Ledes

Pittsburgh’s Newest Urban Park Creates Walkable Green Space Reconnecting Historic Hill District Neighborhood with Downtown

$19 Million Federal TIGER Grant Enabling Construction of “Cap” Over Interstate

Plans are moving forward for a new, urban three-acre green space that will reconnect Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District with the city’s Downtown business and cultural center.

The tree-lined park will function as a “cap” over Interstate 579, providing a walkable link to a neighborhood that lost its direct access to Downtown Pittsburgh over 50 years ago as a result of urban renewal and federal highway projects.

Awarded a $19 million federal grant through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, the $26.4 million pedestrian park sits on top of a bridge-like structure. The park includes “story” walls featuring the history of the Hill District, performance and green spaces, an outdoor classroom space, bike pathways, an amphitheater, and a bike-share station.

Hill District i579 CAP Park

Rendering: Sports and Exhibition Authority

Green infrastructure enables stormwater capture using rain gardens, native trees, shrubs, and grasses also helping to reduce noise from the interstate below. The park’s pedestrian and bike-friendly path system is ADA-accessible. HDR Engineering, with LaQuatra Bonci Associates, the landscape architect subcontractor, created the park’s design with direct input from the Hill District community.

In the 1950s and 1960s, construction of the former Civic Arena, in concert with other development activities, led to the demolition of entire blocks of homes and businesses in the Lower Hill neighborhood, essentially separating the Hill from Downtown Pittsburgh. During that same time, Crosstown Boulevard was built, creating an additional barrier; this highway later became federal Interstate 579.

 

Media contact: Mary Conturo or Doug Straley

Pittsburgh Sports & Exhibition Authority

412-393-0200