Duquesne Light has started construction of its planned cooling station on Foreland Avenue.  Back in February, we covered the controversy over this “shed.”  You can read that article here.

According to Duquesne Light Spokesperson Joey Vallarian, the utility is digging up the park and the road to run the necessary lines over to the Foreland Avenue garage.  Duquesne Light is still not sure what it’s going to do with the Foreland Avenue property, Joey said, and is still discussing things with the community and the city.

But, the cooling station will definitely “be over there somewhere,” he said.

The purpose of the station is to cool oil that will be pumped through power lines so that Duquesne Light can increase the amount of electricity the lines carry.  Pumping stations will be built in Lawrenceville and Brunot’s Island.  Joey said as long as the weather holds up, the trenching work should be finished by mid-October.

Photo by Kelly Thomas
Photo by Kelly Thomas

So far they’ve dug a giant hole in the park, so that the Allegheny Commons Initiative can start renovation work as soon as Duquesne Light is finished.  Today, police were directing traffic around the construction on Cedar Avenue.  Below,  you can see the garage.  Duquesne Light’s decision to build the cooling station here was not popular with members of the East Allegheny Community Council, and especially not with Foreland Avenue residents.

Photo by Kelly Thomas
Photo by Kelly Thomas

This construction comes before the Allegheny Commons Initiative’s planned renovation of the park.  Phase II of their renovation should start “any second now,” Alida Bake of the Commons Initiative said, and includes the park between East Ohio Street and North Avenue and Cedar Avenue and Federal Street.  They are waiting for a few more signatures from the city, but everything else is in place.  (Phase I, the renovation of East Park below East Ohio Street, is already finished.)  Phase II will contain two segments.  The first includes East Ohio to Tripoli Street, and the second segment includes the rest.  Segment two construction will start in 2011.