ShareThis Page

McNeilly Avenue, split between Dormont and city, set for upgrade

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

A motorist who hits a pothole on one side of McNeilly Avenue can curse Dormont, but if a crater on the other side is struck, Pittsburgh is responsible for the patching.

The three blocks of McNeilly between Pioneer Avenue and Midland Street run along Dormont's border with Brookline, a city neighborhood. The borough and city each own about half of the road, and after years of potholes and utility work left the short stretch a mess they are finalizing an agreement to repave McNeilly.

“It will be repaired in the spring, one way or another,” Dormont Manager Jeff Naftal said.

“I know Dormont tries to fill the potholes on their side, and Pittsburgh tries to fill the potholes on their side, but it's God-awful,” said Dormont resident Bob McLellan, 57, who went from regularly using McNeilly to avoiding it because of its condition. “I'm very happy they're going to do something about it.”

Pittsburgh likely will choose a contractor to resurface the road, and Dormont will pay its share of the cost, which the borough estimated at about $22,000, Naftal said.

The actual cost to Dormont will depend on the winning contractor's bid and whether the city and borough can agree how much of the road each owns.

Though both sides long have agreed the road needs work, getting two governing bodies to fund a project and put the road on their paving lists took time, Naftal said.

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, whose district includes the neighborhoods bordering Dormont, said she requested the city's side of the road be repaved in 2012 and 2013, but utility work that required digging up parts of the road made it impractical.

Altogether, 35 municipalities share a border with Pittsburgh, though some are separated by rivers and don't have land borders, said Kathy Risko, executive director of the Congress of Neighboring Communities, an organization that promotes collaboration between the city and municipalities that share its border. Though stories once were told of snowplows and pothole crews that refused to cross borders, she said, intergovernmental cooperation and shared services are becoming more common.

“We've spent a lot of time creating a place where communities can get together and talk about these issues, which can be very complicated,” she said. She said her organization worked with various municipal solicitors to create a template for intergovernmental agreements on sharing or splitting services ranging from paving to trash pickup.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me