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Well-worn Three Rivers Heritage Trail earns fix

| Friday, May 10, 2013, 11:53 p.m.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
A runner runs past a section of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the North Shore on Thursday, May 9, 2013, as crews detoured trail traffic around an area that they are preparing for resurfacing next week.

A rut-ridden section of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is about to get a $200,000 facelift.

An almost 2-mile section between 600 River Ave. on the North Shore and Millvale will be closed from Monday through Friday as crews raise the trail by 5 inches, improve drainage and replace the trail's crushed-limestone surface with recycled asphalt.

Trailhead parking facilities along River Avenue will be off limits during construction.

“Most people are tired of the ruts and puddles and only being able to use the trail in nice weather,” said Thomas Baxter, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the Riverfront.

“This will be a significant improvement.”

Friends of the Riverfront won't pay anything. Baxter said city of Pittsburgh workers did site-preparation work free of charge, and Allegheny County will donate the recycled asphalt, together representing $100,000 in in-kind donations.

Three foundations that asked not to be identified are paying contractors up to $100,000 to do the work.

About 4,000 people a day use the trail for bicycling, running and walking. The number has grown since 2010, when officials opened a link to the trail from Millvale Riverfront Park, Baxter said.

“It'll be wonderful to have a fully developed hard surface trail,” said Eddie Figas, Millvale's community economic development director.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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