Pittsburgh council authorizes $32M in spending on I-579 ‘cap’
Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday authorized about $32 million in spending for the Interstate 579 “cap” designed to link the Lower Hill District and Downtown via a three-acre park.
PennDOT will oversee the work expected to start by July and end in late 2021, according to the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
Plans call for handicapped-accessible pedestrian pathways, an amphitheater, stage, lawns, landscaping, recreation areas, art and replacement of walkways in the area.
“The ‘cap’ project will be transformative for the Hill District by removing a physical barrier and re-establishing connectivity to centers of employment, education and services in Downtown Pittsburgh,” according to the SEA website.
I-579, known as the Crosstown Expressway, runs between the Hill and Downtown. The cap will essentially serve as a large bridge deck made of 8-inch-thick, reinforced concrete slabs supported by beams and pillars.
It will complement the Penguins’ long-awaited $450 million residential, retail and office redevelopment plan for the 28-acre former Civic Arena site.
The SEA in 2016 received a $19 million federal grant for the work and is kicking in an additional $5.2 million. The remaining funding is coming from the state.
Council unanimously approved the allocation without comment.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .