East Liberty transit project shrinks as construction costs top estimates
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Officials planning the centerpiece of a $127 million East Liberty transit-oriented development had to scale back some of the project's fancier designs, including a stone walkway and lighted handrails, after bids for the project came in over budget.
Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority officials voted on Thursday to re-advertise for bids for construction of the East Liberty Transit Center along the East Busway and said they met individually with contractors to revise bid specifications to reduce costs.
“We redesigned the project and removed a lot of the ‘gingerbread,' ” URA spokeswoman Gigi Saladna said. “The basic design remains.”
The entire development has different parts, but URA officials declined to say what they anticipated to spend for the transit center portion of the project. Bids from three contractors — Gulisek, Golden Triangle and Mosites — ranged from $13.79 million to $13.89 million.
Among the scaled-back designs, according to Saladna: replacing stone walkways with plain concrete, replacing stone benches with conventional benches, replacing laminated glass shields along the pedestrian bridge with chain-link fencing, replacing landscaping with plain grass, eliminating lighted handrails in favor of regular handrails, and replacing the designed bus canopies along Penn Avenue with standard bus shelters.
The basic design remains, Saladna said, including a redesigned busway station, a new pedestrian bridge connecting Ellsworth Avenue with the improved bus stops along Penn Avenue near the Target store, and a wide pedestrian walkway from the bus station to a park area at the intersection of Ellsworth, Shady and Penn avenues.
Demolition for the project began last month. Plans call for clearing land north of the busway to make way for a 550-space parking garage, a new street and later, residential buildings.
Nate Cunningham, director of real estate development for the nonprofit East Liberty Development Inc., which focuses on revitalizing East Liberty, said the rebid does not concern him but it could cause a delay.
“The demolition is moving forward. Maybe it will be a bit delayed, but I don't think they're surprised or we're surprised that they have to do some jockeying around,” Cunningham said.
The project's $127 million price tag includes $23.5 million of public funds, such as grants and money from a Transit Revitalization Improvement District, which funnels money to infrastructure improvements in lieu of tax payments. Construction of the transit shelters, parking garage and landscaped access points was expected to be completed by June 2015.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or email@example.com.
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.
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- District attorney’s office takes paperwork from Wilkinsburg Middle School
- Former Plum police officer charged in computer security breach
- Would-be drillers quizzed by Allegheny County Council committee
- Defense experts tell of disease they say claimed 4-month-old from Castle Shannon whose father is charged with homicide
- For undercover officer who tried to nab Lawrence County flasher, work can be ‘drag’
- Crisis nursery in Larimer will fill a need, founders believe