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The Great Allegheny Passage, then and now

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

The celebration of the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage is Saturday, with the 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting at the Sandcastle trail link followed by a ride from there to the Point in Downtown Pittsburgh. Read all about it here.

To mark the occasion, we gratefully share these before-and-after photos provided by Bob Genter of Mackin Engineering, one of many companies that had a hand in the trail development. The “before” shots are from 1997.

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Above: Meyersdale railroad station

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Above: Keystone Viaduct

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Above: Deal Dual Bridge

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Above: Route 40 bridge, Cumberland

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The office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the opening of the Third Avenue Bike Station, which has more than 50 new parking spaces for cyclists. The project transformed an unused space on the ground level of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s Third Avenue Garage, one block from Market Square. The Post-Gazette's Moriah Balingit has the lowdown here.

The city also has begun the installation of 50 additional bike racks Downtown, according to an announcement from the mayor’s office.

“More people than ever are riding bikes Downtown, yet supply of secure bike parking has not kept up with demand,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. “With this commitment from the City of Pittsburgh, it will be even easier to stop for a bite to eat, go to a meeting or go shopping with peace of mind that your vehicle will be there when it’s time to leave.”

Some of us recall when only children and a handful of diehards rode bicycles here. Now the city has 500 bike racks and 75 miles of riverfront trails and bike lanes. Bike commuting has increased by nearly 300 percent over the last decade and the city is earning national recognition for bike-friendliness.

The city will contribute $25,000 this year toward a $100,000 educational campaign funded under the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program to encourage bicyclists and drivers to be safe and share the streets.

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roadconstructionA major intersection improvement project will close a section of Pearce Mill Road in Pine starting Wednesday. The road will be closed in both directions from the Route 910 intersection south to Brown Road starting at 7 a.m. and continuing through early October. The posted detour uses Route 910 and Babcock Boulevard. The $2.6 million project includes widening and reconstructing the Route 910 intersection to add turning lanes in all directions, drainage and traffic signal improvements and repaving. Several slides on Pearce Mill will be repaired.

The right lane will close on Bigelow Boulevard-Bigelow Square between Seventh and Sixth avenues as needed to accommodate wall repairs in the rear of the U.S. Steel Building property from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through June 24.

Bridge and culvert inspections may cause a shift on the Parkway West ramp over Banksville Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today; and shoulder restrictions at the bridge over Whiskey Run between Carnegie and Green Tree from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Andy Warhol Bridge will close at 9 a.m. today, the first of a series of daytime closures while the bridge is inspected. The bridge, which carries Seventh Street across the Allegheny River, will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Wednesday and Thursday; from June 17 through 21; and on June 24. Traffic will detour using the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The work also will require lane restrictions on the 10th Street Bypass.

Traffic is switching to the newly reconstructed lanes and ramps of the Mansfield Bridge, which crosses the Mon between Dravosburg and McKeesport, this week. Stoppages of up to 15 minutes will occur during the rerouting. Single-lane traffic will continue in both directions while the other half of the bridge is rebuilt. Project completion is scheduled for December 2014.

Culvert replacement has closed a portion of Scrubgrass Road in Scott. The project will replace the metal arch culvert between Main Street/Kane Boulevard/Old Bower Hill Road and Swallow Hill Road beginning at 7 a.m. Monday continuously through late August. The roadway will remain open for local traffic only. The detour will be posted.

Sections of southbound Route 88 in Charleroi will be detoured during daylight hours for milling and paving through Thursday. Work hours are 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Road work continues on Interstate 80 near Exit 24 (Grove City/ Sandy Lake) with single-lane traffic in both directions.

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Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that Downtown Pittsburgh will be even more bike-friendly with the opening of the newThird Avenue Bike Station, which offers more than 50 new parking spaces for cyclists. This project transformed an unused space on the ground level of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s Third Avenue Garage – located only a block from Market Square – into a much-needed bike parking facility for cyclists. The bike station includes two areas: a free, public area that offers a bike fix-it area and space for approximately 30 bikes, as well as a premium parking area available by annual lease ($100/year) that offers secure, weather-protected storage lockers and parking for up to 24 bikes.

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