Port Authority to close Mon Incline for reconstruction in Sept.
Port Authority of Allegheny County will push construction on the Monongahela Incline back to Tuesday, Sept. 8, after the Labor Day holiday.
The decision to postpone the reconstruction project occurred following meetings and conversations with state Senator Wayne D. Fontana and representatives of the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation.
“This is good news for the Mt. Washington community, including businesses and residents alike,” said Sen. Fontana. “I appreciate that the Port Authority not only listened to the request of businesses and residents in the community, but also respect their position and opinion enough to reconsider their work schedule.”
The $3.5 million reconstruction project will close the Monongahela Incline for approximately 80 days to allow the Authority to replace rails and ties, a catwalk and a safety restraint system and also renovate the passenger cars.
“There are a number of logistics and considerations that go into scheduling work like that which is planned for the Mon Incline, and there is never really a good time for such extensive work to be done,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “I am glad that the Authority, working with the community, has been able to come to an agreement that allows the Authority to complete this work and enhance passenger safety, while also honoring the neighborhood’s request related to the timing.”
Sen. Fontana and representatives of the Mt. Washington CDC were able to show that their business is actually greater on Labor Day weekend than on many other landmark event weekends. The Port Authority’s process has been concerned about the impact the incline closure will have on the businesses and riders there, but had also planned work to provide that the project be completed in time for Light Up Night.
“We hope to be able to meet all of our goals. With the delayed start, we’re going to hope for excellent fall weather which will allow the contractor to complete all of the scheduled work in time for Light Up Night,” Port Authority CEO Ellen McLean said. “The Port Authority and our contractor will be making the best effort to have the work completed on schedule.”
The reconstruction project had previously been scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 31.