Another Major Ice Jam Expected On Allegheny River

English: Lock and Dam Number 2 on the Alleghen...

English: Lock and Dam Number 2 on the Allegheny River at Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, USA (part of the Pittsburgh metropolitian area). The lock and dam were built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a part of an extensive system of locks and dams to improve navigation along the Allegheny River. The Highland Park bridge crosses the river just above the dam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allegheny River is poised to see its largest river ice jam in almost 20 years, according to the National Weather Service.

“The last time we had a major ice event was January 1996,” said Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Moon. “There was a lot of ice, primarily on the Allegheny River, and a decent snowpack.” A snowpack forms when snow from the surrounding countryside melts and runs into creeks, rivers and lakes.

“Rain covered the top (of the ice) and we had decently high temperatures,” he said. “It caused the ice to break loose and caused a lot of problems, including flooding in a lot of locations and river navigation headaches.”

Hendricks said the region’s extremely cold temperatures won’t break for at least another 10 days, so conditions will be ideal for the same situation to occur.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/5469537-74/ice-river-allegheny#ixzz2rKs8N291
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The Giant Rubber Duck Will Fly Sunday From Its Pittsburgh Nest

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After hatching on Sept. 27, the duck is ready to leave the nest.

The 40-foot rubber duck, the brainbird of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman that has been floating in the Allegheny River just off of Point State Park the past few weeks, will fly out of town at 11 p.m. Sunday, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust said this morning.

Despite petitions to keep the duck here, the trust is sticking with its initial plan to remove the bird, coinciding with the Steelers vs. Ravens game Sunday at Heinz Field. At that point, the duck will be taken to an undisclosed location, cleaned, dried and put in storage at a warehouse in the South Side.

“It came in like a lion, let’s let it go like a lamb,” said Paul Organisak, vice president of programming for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/the-giant-rubber-duck-will-fly-sunday-from-its-pittsburgh-nest-708115/#ixzz2i5tIbfDQ

Graffiti Artists Foul Ground Near Point State Park Fowl

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh police this morning arrested a man for spray-painting graffiti near the giant rubber duck currently floating in the Allegheny River at Point State Park.

The 40-foot-tall rubber duck, which arrived in Pittsburgh last week, was not damaged.

A security guard stationed to monitor the floating faux water fowl told police he thought he heard a spray can hit the ground and then saw two people spraying on the sidewalk, according to a news release from police spokeswoman Diane Richard.

Both people ran, but police later caught Ryan Sigesmund, 34, whose address they did not know.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/grafitti-artists-foul-ground-near-near-point-state-park-fowl-705820/#ixzz2gckkdtcL

Giant Duck’s Arrival Paints Pittsburgh Quack And Yellow

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Giant Rubber Duck’s fans were not disappointed.

Those fans — gathered on the Clemente Bridge and the Riverwalk and the steps of Point State Park by twos and threes, and then dozens and hundreds — numbered in the many thousands of people all packed together and squinting downriver into the sun on Friday afternoon to await its arrival.

And then, just as the tempers of hot children and harried mothers began to fray, bored teenagers returned their attention to their smartphones and grandparents began looking for a place to sit down, a flash of graceful yellow floated into view from around a bend in the river.

“There it is!” “Look, there it is!” “It’s here!” people shouted, nudging their friends and pointing downstream. And then, laughing and cheering and clapping and capturing videos on their phones, they watched entranced as the 40-foot-tall, 30-foot-wide rubber duck and its placid smile drew closer.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/giant-ducks-arrival-paints-pittsburgh-quack-and-yellow-705216/#ixzz2gCb7WjUp

Pittsburgh Bridges A Showcase Of Engineering Ingenuity

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modern bridges are super-sized paths of steel with carpets of concrete that soar through the air.

As tour de forces of design, engineering and teamwork, bridges are our most functional visible form of public art. These sturdy structures afford us breathtaking views of the region while stoking our sense of optimism. From their portals, we cross deep ravines, wide valleys and rivers, especially rivers.

With a total of 446 bridges, Pittsburgh is a permanent showcase of inspired engineering.  Its rugged topography has made it a hotbed of bridge design since the city was named in 1758, and the region’s hills and geological formations afforded the natural resources, including wood and stone, to build the bridges needed to connect it.

The city’s first span, opened in 1818, crossed the Monongahela River on the site of the current Smithfield Street Bridge.  The first Sixth Street Bridge spanned the Allegheny River just a year later, ushering in a generation of covered wooden bridges.  Until the late 1800s, everyone — whether in a horse-drawn wagon or on foot — paid tolls to cross the city’s major bridges.  We still pay today — our tax dollars fund multimillion-dollar PennDOT projects.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/pittsburgh-bridges-a-showcase-of-engineering-ingenuity-696224/#ixzz2ZfxMNSfF

Pittsburgh Gets 2 New Tugs, 1st Built In 30 Years

English: Opekiska Lock and Dam on the Monongah...

English: Opekiska Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River. The dam is located about seven miles northeast (downriver) from Fairmont, West Virginia, at river mile 115.4. The lock and dam were constructed 1961–64 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation on the Monongahela River, replacing 60-year-old locks 14 and 15. View is downriver to the northeast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh-based marine services company has built two new tugboats, a reminder that the old business of pushing barges along rivers continues even in modern times.

Campbell Transportation christened the Renee Lynn and the Alice Jean at a riverside ceremony last week.  The 65-foot-long, 24-foot-wide boats are the first new major vessels built in Pittsburgh in 30 years, the company said.

The Port of Pittsburgh ranked 21st in the nation in terms of total tonnage in 2011, which means it handled more traffic than ports in Philadelphia, Tampa, Fla., or Seattle, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Technically, the river tugs that push barges are called towboats, while those that push ships in harbors are called tugboats.  But the general public calls them all tugboats.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130704/NEWS03/130709833/pittsburgh-gets-2-new-tugs-1st-built-in-30-years#full_story

1,364 Pennsylvania Bridges Face Weight Limits Unless Repaired

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Liberty Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh is among nearly 1,400 state-owned bridges that could be posted with weight restrictions in the next few years if the Legislature fails to enact a transportation funding bill, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Gov. Tom Corbett is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh today to press his case for funding, and he will hold a news conference under the 2,700-foot-long Liberty Bridge crossing the Monongahela River.  The bridge is in need of rehabilitation estimated to cost $40 million to $60 million, but PennDOT doesn’t have the money.

The department has identified 1,364 bridges statewide that could have weight restrictions soon if they aren’t repaired, rehabilitated or replaced.  The list, obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, contains about 400 bridges already posted with weight limits, but also includes several that are under construction now or will be soon, removing them from being at risk.

The Liberty Bridge is the biggest of 49 bridges in Allegheny County that are on the PennDOT list and not funded for rehabilitation or replacement.  Twelve of the 49 already have weight limits. Others, including the Hulton Bridge spanning the Allegheny River between Harmar and Oakmont and bridges near the Route 51-Route 88 intersection in Overbrook, are funded for replacement starting this year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/1364-state-bridges-face-weight-limits-unless-fixed-690705/#ixzz2VY1cFWZL

Three Rivers Arts Festival Opens Friday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether you’re paddling to a floating platform for a mind-elevating experience or scratching your head over the meaning of a painted white Mustang with corn rows in place of racing stripes, you’re doing just what the organizers of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival hope you’ll do.

The 54th annual festival begins at noon Friday and continues through June 16 Downtown.  Admission is free to the 100 visual and performing events and activities that will bring in more than 500 artists to 20 venues including four stages.

New this year will be a half dozen artworks with the primary purpose to engage, perhaps puzzle, and inspire discussion.  Generally referred to as “public art,” these outdoor, often large and ambitious projects will extend from the middle of the Allegheny River by Point State Park to the walls of Tito Way in the Cultural District, near the “Cell Phone Disco.”

There are two ways of thinking about art, said, who became this year’s festival director as a part of her earlier appointment to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust director of festival management and special projects.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/art-architecture/three-rivers-arts-festival-opens-friday-with-a-broad-spectrum-of-arts-and-entertainment-690509/#ixzz2VS8mw0Q1

Frothy Point: Pittsburgh’s Iconic Fountain Makes A Welcome Return

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Golden Triangle‘s biggest outdoor party starts Friday with a big exclamation point on it — the iconic, 150-foot fountain that will spring back to life after being dormant since 2009.

Repairs and upgrades to the fountain were the last and most expensive part of a $35 million renovation of Point State Park that has been years in the making.  The $9.6 million fountain project included moving pumps and electrical systems to higher ground and out of a flood plain and installing a new granite ring, restored outer basin and LED lighting.

The graceful spray marks the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio, and it is both beautiful and refreshing.

The timing of the fountain’s return is not coincidental but deliberate, announced months ago jointly by Riverlife, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/frothy-point-the-citys-iconic-fountain-makes-a-welcome-return-690480/#ixzz2VS6NXBzG

The Next Page: High Point Pittsburgh’s Lofty Ambition

U.S. Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, Penns...

U.S. Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine this incredible Downtown experience. You enter the lower elevator station on the Seventh Avenue side of the U.S. Steel Tower. As you rise up the side of the building in a glass elevator, the cityscape expands to ever-longer perspectives up the Allegheny River.  As magnificent as these vistas are, they’re a mere prelude to the scenic wonderland at the top.

Welcome to High Point Pittsburgh!

A glass atrium encloses the building’s entire 1-acre rooftop, creating 60,000 square feet of interior space on two levels and a glass-walled, open-air promenade at the very top.

High Point Pittsburgh’s heart is Stage HP, a spacious center area and performance venue.  The main floor also features the Gallery of Interactive Arts; the New Top of the Triangle restaurant; Pie-in-the-Sky cafe; and The High Bar, the city’s loftiest watering hole.  “Viewseums,” expansive garden areas in each corner of the triangular structure, are places to ponder the amazing vistas.  Glass-floored sections look down 850 feet to the streets below.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/the-next-page-high-point-pittsburghs-lofty-ambition-678719/#ixzz2NMv9BiB4

Click this link to be taken to the project website:  http://highpointpark.org/the-investigation

Fountain At Point State Park To Resume June 7

The fountain in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park, which has been shut off since April 2009, will resume operation in a ceremony set for June 7.

The announcement was made today in a statement released by the Riverlife organization, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

“The transformation of Point State Park is almost complete, and with the reconstructed fountain it will once again be a jewel in our award-winning state park system,” said DCNR secretary Richard J. Allan in a statement.  “After hard work and collaboration across the region, we’re happy to celebrate this major reconstruction with a public event that will showcase the renovations and the park in a stunning waterfront gathering spot.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/fountain-at-point-state-park-to-sume-june-7-667187/#ixzz2FdM9zxY3

Pittsburgh Expects 2013 Completion For Point State Park Fountain

It will be another spring before the fountain at Point State Park bubbles up again.

That was the message Thursday about progress on the $9.6 million fountain renovation, which began in late 2011, part of a $35 million makeover of the entire park.

If the weather stays mild, flooding remains minimal and the construction work proceeds smoothly, park manager Matt Greene said he is “cautiously optimistic” that water will return to the fountain in spring 2013. The fountain was shut off in April 2009.

“So far, so good,” Mr. Greene said as he surveyed the tip of the Point.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/city-expects-2013-completion-for-point-state-park-fountain-636861/

Pittsburgh WOW!

The title pretty much says it all.  If you don’t know much about Pittsburgh other than it used to be a dirty steel town, this video montage certainly gives you a sense of what Pittsburgh is like now.  If you live in Pittsburgh or used to live in Pittsburgh this video is certainly fun to watch.  It made me homesick!

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Pittsburgh’s North Shore Connector 80 Percent Complete

11:32, 31 December 2004 . . Jon144k (1280x960,...

Image via Wikipedia

Pittsburgh’s controversial North Shore Connector project has passed the 80% completion mark.  The project is on time and the $528 million dollar budget is on track!

When the project is completed, Port Authority Transit (PAT) will be able to reach the three sports stadiums, museums, a casino and other North Side businesses through two twin tunnels that were bored 22 feet below the Allegheny River

The “T”, Pittsburgh’s light-rail system and subway, will leave the Golden Triangle, go under the river and come up on the North Shore.  This means that all those sports fans, concert goers, museum goers,  gamblers, shoppers and diners can park their cars and use mass transit to glide through Pittsburgh to their destination.

Being from Pittsburgh and having used mass transit there extensively, including the “T”, I think this will make life so much easier.  Sitting on 376, stuck in the Squirrel Hill Tunnel waiting for traffic to move ain’t pretty.  I have sat inside the Squirrel Hill tunnel many times going downtown for a game, shopping, or just trying to cross Pittsburgh during rush hour.  Thank goodness I am not claustrophobic. 

Tunnels are a way of life in Pittsburgh!  The Liberty Tubes and the Fort Pitt Tunnel are also pretty unavoidable and back up as well.  For example, it would be nice to ride from the South Hills all the way to PNC Park on PAT.  No parking worries and not being stuck in traffic!

While this project has its detractors and has been labeled a gigantic waste of money, hopefully once Pittsburgers are able to use this extension and reap the benefits from it, time will show it was a good thing.  I would most definitely use it!

To read more and watch a cool video shot inside the Connector, click here:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_712911.html