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Last section of GAP

This topic contains 139 replies, has 44 voices, and was last updated by  Steven 1 yr, 9 mos.

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paulheckbert

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Sep 20 2012 at 1:55pm #

The Post-Gazette story http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/bike-path-slated-for-spring-2013-653427/ was accurate with its broad message, that the GAP trail construction near Sandcastle will be complete in Spring 2013. It was inaccurate, however, when it said that “of the four incomplete sections of the trail that remain, three will be finished by the end of October”.

I heard a status update at a Steel Valley Trail Council meeting Monday evening from Jack Paulik, project manager for the SVT (trails along the Monongahela River between the Pittsburgh city line at Glenwood Bridge and Clairton). Jack is also project manager for the Regional Trail Corporation (RTC). Jack deserves a lot of the credit for pushing through the planning and design work for the GAP trail near Sandcastle.

Jack says that:

1) The trail work near Keystone Metals (just downstream of the Glenwood Bridge) will likely begin in October and finish in the Spring. In terms of engineering, this is the most difficult section, because a tall wall must be built and the trail must climb a small hill (about 8 feet high).

2) Work on the two sections of trail on Sandcastle property will take place in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Utility poles will be moved, new asphalt put down, and fences built.

3) Sidewalk between Costco at the Waterfront and the current end of the GAP trail near Mitchell’s Fish Market will be rebuilt. That work will start in October.

By the way, the Steel Valley Trail could use more volunteers. If you’re interested in helping with mowing, cleanups, promotion, planning, or installation of benches and signs, contact info@steelvalleytrail.org .


Marko82

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Sep 20 2012 at 2:11pm #

Wow, great news!


Anonymous

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Sep 20 2012 at 3:36pm #

thanks for the info/update!


sloaps

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Sep 20 2012 at 4:18pm #

such b/s that wall must still go up. i would have hoped county law department would have ceded to the elevated path constructed over the former rail bridge approach as sufficient.

at least we’re employing local pile drivers and giving graffiti artists another few square thousand feet of canvas…


Tabby

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Sep 20 2012 at 4:22pm #

thanks Paul


Vannevar

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Sep 20 2012 at 11:49pm #

Paul, many thanks. There’s been a real info-vacuum about the impending SC-KM work and I really appreciate your message.

It’s a trail, not a military secret.

There’s been a lot of patient, long-term, great work on the GAP and I don’t mean to diminish it, but there has also been a need for more communication. And when there’s a vacuum, rumor and misinformation tend to fill the void.

My compliments and Thanks Paul!


durishange

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Sep 23 2012 at 8:36am #

There were two large connstruction vehicles at Sandcastle Friday. They cleared the brush and moved some brush. Looks like the work has started :-)


Anonymous

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Sep 24 2012 at 1:44pm #

I took a couple pictures of the section that durishange was talking about on sunday. Never tried to post a picture here before…so here goes….

Photobucket

Photobucket


Andrew

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Sep 27 2012 at 4:03am #

Nice. I was there on Sunday too. Thanks for posting a picture.

I ride though this area a lot…will post pictures if I see any new progress!


Adam

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Sep 28 2012 at 1:32pm #

Mules would have to tow the boats both ways. There would not be much of a current because of the locks and dams themselves backing it up, especially as you approached them.

However, I don’t think they used the C&O canal for more than a couple years since it took over 100 years to build and this thing called the “railroad” came out while it was being built!

I grew up next to the Erie Canal in New York (not even 2 miles from it) and it is a much wider and STILL functional canal, and it is almost completely slackwater the entire length. Even when they are filling and draining it (every winter they drain it down to a few feet deep and then re-fill it in the spring, it is still slackwater and takes a few weeks for the water level to completely drop / raise.


Anonymous

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Oct 3 2012 at 6:17pm #

haven’t been up that way in over a week now. anyone been by to see what’s going on? Post some pics!


Anonymous

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Oct 3 2012 at 9:42pm #

Rode by today. No change. Nothing happening. Sorry, Rambo.


Lenny

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Oct 3 2012 at 9:51pm #

Just rode by there 45 minutes ago.No change from when I rode there almost 3 weeks ago.I doubt if it will be finished this year.


Anonymous

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Oct 4 2012 at 2:38pm #

oh well..too bad! Thanks for the update!


Anonymous

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Oct 4 2012 at 11:55pm #

Rode through Sandcaste today and ran into the gentleman just about to lock the gate for the day. Very nice guy. We thanked him for allowing us to use their parking lot and spoke with him for a few minutes. He said they expect the trail (at least that portion – going through SC) to be completed by spring.


Lenny

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Oct 5 2012 at 1:56am #

Hate to put a damper on what the Sandcastle gentleman stated,but what he said and reality could be totally very different.I’ve also spoke to Sandcastle employees years ago who told me the trail would be going thru there by as early as 2009.I would take his statement as a grain of salt. Let’s hope for the best but I’m also prepared for the worst.I’m generally an optimistic person,but I’ve seen much too often on trail extensions their timelines are off,not by months,but by a number of years.


Steven

Private Message

Oct 5 2012 at 6:18am #

Reposting from the GAP email list:

Below & attached is a flyer from Linda Boxx, President, Allegheny Trail Alliance.

It’s really good news!

The Final Count-Down

Join us as we begin work on

The Final Mile

of the

Great Allegheny Passage

Friday, October 12, 2012

12:00 noon

Sandcastle, near Haysglen Street

West Homestead, PA

Special Guest Speaker

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/12935551/1168640315/name/TheFinalCount-Flyer.pdf

Followups from the Steel Valley Trail Council:

If you plan to bike to the event, please arrive via the Sandcastle end. Please do not come from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail end in Baldwin. That route (via Keystone Metals and CSX property) is still off limits at this time.

Also, parking will be available at Sandcastle for those arriving in motorized vehicles.

To be clear, go through the Sandcastle gate on the Waterfront side and bike/drive to the other side of the park to join the celebration.

In summary, woo hoo!


Lenny

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Oct 5 2012 at 9:48am #

Very good news!! Hopefully he/she/they/ will tell us the day it will be officially finished and be open for cycling.Thanks.


Marko82

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Oct 5 2012 at 12:47pm #

Great news! I hope they have cookies like they did two years ago when they said it would be done in one year. (/end sarcasm)


Kordite

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Oct 5 2012 at 1:45pm #

Those were some good cookies. Too bad the intervening years of inaction have left a bad taste in my mouth.


Jacob McCrea

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Oct 5 2012 at 1:58pm #

I appreciate Steven’s update and look forward to this being done. I felt bad about routing the Bike Fest Neighborhood Ride along the tracks beside Keystone Metal but I wasn’t comfortable leading the group on Carson Street/837. Hopefully it will be done for next year’s Neighborhood Ride.


Anonymous

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Oct 5 2012 at 2:15pm #

oh man, why do they always do this while I’m at work? I might have to skip out early or take the day off. I also didn’t know this had been done once already…lets hope it sticks this time right?


Anonymous

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Oct 5 2012 at 4:46pm #

It’s kind of interesting that the completion event will still feature a part if the trail that will be “off limits”.

I guess we will see how it works out.


Mick

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Oct 5 2012 at 5:21pm #

good cookies

Yeah, but they start getting persnickety after you’ve eaten a couple dozen.


Anonymous

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Oct 5 2012 at 5:23pm #

I went yesterday on bike ride during lunch and decided to check status of GAP.

There is no changes on scrape yard:

and SC entrance look the same:

SC Parking Lot:

While I was at SC entrance I decided to take a look at the fence end (a lot of people were asking how to get to SC when gate is closed). So if you pass entrance and continue on the street then you should see.

If you take a look from this point back:

Past end of the fence:

A little bit further past end of the fence:

G

Look from inside of SC parking lot at the same place — no fence:

Look from the bridge:

On a way back I decided to explore some steps:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=15219&hl=en&ll=40.393138,-79.933688&spn=0.002323,0.00324&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=6.653234,13.271484&hnear=Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania+15219&t=h&z=19 — just between entrance to East Carson (the first right) and the second right to Glass Run Road — a small rectangular shape:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=15219&hl=en&ll=40.392989,-79.933525&spn=0.000581,0.00081&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=6.653234,13.271484&hnear=Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania+15219&t=h&z=21

So, if anyone is affraid of Glenwood bridge then follow the two stairs and sidewalk(s):

This is West Carson street from half of the first stair:

This ramp goes to Glass Run Road and mMifflin road:

Another half of the first stair:

and you got to ramp from River Front Street — this is the second right. You can jum on street and get to entrance to Glenwood Bridge or stay on a side walk and ride to the next stairs — one to each sidewalk of Glenwood Bridge:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=15219&hl=en&ll=40.393045,-79.934803&spn=0.000581,0.00081&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=6.653234,13.271484&hnear=Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania+15219&t=h&z=21

Climb on and you are on the bridge:

Before you climb the first stair you can see another stair to River Front (far away in the middle of picture):

Side walk is in decent shape. Not too wide:

You can see other sidewalk (from the 2nd ave):

It ends up just past pole — you should be able to see rails:


Steven

Private Message

Oct 5 2012 at 5:30pm #

It’s kind of interesting that the completion event will still feature a part if the trail that will be “off limits”.

It’s not a completion event, it’s celebrating the start of construction. As I recall, the last one was celebrating the completion of the previous section, plus the agreement-in-principle with Sandcastle to build this new section. (Or were those separate?)


Ahlir

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Oct 6 2012 at 1:13am #

Misha, thank you for sharing the contents of your SD card…

The walkways on the Glenwood are perfectly reasonable bikeways, though you do run into the occasional pedestrian (figuratively, of course). The one enduring annoyance is the weed growth on the southern end. One year I did pack some shears and tried to do something, but that’s work and isn’t that what our authorities are supposed to do? (Unless, of course, they’re Republicans.)

Anyway, whoever drew up the directions for the event screwed up by not directing people (ie, bikers) up the (new) Hazelwood trail then across the Glenwood to SandCastle. I mean, I enjoy bombing down the Greys Bridge as much as anyone; but it might be a shorter trip (for some of us) just doing the Glenwood.


Vannevar

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Dec 2 2012 at 2:59am #

A couple of recent photos, just an update FWIW.

Standing on Haysglen Street between Sandcastle and Keystone Metals, looking toward SC-CostCo-Waterfront:

Not a lot of change, but in the last week or so the fence running along the tracks has been removed for the first 100 feet or so. It seems like the only fence remaining is to keep cars out. (Also, the mini-person-gate has been consistently closed-but-unlocked, which has been awesome)

Standing in the same spot, looking toward Hot Metal Bridge:

So there’s progress.


dbacklover

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Dec 2 2012 at 3:08am #

It is very exciting to see progress.


durishange

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Dec 5 2012 at 9:24pm #

I rode through this morning. There are a few rolls of cyclone fence in Sandcastle’s parking lot. Workers are busy taking out the old fence and clearing the area near the railroad tracks. There is no change to the area near Keystone metals as is posted above. I ride through a few days a week and will keep you posted. If someone can private message me as to how to post pictures, I’ll do so as I see more progress.


mark

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Dec 6 2012 at 6:18am #

so this is my commute to work… i have been avoiding it and just riding the glenwood bridge for a while, do you think it’s safe to say I can reasonably pass the fence area and ride through sandcastle without having to throw my bike over anything or get hassled by anyone?


Anonymous

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Dec 6 2012 at 9:42am #

Can’t guarantee anything, Mark, but every time I’ve gone through there lately the man-gate has been unlocked. I understand that they’d like us to keep it closed, but that’s a small thing to ask for the privilege of being able to cut through there. I think it’s incredibly kind of them to let us do that. We ran into the guy locking the big gate a couple of months ago and he was very nice and had no problem with us being there. I think you’d be much better off/safer there than on the Glenwood bridge.


Pierce

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Dec 6 2012 at 11:49pm #

I also commute that way regularly. Outbound I take the bridge, inbound I usually take the Keystone metal part.

Been around when CSX guys were there and they didn’t say anything. Been around when a train was coming and it’s a little disconcerting :P

There is also a nearly complete path of about six inches or so wide from the end of the SS trail to the track crossing, which is nice


Jacob McCrea

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Jan 9 2013 at 10:10pm #

Just FYI, there is now a drilling rig and crew installing what I guess is a wall right at the end of the trail, between the trail and the scrap yard’s property, where the trail-to-be slopes upward.


sohoweet

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Jan 29 2013 at 10:43am #

June can’t come any quicker


Mikhail

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Feb 5 2013 at 4:08pm #

Today I’ve visited “last mile”. I see workers on Keystone part of it. Sand Castle side is “not that alive”.

Last Mile of GAP, Feb 5th, 2013 from Mikhail Evstiounin on Vimeo.


Vannevar

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Feb 5 2013 at 4:31pm #

Related post on a transit-theme blog: April 15, Our Next Transit Ribbon Cutting


Marko82

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Feb 5 2013 at 4:32pm #

Nice!


Mikhail

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Feb 5 2013 at 6:12pm #

Another part where you can see that excavator is “alive”. :)
Last Mile of GAP, Feb 5th, 2013, part two from Mikhail Evstiounin on Vimeo.


bear250220

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Feb 5 2013 at 9:30pm #

maybee the conection from point state park to the 2nd avenue trail will happen soon to

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