$17.5 million for steel heritage sought
Allegheny County officials are hoping the federal government will invest $17.5 million in a project to turn a former steelmaking site into a national heritage park and build a ramp at the Rankin Bridge to lead visitors to it.
The county, city of Pittsburgh, Port Authority and Port of Pittsburgh Commission are among agencies seeking a share of $600 million in transportation grants that would fund projects to reduce congestion, promote economic activity or improve livability.
At Carrie Furnace, the county wants to build a "flyover" ramp from the interchange at the foot of the Rankin Bridge to carry traffic above four railroad tracks that isolated the former steel mill.
"The (current) access is good for emergency vehicles and some other traffic, but it's over two sets of active railroad tracks, and you'd have to wind your way back there on a couple of little, local streets," said Bob Hurley, deputy director of the county's Department of Economic Development.
The county wants to redevelop 148 acres that once housed the blast furnaces along the Monongahela River in Rankin, part of the former U.S. Steel Homestead Works. The project would include homes, offices and light industry, along with a park commemorating the Mon Valley's industrial heritage, Hurley said.
The Homestead-based Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, which took over the furnaces, wants to offer public tours of the site to drum up support for a museum, said Sherris Moreira, director of marketing and tourism development. Built in 1907 of steel plate and brick, the Carrie Furnaces No. 6 and 7 tower 92 feet above the river as examples of pre-World War II iron-making technology. They are the only non-operative blast furnaces remaining in Pittsburgh. In the 1950s and '60s, they produced up to 1,250 tons of iron a day.
The county tried to get stimulus money for the project and did not; that application asked for $60 million and included a plan to convert an old bridge over the Mon for cars and pedestrians going to Route 837 and The Waterfront. Officials will still try to get money for the bridge, Hurley said.
The $600 million in transportation grants will be awarded in fall. Others seeking money:
• Port of Pittsburgh Commission, as a government partner for river industries. Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc. wants $44 million to add a coal storage area to its Alicia Docks near Brownsville, and Three Rivers Marine and Rail Terminal near Charleroi wants $1.5 million to upgrade railroad connections. The companies would invest matching money.
• The Port Authority of Allegheny County might reapply for money to start its "Better Bus" or "Rapid Bus" initiative, said spokesman Jim Ritchie. The authority plans to convert nine routes to "rapid bus" service that would have fewer stops, use ticket machines at bus stops instead of fare boxes on buses and get priority at traffic signals in order to make faster trips to Pittsburgh International Airport, Downtown, Oakland, the East End and the Mon Valley.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Meteor lights up night sky above eastern U.S.
- Serra boys soccer preps for early-season clash
- Dorfman: Pluses and minuses in America’s 20 largest stocks
- Monessen mayor eyes city hall return
- Armstrong bolstering pool of temp workers for Health Center
- Kittanning’s holiday gifts come early for Ford City group
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Microsoft to pay $2.5B for ‘Minecraft’ maker
- Van Voorhis man charged for Monessen cell incident
- Belle Vernon man facing child sex assault charges
- Allegheny Valley School Board hires Foreman Group to assess repairs at Colfax Upper Elementary