Streetscape project making progress

Vibrant Uptown construction /photo: Rob Papke

The second phase of Mt. Lebanon’s Vibrant Uptown streetscape project should be finished by the end of this month.

The $3.9 million project is a renovation of the municipality’s central business district. Phase 2 will bring new sidewalks, planters, seating and underground conduits for electricity.

Winter weather brought a halt to pouring concrete for the sidewalks. Concrete is composed of cement, water and particles of stone and sand called aggregates. The cement and water form a paste that coats the aggregates. Through a chemical reaction called hydration, the cement paste hardens and gains strength. Cold weather affects hydration and can result in weaker concrete.

Work crews focused on building planter boxes in the cold weather and will resume concrete work as the weather warms.

“That will enable the sidewalks to remain open and passable,” said municipal planner and assistant manager Ian McMeans.

The next phase of the renovation will cover the area between the South Parking Garage and 664 Washington, the location of Betsy’s Ice Cream. The remaining two phases of the project, one covering the area from 664 Washington to Shady Drive East, and the other on the opposite side of the street from Alfred Square to Shady Drive East, are planned to run from late spring to the end of 2022.

Throughout the construction, all of Washington Road’s businesses have remained open and accessible. Commercial Districts manager Eric Milliron had praise for the business owners’ patience.

“They’re being understanding,” Milliron said. “Obviously this project is very impactful to them, and they appreciate every effort to streamline it and, of course, let the customers in.”

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