Repairs to Riverside Park track in Oakmont set to begin this month
Restoration of the Riverside Park track in Oakmont is expected to begin this month.
The borough recently was awarded a $140,000 grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation program.
It is a matching grant with Oakmont covering about half. Council budgeted $70,000 for track repairs.
The track, in the park’s lower section, was damaged by tree roots that have pushed it up and made it uneven. There are several bumps in lane one and another in lane two.
Riverview High School’s track team still practices on the track, which has not been closed to the community.
At least nine trees were cut down and root barriers were installed at five of them in preparation for repairs.
Council awarded the repair project to New York-based Nagle Athletic Surfaces in February.
The original repair job was just to fix the impacted area and have it ready for WPIAL competition.
Borough Manager Scot Fodi said the grant allowed the project to be expanded to near reconstruction of the entire track.
“The award aids the borough in repairing several areas of the track that were undermined from tree root growth over the years as well as repair some track surface damage that arose when the trees were cleared from the perimeter of the track earlier this year,” Fodi said. “When those repairs a made, the entire running surface will then receive a new synthetic all-weather track structural spray and new lane striping and markings.”
He said it will be a clean, uniform running surface when the job is done.
Completion is projected to be in early spring, weather permitting.
“Like any project that improves upon a great amenity, many, many individuals are ecstatic to get this project under way and completed,” Fodi said. “It is a well-used amenity in Riverside Park and getting this project done is important to council, the parks board, and borough staff.
Meanwhile, Riverview’s track team is scheduled to have all away meets for the third consecutive season.
Track season runs the beginning of March through late April with invitationals and championships in May.
District Athletic Director Mario Rometo said students had tremendous success without performing at home.
The boys track team was WPIAL section champ in 2017, and both boys and girls were section champs in 2018.
“I think our coach, Dave Ilnicki, does a great job keeping the kids focused,” Rometo said. “One of the reason we’re very successful is we have a lot of depth for being a small school.”
The teams traveled to East Allegheny High School, Springdale and Shady Side Academy.
Rometo said the host schools have been very accommodating, and he has not heard complaints from students.
“They really haven’t voiced their concerns with me too much,” he said. “I think they enjoy going and seeing other schools. Our meets weren’t too far away.”
Rometo said he hopes the project is complete early enough to make some schedule changes this year.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .