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Three Rivers Heritage Trail to be extended

Bob Bauder
| Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 11:28 a.m.
Construction on a two-mile extension to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail will cost 'several hundred thousand dollars' and is being funded by the Heinz Endowments.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Philip G. Pavely
Construction on a two-mile extension to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail will cost 'several hundred thousand dollars' and is being funded by the Heinz Endowments. Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review

Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the Monongahela River will grow by about two miles and extend into Hazelwood by mid-June, Friends of the Riverfront announced on Tuesday.

The extension will begin at the Hot Metal Bridge and run through a 178-acre brownfield where LTV Steel once made coke and steel bars. Thomas Baxter, executive director of the advocacy group, said construction will cost "several hundred thousand dollars" and is being funded by the Heinz Endowments, one of four Pittsburgh charities that own the former mill site under a partnership known as Almono.

"This is a great thing, I think, for Hazelwood," said Jim Richter, executive director of Hazelwood Initiative Inc. "It can create the ability for Hazelwood to be a destination point for recreation, bikers and others."

Almono is redeveloping the mill site, and the trail will change, but remain open, as work progresses, Baxter said. He said the trail will be handicapped-accessible and feature plenty of space for parking.

Mary Ullman, 31, of Regent Square, who was towing her 1-year-old son, Paxson, in a bicycle trailer along the trail near the Hot Metal Bridge, said the extension will enhance an already pleasant part of Pittsburgh.

"The more trail they have, the more we will have to ride. It's nice out here on warm days, because it cools him off without having to be inside in the air conditioning."

Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, said the extension would be another asset for the city.

"The Second Avenue corridor is heavily traveled by commuters, and this can provide more bike-to-work opportunities," she said.

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