Wonderful things are happening at Riverview Park.
Friends of Riverview Park is a coalition of North Side neighbors dedicated to supporting positive change within the park. Here are some of the projects we are working on that will help make Riverview Park more accessible, sustainable, and beautiful.
Grand Avenue/Kilbuck Valley Project
On Monday, March 2, 2020, the first of four planned community engagement meetings took place at Providence Connections. Representatives from both IKM and Civil & Environmental Consultants (CEC) reviewed the history of the current storage depot site. Through a visioning exercise, attendees shared their thoughts on the new entrance. Nearly 55 Northside residents attended the meeting.
The Pandemic delayed this process, but on Monday, May 22, 2023, we held the second round of community meetings. Representatives from Eisler Landscape and Oikos Environmental, and Evolve EA were on hand to review the input we received from the 2020 meeting on site at the Valley Refuge Shelter. They then led the 35 attendees on a guided tour of the Kilbuck Valley to discuss key problems and opportunities.
The third meeting will be held on Monday, July 24, 2023 at 6 PM at the Valley Refuge Shelter. The consultant team will take the feedback received from the Community and begin to lay out options for the community to review.
This planning work is being funded by a grant from the Buhl Foundation.
Davis Avenue Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge
At the end of 2019, the City of Pittsburgh announced that design work for the new Davis Avenue pedestrian/bicycle bridge will begin through a $200,000 grant from the state’s Gaming Economic Development Fund. The City demolished the original Davis Avenue bridge in 2009 due to structural deficiencies beyond repair. The bridge was a major link between Brighton Heights, Riverview Park, and the Observatory Hill neighborhood.
Planning began in 2020 with a series of virtual community meetings with the bridge designers and the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI). The project was also posted on the City of Pittsburgh’s website Engage Pittsburgh: https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/davis-avenue-bridge
Engineering work began in the summer of 2021 and the City held the first public meeting on 12/13/21. The design engineers incorporated that feedback and also continued their work and began developing more accurate cost estimates. The final public meeting on the project was held on 9/29/2022. At that meeting, DOMI informed the community that a local artist, Brighton Heights resident Lori Hepner, had been selected to create public art for the bridge project. You can see what Lori has planned by following the Davis Avenue Bridge Project on the City’s Engage Pittsburgh web site: https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/davis-avenue-bridge/davis-avenue-bridge-public-art
Funding for the project was in Mayor Gainey’s capital budget and was approved by City Council in December of 2022. DOMI staff began working on contract documents and it is anticipated that the project will be let for bid sometime during the summer of 2022.
Construction is anticipated for either the fall of 2022 or the spring of 2023.
Maridale Entrance Reconstruction & Stormwater Project
FOR Park is currently working with the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) on stormwater improvements in Riverview Park. This project will see the installation of green stormwater infrastructure such as rain gardens and tree plantings in the park to help capture rainwater runoff and reduce park flooding, erosion, and combined sewer overflows to the Ohio River.
PWSA installed the first Phase of the project that dealt with upstream stormwater flows into Wood Run. The project stretched from Horseshoe Bend to the entrance to the Watson Cabin site. Two new wet weather retaining basins were installed. You can view that project here: https://www.pgh2o.com/projects-maintenance/search-all-projects/woods-run-stormwater-project-phase-one
Phase 2 of the project has been delayed because of changes at PWSA and in how the City is dealing with stormwater overflows. We are unsure when design will be completed or when construction will begin. You can get more information about the project on PWSA’s web site here: https://www.pgh2o.com/projects-maintenance/search-all-projects/woods-run-stormwater-project-phase-two
Snyder's Point Meadow
Friends of Riverview Park is proposing the creation of native plant meadows within parts of the existing fields and open areas that make up Snyder’s Point in Riverview Park. The meadows will feature an assortment of native perennial flowering plants and grasses that will provide wildlife habitat as well as be visually pleasing. We see the project as offering numerous benefits, including the enhancement of an already frequented destination, the provision of opportunities to engage volunteers and the creation of habitat for animals (particularly pollinating insects).
Work began in the Fall of 2022 to prepare three sites. Seeding occurred in April of 2022. There are ongoing volunteer opportunities to help with maintaining these sites from invasive species – check our facebook page for more information.
Sustainable Trail Plan
The Friends of Riverview Park has identified the need to improve the park trail system
as a key priority for improvement. The trails suffer from extreme erosion and landslides in multiple locations, creating a highly negative impact on the visitor’s experience, while also degrading the park’s ecology and wildlife habitat. The City has approved FORP’s plan for trail and drainage improvements, maintenance and community connections that will make Riverview Park’s trail system more sustainable, accessible and enjoyable.