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Route 65 corridor could become easier on the eye

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Driving along Route 65 could become more enjoyable for some motorists as plans to beautify the Glen Osborne, Sewickley and Edgeworth corridors are taking shape.

People from the three boroughs have been working together and separately to look for ways to enhance their portions of Route 65 through improved lighting, signage, landscaping and more, while keeping goals to create design continuity throughout the roughly 3-mile stretch.

“The overall purpose of this study and project is to identify the best and most practical opportunities for enhancing the overall character and traveler experience along the corridor,” said Jon Stilan, a landscape designer with Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning and Design LLC .

Stilan met with members of Glen Osborne Borough's council and planning commission last week to discuss ways to aesthetically improve their portion of Route 65 from River Road to Boundary Street.

During the meeting, Stilan showed a video through the eye of a motorist and what someone would see while driving northbound along Route 65 in Glen Osborne.

He offered suggestions and sought input as to what could be done to create a more aesthetically pleasing corridor.

One of the biggest concerns along Route 65 for Glen Osborne Borough council stemmed from the multicommunity sewer interconnect project, according to current councilwoman and mayor-elect Barbara Carrier.

Many trees, which lined the greenspace behind some Glen Osborne homes, were removed for the project and replaced by riprap — rocks and rubble — upon completion. Carrier said council was looking for ways to hide the rock.

“We figure this is the time we could add some landscaping and some plantings,” Carrier said, adding some redbud trees were planted, but not enough to cover the large area.

“We would love to have color. We would love to have a sidewalk in there,” she said.

Stilan discussed gateway signage, ideas for wall space along Route 65 and on Beaver Road at the intersection of River Road, and the possibility for other more manicured spaces along the span during the presentation.

Ideas generated from last week's meeting will be used to draft the enhancement plan for planning commission approval in December. The plan will be brought before council for adoption in January.

Stilan said the hope is to jointly, with Sewickley and Edgeworth, submit applications for funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in the spring.

Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or kserafini@tribweb.com.

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