South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Brownsville Road closing January 4 for gas/water lines


The 100-200 blocks of Brownsville Road in Mount Oliver will close to traffic on January 4, 2016 for replacement of gas and water lines. The replacement work will continue along Brownsville Road closing half the street at a time from Bausman to Suncrest Street.

The 20,000 cars driving on Brownsville Road every day in Mount Oliver will soon have to find another way around the main business corridor.

The road through Mount Oliver will be closed for the replacement of gas and water lines and replacement of sidewalks in the business district beginning on January 4, 2016. The $2.6 million is a joint project of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania American Water and the Borough of Mount Oliver.

Closures will be in phases beginning at Arlington Avenue and continuing to Suncrest Street. Initially, the 100 and 200 blocks will be closed completely with traffic being detoured around the construction zone. The remainder of Brownsville from Bausman Street to Suncrest Street is wider and will require only half the street at a time being closed.

The project will include not only the Brownsville Road corridor through Mount Oliver, but also natural gas line replacement along Arlington Avenue from Locust Street to S. 18th Street; Walnut Street from Locust Street to Brownsville Road and Arlington Court.

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania work will include replacing 1,904 feet of aging bare steel pipe with 2,879 feet of four-inch and eight-inch plastic pipe. Columbia Gas may also replace customer-owner service lines and relocate indoor meters. Customers may experience a service interruption of two to four hours during the new service line installation.

In addition, Pennsylvania American Water will replace 2,860 feet of four-inch and eight-inch pipe with a new 12-inch ductile iron main.

Josephine Posti, APR, external affairs specialist for Pennsylvania American Water, said the water lines being replaced were installed in the 1880s.

The larger diameter main will improve water service reliability and increase water flows for households and fire protection. PA American will also be replacing eight fire hydrants as part of the project.

Work on the water lines will begin approximately two weeks after Columbia Gas begins its line upgrade project.

Brownsville Road will be repaved, curb to curb, after the line replacement work is completed. The two utility companies will split the cost.

Ms. Posti said there may be some temporary road restoration in areas with cold patch until the weather breaks and they are able to permanently pave the road.

The utility companies plan to work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays in the warmer weather months.

In addition, utilizing a grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development and revenues from the utility companies for service cuts, the Borough of Mount Oliver will upgrade the existing sidewalks with new exposed aggregate concrete sidewalks. The new sidewalks will be installed from Arlington Avenue to Bausman Street.

Mount Oliver Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson said the borough is working with the City of Pittsburgh on applying for grants to replace the sidewalks from Bausman to Suncrest Street. In the meantime, the utility companies will repair the sidewalks in-kind in the 300-500 blocks.

He said while the companies will make accommodations for emergency vehicles, there will be no on-street parking on Brownsville during the construction.

The joint project is expected to take up to nine months to fully complete.

Detours for the closed portion of Brownsville Road had not been finalized at press time. In the mid-1980s when Brownsville Road was last closed for reconstruction, detours included using Amanda Avenue inbound from the five-way intersection at Bausman Street to Arlington Avenue and Knox Avenue outbound at Arlington Avenue to where it joins Brownsville Road at Suncrest Street.

Mr. Hopkinson said the previous detour was the preferred routing, but a decision had not been made yet.


Reader Comments

Livindadream writes:

Good for Mt. Oliver! Sidewalk... Here's a thought... Skip the exposed aggregate and use regular concrete. Exposed aggregate is WAY more expensive and will have to be maintained (i.e. future repairs).


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