South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

City to survey vaults under the street in preparation for streetscape project


November 14, 2017

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) will be conducting a vault survey of South Side businesses this week through November 22.

Mark Stem from the DOMI may knock on doors and go into the various businesses to see if the owners and managers have any information on potential sidewalk vaults that belong to their property.

Mr. Stem will carry identification with City of Pittsburgh credentials. His badge may still read “Public Works,” having just recently moved to DOMI. He may also be using “devining rods” which detect anomalies/voids underground through electromagnetic conduction.

This survey is related to the streetscaping project the city is undertaking in conjunction with PennDOT’s roadway and intersection improvement project. The presence of vaults will affect ability to easily install lights, trees, and new sidewalk.

The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure is most concerned with vaults that are still active. Vaults that are not in use would be abandoned in place (i.e. backfilled with grout or other structurally sound material).

Community meetings will be coordinated by PennDOT in early 2018.


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