A 168-acre remediated brownfield site along the Monongahela River about seven miles east of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania–with the historic Carrie Furnaces at its center–is ready for redevelopment as an office and light industrial park.
The project has been over a decade in the making, and it promises up to 1,000 jobs at a long-defunct defunct facility where U.S. Steel once made pig iron. And with the ongoing renovation of the two remaining furnaces, there’s potential for complementary recreation, entertainment or event space.
When grading is completed in early spring, the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County will seek development proposals for more than 60 acres east of Blast Furnaces No. 6 and 7 that have been filled to raise the land above the 100-year floodplain. Remaining acreage west of the furnaces will require backfill and an extension of the new Carrie Furnace Boulevard to get it ready for development.
An important phase of future work is rehabilitating the Rankin Hot Metal Bridge, including a bike trail extension alongside it. That work could cost $30 million, money the county doesn’t yet have. The county has obtained a $313,000 grant to determine contaminant levels of asbestos in the bridge paint, perform a structural inspection of the two main truss spans, and design a plan for remediation and repairs.
“If we can connect [the site] with the Hot Metal Bridge to The Waterfront site, now you add value,” says County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Transportation and connections are so important with these developments.”
Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation conserves, interprets and develops historical, cultural and recreational resources throughout western Pennsylvania, including the eight counties that comprise the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. The dynamic and powerful story of the region’s evolution from colonial settlement to “Big Steel” to the modern era is evident in its many artifacts, buildings, vibrant communities and industrial sites.
Among other destinations, such core landmarks as the Carrie Blast Furnaces Nos. 6 and 7, Pinkerton’s Landing, the Pump House and Water Tower at the site of the former United States Steel Homestead Works, and the W. A. Young Foundry and Machine Shop at Rices Landing on the Monongahela River, illustrate the magnitude of this story.
Rivers of Steel seeks to link our colonial and industrial heritage to the present and future economic and cultural life of the region and the communities it serves. Its vision is to become a nationally recognized brand that not only celebrates our past but also embraces our future, by connecting people to their environs.
To achieve these ends, it fosters and promotes resource conservation and development, heritage tourism, cultural and educational programs and economic revitalization in partnership with hundreds of local communities in the greater Pittsburgh area, and along the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio River valleys, the very places that gave birth to the most powerful industrial heartland the world has ever seen.
Photo credits: Ron Baraff of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.