Pittsburgh closes sections of sidewalk along scenic Mt. Washington
Pittsburgh has closed several sections of cantilevered sidewalk as a safety precaution along scenic Grandview Avenue in Mt. Washington and expects to spend up to $1 million this year on repairs.
Grandview’s four observation decks remain open.
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith of Westwood, who represents Mt. Washington, said structural pillars underneath the sidewalks are deteriorating, causing portions of cast concrete sidewalk to break apart.
“We just want people to be mindful when you’re going up there on the Fourth of July not to cross over the (sidewalk) barriers,” she said. “There’s a reason why they’re closed. It’s not safe.”
The city also is addressing neighborhood complaints about litter, weeds, and overflowing garbage cans along Grandview. Department of Public Works crews have stepped up street sweeping and weeding in the area and the Forestry Division is attempting to trim trees and vegetation blocking scenic vistas, according to the Mayor’s Office.
Sidewalk repairs are scheduled to begin in August and end in November. The city also plans to repair, sand and paint ornamental fencing along the street.
Smith said officials have been meeting for more than a year in an attempt to resolve maintenance issues on the street. The problem, she said, is repairs to sidewalks are expensive.
“It’s $500,000 just for one section,” she said. “I think we need a comprehensive plan. We need to make people understand Grandview Avenue is a regional asset. We need help from our state and federal partners, and even private funding if possible to do the work that needs done all along Grandview Avenue from one end to the other.”
The Grandview Avenue overlooks, a popular tourist attraction, were built in the 1960s. They were last rehabbed in the late 1980s and remain structurally sound, according to Public Works Director Mike Gable and the Mayor’s Office.