Long awaited trail connection moves forward
Click on the image for a larger version to see the detail
For the past few years, cyclists have had to deal with a muddy connection and detour from where the South Side trail’s pavement ends to the Hot Metal Bridge. Part of the construction, now in the works, is the connection of those pieces through the Southside Works Development. Going east, the trail will split in two, just after the Birmingham Bridge. The lower section will go near the river, while the upper section will touch the Southside Works Development. The sections will converge again just before the Hot Metal Bridge. In addition to the trail connection, there will be a riverfront park featuring a piazza, a promenade, two stages and a 17-boat dock. There is no word yet on when we’ll actually see the full trail connection, but the ambitious project seems to be moving forward.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was on hand at the ceremony to give a speech and break the proverbial ground, along with other stakeholders. Ravenstahl, recognizing the many hands and mayors that have been involved in this project, used the development as a metaphor for “this city’s ability to reinvent” and “reclaim our riverfronts and reconnect them to our neighborhoods.” He also recognized the importance of this trail, along with the proposed extention of the trail up the Allegheny River, as integral to the City not just for recreation, but for transportation. He mentioned how these trails are part of a larger network connecting neighborhoods and “finding ways for people to bike to work, walk to work.”
“Construction of the tie-up facility will complete a true multi-modal hub,” said Rob Stephany, executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority. “This unique development will now be accessible by boat, bus, bike, car and foot.” All the talk of promoting alternative forms of transportation and recreation was a bit of a surprise, and refreshing. Almost as refreshing as the pretzels and beer provided by Hofbräuhaus for the event.
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