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Bridgeville construction project boosts neighborhood

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Light poles are decorated for Christmas along Washington Avenue in Bridgeville, which belies the extensive work done on the road to spruce it up. Randy Jarosz | For The Bridgeville Area News

The orange- and white-striped barrels along Washington Avenue in Bridgeville have been replaced by light poles decorated for Christmas and a “perked up” street that merchants say was worth the months of construction.

A streetscape project that wrapped up in October included sidewalk repairs, light fixture upgrades and removed trees.

The project was funded by a $152,000 grant from Allegheny County awarded in 2011 as well as a $300,000 federal stimulus grant from 2009.

Bridgeville borough Manager Lori Collins said she has had heard many positive comments since construction ended.

“With all of the greenery and the buffers, it has a nice atmosphere,” Collins said.

A landscape architect designed a plan for the streetscape, Collins said. Shamrock hollies, Russian hollies and black-eyed Susans were planted. Sidewalks were replaced and new garbage cans were installed.

In addition to making the borough safer for pedestrians, Bridgeville also is saving money on its utility bills.

Collins said the new LED lighting that was installed during the project has cut the cost of the borough's electric bill by 80 percent.

The project focused on Washington Avenue from Hickman Street to Northwest Savings Bank.

Collins said they would like to apply for more grants in the future to complete the rest of the borough.

Trees were cut down and can not be replaced.

“That is not because we do not want trees. It is because of how shallow the soil is,” Collins said. “If we put trees in, we would have the same problems all over again.”

Dana Parrish, a hairstylist at Jo Ann's Beauty Salon at 438 Washington Ave., said she thinks the work done over the past few months was worth the minor inconveniences caused by the construction project.

Parrish, 42, of Bridgeville, said the project was needed because people were tripping on the sidewalks prior to the repairs.

“I think it is wonderful,” Parrish said. “It really perked up Bridgeville.”

Parrish said the shop used a side entrance while the heavy work out front was being completed.

Steve Tripodi, 35, of Kennedy Township, said he is pleased with the work. Tripodi owns Trip's Automotive at 441 Washington Ave. The sidewalks in front of his business were repaired.

“We had to shut down the shop for three days, but they let me know in advance,” Tripodi said. “It is a great improvement for the area.”

Joyce Davis, Manager of 457 Optical at 457 Washington Ave. said she was glad to see the construction come to an end.

“It impacted the business a little bit. It is tough for elderly with walkers and canes,” Davis, 54, of Dormont, said. “I wish we would have got to see it more since they finished in October, but it looks great. I think they did a nice job.”

Collins said the grants went a long way because so many people turned up to help.

“Our public works department did a great job,” Collins said. “We also had a lot of volunteers. This was a community effort. We are very proud of the results and the way this project turned out.”

Dan Sleva is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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