley, and end in Trafford to connect to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail. More information on the Turtle Creek Connector can be found here.
Allegheny County is working on the design and rehabilitation of the Rankin Hot Metal Bridge so that it can be used by pedestrians and cyclists. The rehabilitated bridge will connect the Carrie Furnace site (and trail connections) across the Monongahela River to the Great Allegheny Passage in Homestead. The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County is managing this project.
Will this project include a connection across the Glenwood Bridge?
Any improvements on/across the Glenwood Bridge would be separate from this project.
Will the connection be ADA accessible?
Accessibility is one of the top goals of the project partners and stakeholders. Any new components that are built (paved surface, bridges, ramps) for this new segment will be built to ADA standards. When the connection uses existing road or paved surfaces, it is our goal to choose routes that are the most accessible option.
Why isn’t the Project Team considering a route along the river (beside railroad yard)?
Friends of the Riverfront and the City of Pittsburgh have had multiple discussions with CSX regarding a riverfront route from Hazelwood Green to Duck Hollow. This is privately owned land (owned by CSX) and they are not interested in dedicating space along the riverbank for a trail. In addition, a major goal of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is to connect communities to the trail and the river – and a riverfront connection bypasses the neighborhood of Hazelwood entirely. Hazelwood residents made it clear at our November Public Meeting that they look forward to community connections to the trail system.
When will the planning phase be finished? When will this connection be built?
The plans for this phase of the project are projected to be completed by the end of 2024. Once this phase is complete, funding is needed to move the design into final construction documents. Once Friends of the Riverfront understands the budget needed to finish construction documents and for construction, we will begin fundraising to move those tasks forward.
How is this project being paid for?
In 2022, the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County (RAAC) established the Trail Development Fund (TDF) under the Allegheny County American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Agreement. RAAC established the TDF to provide grants to eligible applicants to create new trail opportunities, expand and enhance existing trail facilities, and facilitate local connections to existing trail and multimodal transportation systems. Friends of the Riverfront applied and is the recipient of this funding and is overseeing the project.
If you have other questions regarding this project, please contact the Project Manager:
Katie Kovalchik @ firstname.lastname@example.org