Pittsburgh, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined federal, state and local officials, along with the Sports and Exhibition Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority, to officially open new streets in the Lower Hill Infrastructure Project in Pittsburgh.
“Through our work with the public and private sector on this project, we are working to correct a mistake made almost 70 years ago,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This project begins to right that wrong, and will help to redevelop the lower hill area in a way that will not only bring value and enrich the land, but will link the Hill District to downtown and provide real benefits to this community.”
Today’s event marked the completion of the first portion of the project that included the construction of a new Fullerton Street that connects Bedford Avenue to Centre Avenue, along with a portion of Wylie Avenue joining Fullerton Street to Crawford Street.
Funding for the work was provided through an $11.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant and $1 million of Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding.
The infrastructure project has been designed, and is being constructed, as part of a planned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Neighborhood Development certification. It includes energy efficient street lighting, stormwater planters and street trees. Additionally, the design includes pedestrian and traffic safety improvements, upgrades to storm and sanitary lines, and improved bicycle connections.
In the mid-1950s, the Lower Hill District was declared blighted resulting in 1,300 buildings on 95 acres being cleared, displacing over 8,000 people and 413 businesses. The ambitious plans for urban renewal never fully materialized and what was once a thriving community became mostly surface parking.
The Lower Hill Infrastructure Project will help to repair the mistakes of the 1950s and extend the economic strengths of Downtown to the Hill District. When complete, the development is projected to create 2,948 permanent jobs.
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