Plans to recreate Chateau Beach in Oakmont moving forward
Chateau Beach, a popular recreation spot along the Allegheny River in Oakmont during the 1920s and ’30s, might be restored with a more modern look next year.
Borough officials recently acquired a $200,000 grant through the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development Greenways Trails and Recreation program for the proposed kayak park.
It’s a matching grant, with the borough kicking in about $30,000.
The permitting process with the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to take about six months.
There’s no exact timeline for the project. However, borough officials hope to open the park in late summer.
The proposed park is on an estimated 1.6-acre borough-owned lot along the 1000 block of Allegheny Avenue near the Brenntag Northeast facility.
The park would serve as a launching point for kayaks, canoes, paddleboats and other non-motorized watercraft into the Allegheny River and as an access point to the Three Rivers Water Trail.
An ad hoc committee of council members, kayakers and other boating enthusiasts has worked on the project for quite some time.
“In one year’s time we’ve taken the project, gotten some additional land, got a grant and got a design going,” said Councilman Tim Favo. “It’s really a nice part of the river down there.”
Senate Engineering developed preliminary designs of the site. Documents show about 15 parking spaces, a stormwater retention pond, a 10-foot wide berm and 6-foot tall chain-link fence for security and privacy. There also are many trees.
Ingress and egress comes from Allegheny Avenue. There’s no access from side roads, which is meant to minimize impact on neighboring residents.
Resident Karen Schriver is a bit concerned about one of the proposed park amenities, a compost restroom. She said her home along Potomac Street is the closest to the proposed park, and is worried about the smell.
Schriver said she’s in favor of the project, and hopes they can make some design adjustments.
“We want to be active participants and be positive and make this thing happen,” she said. “I’ve had three people with kayaks in front of my property asking if (the park’s) open yet.”
Favo noted there may be more layout changes as plans have not been finalized.
Councilwoman Carrie DelRosso, who coordinated grant efforts for the project, said other neighboring residents have also been contacted for their input.
Original designs included a 700-foot serpentine walkway from a proposed parking lot to the launch site. That plan was scrapped in favor of a new asphalt road to a turnaround near a retaining wall.
Favo said kayakers could unload their vessels closer to the launch site compared to previous plans.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .