After three failed funding requests in as many years, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and their joint Sports and Exhibition Authority have been awarded $19 million in federal transportation funds to fix a 60-year-old remnant of Urban Renewal, and re-connect the Hill District to Downtown.
The TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is the final piece of funding needed to build the long-proposed “Cap” over I-579, that along with a proposed park, amphitheater, and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ planned $450 million in retail & office space and housing at the former Civic Arena site, will rebuild the lower Hill—and part of its former street grid—and reconnect it to Downtown.
Thanking U.S. Sen Bob Casey and, especially, U.S. Rep Mike Doyle for his work in finally obtaining the grant Mayor Bill Peduto said the $19 million would help address a longstanding issue.
“This will heal one of Pittsburgh’s worst efforts at urban renewal,” he said. “When decades ago city planners separated the Hill District from Downtown and cut the lifeblood from one of our most historic communities.”
Pittsburgh Councilman Danny Lavelle called the cap a welcome start.