PITTSBURGH, PA (February 21, 2019) The City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure is set to begin reconstruction of the McFarren Street Bridge over Nine Mile Run, which is the first such project to be performed following the City’s “Clean Construction” guidelines.
The guidelines require all city government construction projects costing $2.5 million and above to use diesel emission control strategies on construction vehicles, including the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The legislation requires the use of best available control technology, such as a diesel particulate filter, on all on-road vehicles, like dump trucks, and off-road equipment, such as backhoes and bulldozers, that are involved in the project.
The Clean Construction guidelines were introduced by then City Councilman William Peduto in 2011 and then revised in 2016 to make them easier to follow for contractors. The McFarren Bridge project in the city’s Duck Hollow neighborhood is the first major project to come under the revised guidelines.
“This project allows the City of Pittsburgh to be a model for construction activities that are responsible to both the planet and our budget’s bottom line,” Mayor Peduto said.
The legislation has long been supported by Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), which notes that the construction industry is the largest user of diesel engines, which generate a third of all land-based, non-road nitrogen oxide emissions.
“We are happy to finally see a City project include the clean construction requirements," said Rachel Filippini, Executive Director of Group Against Smog and Pollution. "We know that diesel particulate matter poses one of the greatest cancer risks from any toxic outdoor air pollutant and that the black carbon found in diesel pollution is a potent global warming agent.”
GASP is pushing for others to adopt similar standards.
“This project has been a long time coming and represents an important first step in advancing greener construction in Pittsburgh," added Filippini. "While we think the city’s clean construction legislation is important, its impact is unfortunately limited. To have a greater impact, we will need the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority—and other groups that undertake considerably more activity than the city—to also adopt the policy.”
A new steel girder bridge will be constructed to provide access to the Duck Hollow neighborhood. The bridge will carry two lanes of traffic and one side with a sidewalk.
The new bridge will connect Old Browns Hill Road with McFarren Street, upstream of the existing Second Avenue Bridge and the CSX Railroad Bridge. The new bridge will replace the existing Second Avenue Bridge which has an 11 ton weight restriction. Access to the neighborhood will be maintained throughout construction. Construction is expected to begin in May and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2020.