The Brookline Boulevard redevelopment project—which has been in the works for nearly 15 years—is scheduled to get its feet off the ground, and has funding to support it.
John Fournier, chief of staff for city Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, said the City of Pittsburgh’s 2012 capital budget includes $750,000 for the project.
“Physical construction hasn’t started yet, but the process for a project like this is pretty long,” he said. “It’s a major thoroughfare so the state has to sign off on it.”
The total cost of the project is $6.4 million, he said, and will be funded partially through the city’s capital improvement budget and partially with money from the state. Work is scheduled to start in the spring of 2013 and wrap up by the fall of 2013.
The project will be a total makeover of Brookline’s business district, and was designed with several things in mind, Fournier said.
The project will include landscaping and tree planting along the street, sidewalk and roadway paving and new traffic signals. Safety issues at intersections—particularly at Pioneer Avenue and Brookline Boulevard—will be addressed with handicap-accessible designs and new pedestrian signals.
“We’re doing a general pedestrian redesign to make the boulevard itself safer,” Fournier said. “If you look at any of the intersecting streets, (Brookline Boulevard) is a wide street and the lights are timed kind of short. It’s difficult to get across in the time allotted right now.”
The original plan for the project was to do utility work under the road, Fournier said. When funding for that type of work wasn’t available, the city decided to move forward with the project as an economic development project, he said.
“This is pretty much a total storefront-to-storefront facelift,” he said. “It’s going to be something when it’s done.”
The full 2012 operating and capital budgets can be found on the website of the City of Pittsburgh.