Missing Link at Sandcastle

This topic contains 20 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Pierce 1 yr, 8 mos.

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Apr 25 2013 at 9:03am #

Last week I heard that they were getting ready to pave this area along the tracks at Sandcastle area. Has anyony heard if this is done and passable without going along the RR tracks?

  • This topic was modified 1 yr, 9 mos ago by  skisk8r.


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Apr 25 2013 at 9:08am #

It’s not complete and it’s not legally passable. They are estimating mid-May.


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Apr 25 2013 at 3:38pm #

I go through there every morning and late at night. It is possible, but be cautious because there’s like a four or five inch drop from where they’re repaving. Also, once you can jump back into the parking lots, I’d considering doing so to stay out of the way of the construction guys.


Private Message

Apr 30 2013 at 8:52am #

For what it’s worth:

I’ve been asked by the project coordinator of the trail construction at Sandcastle/Keystone Metals to let cyclists/walkers/bird watchers/etc know that the area will be experiencing heavy construction at this time and safety is going to become a very serious issue on the site. This is not hyperbolic, there truly are safety considerations during this phase of work.

For your own safety and in the interests of getting this trail completed quickly, we respectfully request that cyclists/walkers please refrain from going through the construction area for the next 10 days. (and please don’t swear at the volunteer monitors. They are not out there just to ruin your day.)

thank you, and if you want to know more about the trail and construction our next council meeting is May 29 at 6 p.m. at the Pump House.


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May 1 2013 at 4:26pm #

They’re doing a beautiful job out there! Can’t wait till it’s done. Thanks to all who are making this happen.


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May 1 2013 at 5:59pm #

+1 sara

Before, they were just screwing around with polls and stuff, but now they’re laying the asphalt and I cannot imagine there’s enough room for people to do their work and bicycles to get through

I’ve been taking the less desirable 887 in the day


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May 1 2013 at 6:17pm #

+1 Pierce


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May 4 2013 at 9:49pm #

@pierce and others. i was down that way today and for one DID NOT ride on the part that was not open and while I wasn’t riding on it I didnt notice that the side that is nearest the tracks is at least a 10 foot drop with no fence/guard rail between the paved trail and the drop onto railroad bed.

I also didnt notice that the sandcastle end of the trail is a complete blind turn. since I didnt almost slam into another cyclist when coming back and not taking the trail then either. It is (will be) way better than by the tracks but it really needs a fence / guard rail. just one unsure little kid weaving at the wrong time and someone is going head over heels onto the ballast.

I’m not saying don’t use it, you have to decide that yourself. but I do understand why the people who are working on it dont want people riding on it until its safe. just remember that all those trail riding bikers that drive you crazy (weaving, going to slow, stopping without warning, walkers, moms with baby buggies,) will be using it as well.

all that being said, and other than the blind curve at the end I think it is fantastic. so much nicer than having to walk along the tracks.. I mean it will be so much nicer when I get to ride it for the first time.



Private Message

May 4 2013 at 10:20pm #

I’ll come out and say it: don’t use it. Seriously, the people responsible for getting the trail constructed have asked (nicely) multiple times and riding through there is basically just giving them a big “f*** you for all your hard work.”


Private Message

May 5 2013 at 6:25pm #

It really looked open to me today. I rode to the old end of the trail, there was no fence, and lots and lots of families were on it. There was a sign earlier on the trail that said “Trail Open”. Now, maybe that’s referring to the part nearer the South Side works, but it’s easily misinterpreted. And without signs telling you its closed, I’d say it’s open.
OTOH maybe it’s closed further on. It just didn’t look that way to me.


Private Message

May 5 2013 at 8:41pm #

That earlier sign “Trail Open” abeam Bates St. and the American WaterWorks facility is a legacy sign for the occasional motor vehicle on the trail, still servicing the water facilities.

But you are correct, it’s subject to interpretation – just like most Pittsburgh things you need to have ten years background to understand it, if you’re a visitor it’s easily misunderstood.


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 8:36am #

1. The stretch running through Sandcastle is under construction, as in the road bed is torn up and there’s heavy machinery around (as of last week). I would not consider it safe.

2. There’s no work (as near as I can tell) on the weekends. But the road is still a mess.

3. The Keystone part lacks a fence and other amenities.

I don’t see any good reason to annoy the workers by getting in their way or by messing up stuff like the grading. So I’m happy to stay away. Besides, there’s perfectly reasonably ways to get through, like on the other side of the river.


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 9:12am #

We all know better and if you are commenting on this thread you know that the people responsible for getting this trail finished have asked repeatedly to please stay off of it.

This is from 13 hours ago.

Construction crews will be back on the job this week. Sandcastle & Keystone are active work areas and the contractors have asked that cyclists stay away.

We’re getting close folks, but for now, use the many other trails in the area. Thank you from the ATA.


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 10:39am #

the only reason anyone should ride on this while the crews are there would be to deliver snacks to them as a thank you. imagine how happy and suddenly non-bike-hating the workers would be, and the nice things theyd say about us to their friends.


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May 6 2013 at 11:06am #

cburch, rsprake, ahlir – when I read your posts and then re-read my own, I’d like to clarify: I agree. I’ve refrained from going through there myself. They’re doing big things with heavy equipment and power tools. (I’m concerned my previous post might have suggested otherwise).

It’ll be open soon enough. No reason to be there now.


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 11:24am #

I understand that the presence of eagles in the Hays area has increased use of the trail in the vicinity of Sandcastle/Keystone Metals. Combined with the presence of cyclists in the area, this creates a potential liablity concern in the safe operation of construction equipment on site.

Please, stay off this section of trail for a couple more weeks. We’ll all have a great reason to celebrate on the June 15th hard opening, and maybe before

The LAST thing we need is some unfortunate accident on a “not yet opened” trail in the next 30 days or so!


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 1:07pm #

Sandcastle opens May 25th, so they have to be done with that part before then.


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 1:43pm #

I understand that the presence of eagles in the Hays area has increased use of the trail in the vicinity of Sandcastle/Keystone Metals.

True. But they seem to congregate downriver from the Keystone construction. It’s a bit creepy actually: You come up the trail and suddenly you see maybe 1-2 dozen people, staring at some spot up on the hill, all in complete silence. None of them moving…


Private Message

May 6 2013 at 2:03pm #

Had a bald eagle fly directly over me while riding the C&O canal / Western MD rail trail last year. It was probably about 20 feet above me, scared the crap out of me at the time, but it was pretty cool to see up close. I think it was resting on a dilapidated railroad bridge overhead.


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May 7 2013 at 2:59pm #

I had to drop my Bus off at the VW repair Shaman in Homestead last night. Use my bike to get home and road on the trail…no workers around at 9pm. The paving looks awesome, it’s going to be very nice when they are finished.


Private Message

May 7 2013 at 3:11pm #

That trail is probably one of the nicest\thickest paved roads in Pittsburgh

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