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Construction of Allegheny County sports complex fields delayed

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Construction of playing fields at a planned 78-acre sports complex at a former railyard in Coraopolis, Moon and Robinson will be delayed by a year because more time is needed to get the site ready, an official said.

The Sports & Athletic Complex at Montour Junction will have about 12 grass and synthetic turf fields when it is complete, Allegheny County has said. Officials expected work on Phase I to be finished this spring or summer.

A geotechnical engineering evaluation in September revealed that the 25-acre area in phase I of the project would need to be elevated with four to five feet of fill material that has to settle for six months, said Bud Schubel, manager of construction in Allegheny County Economic Development.

“(Synthetic fields) do not tolerate any kind of soil settlement,” he said.

The fill material will be placed at the site this summer, so the construction of the fields could not start until spring 2015, Schubel said.

Phase I will consist of constructing one large, synthetic turf, double field — about 420 feet by 360 feet in size — and one large, grassy area about 300 feet by 360 feet adjacent to the double field, he said.

“If funding permits, this grassy area will be converted into an additional synthetic field. Phase I will also involve paving interior roads, installing parking areas and electric utility installation,” Schubel said.

The project is awaiting some permits, including a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System from the state Department of Environmental Protection and a highway occupancy permit from PennDOT, he said.

If the county is able to get the highway occupancy permit this year, it might be able to start and finish the entrance driveway from and highway improvements to state Route 51 this year, Schubel said.

The sports complex will include areas for nontraditional sports, such as lacrosse, soccer and rugby, because that was the direction given by The Sports & Legacy Foundation, which donated the land to the county in 2008.

The completion of the sports complex will be determined by funding availability, Schubel said.

The entire project is estimated to cost $15 million, of which the county has raised about $2 million in state, federal and foundation money.

Phase I of the project is estimated to cost $8.5 million, Schubel said.

Fundraising efforts are ongoing. The county has applied for $3 million in funding from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for infrastructure improvements at the site.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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