Pittsburgh Council advances plans for North Side pedestrian bridge | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh Council advances plans for North Side pedestrian bridge

Bob Bauder
The sign at the former Davis Avenue Bridge in Brighton Heights.

Pittsburgh is moving forward with plans to build a pedestrian bridge in place of the North Side’s demolished Davis Avenue Bridge.

City Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized the Mayor’s Office to apply for a $1.8 million grant from PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund and pledge matching funds totaling $772,943 for the project.

Mayor Bill Peduto said construction hinges on the city receiving the state grant. Peduto said the city’s chances of receiving a grant to rebuild the bridge for vehicle traffic are nonexistent.

“It we tried to rebuild it as a motorized bridge, it would never get the approvals,” Peduto said. “The specific timeline is contingent on being able to secure those funds and at this point that’s not known.”

Councilwoman Darlene Harris of Spring Hill, who represents the North Side, advocated for years to rebuild the bridge for vehicle traffic. Davis Avenue residents closest to the bridge have opposed reconstruction because of increased traffic. Others argued in favor of a new span.

The new bridge would be available only to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The city demolished the 19th-century Davis Avenue Bridge stretching nearly 400 feet across Woods Run in 2009 because of structural deficiencies. Losing the bridge severed a key link between Brighton Heights, Riverview Park and the Perry North neighborhood.

Supporters have said a pedestrian bridge would provide critical access to the park and increase park usage. The 259-acre green space once had three entrances, including Davis Avenue, but is now down to two: Riverview and Mairdale avenues.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-564-3080, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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