PWSA provides The Northside Chronicle with the latest updates from its ongoing Woods Run Stormwater Project in Riverview Park.
By Ashlee Green
Photo: A rendering shows what the stream restoration and extension down Mairdale Avenue will look like. Courtesy of PWSA
Progress is taking place in two parts to better manage stormwater in Riverview Park.
Construction of the PWSA’s Landslide Remediation Project, which is part of the first phase of the Woods Run Stormwater Project, has begun. Back in October of 2019, just as PWSA put phase one of their stormwater management plan in Riverview Park into action by constructing rain gardens along Riverview Avenue, excessive rainfall gave way to a landslide. In turn, the rain garden along Horseshoe Bend was clogged.
On September 14, crews from Eisler Landscapes started to both stabilize the hillside above Horseshoe Bend and restore the rain garden itself. According to Ana Flores, project manager, and Rebecca Zito, senior manager of public affairs for PWSA, work should be completed by the end of the year.
Phase two of the project, which aims to mitigate flooding through stream restoration and rain gardens at the Mairdale entrance to Riverview Park, is undergoing a redesign. The redesign is taking place in response to ALCOSAN’s Consent Decree and Clean Water Program from early 2020. The goal of the ALCOSAN plan is to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO) into Pittsburgh rivers, and includes construction of a tunnel along the Ohio river to reduce CSOs.
“Given the new information, PWSA temporarily suspended the Woods Run Phase 2 project to re-evaluate our priorities for this project, ensuring it was consistent with ALCOSAN’s plan, and cost effective for our ratepayers,” Flores and Zito wrote in an email to The Northside Chronicle.
ALCOSAN going forward with its plans, Flores and Zito explained, meant that the original second phase of PWSA’s stormwater project would have “duplicated efforts.”
“We shifted the project goals away from CSO reduction and instead emphasized priorities to reduce basement sewage backups and overland flooding.”
“Although the features within the revised plan may look the same, the project has changed from a combined sewer overflow focus to localized flood mitigation.”
Some planned features of the new project include: “rain gardens constructed below the Riverview Park Soccer Field, stream restoration and extension down Mairdale avenue, parking lot modifications, amenities, tree plantings, and storage facilities.”
Once the final design and permitting is approved, construction can start. Flores and Zito estimate this will take place in 2023. A community meeting is tentatively planned for early 2022 to update the public on this project. Check out the project website for more information.