Three Rivers Park
Three Rivers Park is an urban waterfront park along the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The park, under development since 2000, is intended to be a landmark that will join Frick Park, Schenley Park, Highland Park, Riverview Park, and Grand View Scenic Byway Park as the sixth in the city's network of regional parks.
Three Rivers Park is composed of several capital projects, with Riverlife Task Force overseeing implementation of the park and more than $2.5 billion invested since 1999. The park is being designed to open the three rivers to public access in a way that was impossible during Pittsburgh's Industrial Age. After scheduled completion in the year 2020, it will offer continuous trails and green space along a more than 13-mile waterfront loop between the West End Bridge on the Ohio River, the 31st Street Bridge on the Allegheny River, and the Hot Metal Bridge on the Monongahela River. Contained within the project site boundaries are shorelines, public and private property, and several bridges.
The logo of Three Rivers Park is the outline shape of Fort Pitt, the 18th century outpost of the British Empire at the confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers. The design aims to capture the historical significance of Pittsburgh, with added graphic elements of water and leaf shapes to acknowledge the region's natural history. The logo appears on signage throughout Three Rivers Park.
Currently the Riverlife Task Force is managing three capital projects in the development of Three Rivers Park.
Point State Park renovation
Point State Park is undergoing a rehabilitation process to upgrade and construct new facilities to accommodate large events and easier access to the shoreline. While the park has become a primary outdoor event facility, it was not originally designed as such, and current park facilities are becoming outdated and deteriorated. The rehabilitation involves both infrastructure and aesthetic improvements, such as reconstructed restrooms and sidewalks, a renovated fountain, healthier vegetation and new historical interpretation markers.
Mon Wharf Landing
A major capital project in the Three Rivers Park plan is the transformation of the Mon Wharf (the northern shore of the Monongahela River in Downtown Pittsburgh) from a river edge parking deck into a greenway which will serve to connect Point State Park to other destinations up the Monongahela River. Currently, the Mon Wharf is a 5-acre (20,000 m2) parking lot on the Monongahela River, located at the base of the First Side area of downtown, below one highway and parallel to another. This presents annual flooding problems due to poor drainage, harsh lighting from the roadway and parking areas, very high noise levels, and high volumes of water runoff. Riverlife states that the benefits of the completed Mon Wharf Landing will include a pedestrian and bicycle thruway linking Point State Park to the Eliza Furnace Trail, the Great Allegheny Passage and Downtown; safe and easier access for city residents, workers, boaters, families and outdoors enthusiasts to the rivers and trails around Downtown; a water landing providing dockage for small, motorized boats and non-motorized craft; enhanced scenic views of the Mon River edge from the Fort Pitt Bridge, Station Square and Mount Washington; and landscaping that will address the overhead highway storm water and clean air issues.
As late as the turn of the 20th century the wharf was used for industrial supplies and even "cattle drives" from barges originating in Ohio.
West End Pedestrian Bridge
A major goal of Riverlife is to connect the shores of the Ohio River via a pedestrian bridge and trail system connected to the West End Bridge. Riverlife conducted a design competition to select a design, and a team led by Endres Ware, an architectural and engineering firm based in Berkeley, CA, was selected as the winner. The goal of the new bridge is to enhance access to the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists and to improve the experience of the bridge when upon it on foot or bicycle. The bridge is attached to the West End Bridge, and viewed from a distance, the bridge is supposed to appear unchanged.
In addition to the pedestrian and bike pathway, water landings will be added to the area. The goal is to incorporate the bridge and pathway design into the existing neighborhoods on both sides of the river.
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- Patricia Lowry (2007). Riverlife Task Force profile: story by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 14, 2007.