The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District (LRP), entered into a cost-sharing agreement to fund the $1.2 million Negley Run Green Infrastructure Project. With the agreement in place and contractors, Tetra Tech and Stantec selected, the project team is moving ahead to conceptualize the plan and develop its project specifications for construction.
The infusion of federal funding helps to expedite a challenging green infrastructure project. The Negley Run project involves several Pittsburgh neighborhoods and will address regional, water quality issues in an area that is prone to some of Pittsburgh’s most catastrophic wet weather events.
“Separating stormwater from the sewer system along Negley Run Boulevard will alleviate a habitual problem of flash flooding during storm events along that corridor of the city,” said Capt. Matthew Wright, project manager Pittsburgh District. “Current stormwater infrastructure was not designed to hold the volume of water that occasionally precipitates in that area.”
Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Point Breeze and parts of East Liberty all have a direct connection to Washington Boulevard where it is essential to manage stormwater. The project team is reviewing previous studies conducted by these neighborhoods and will coordinate the final design with multiple city departments, regional, state, and federal agencies as well as impacted community groups and nonprofit partners.
“Local community groups and non-profits have done an exceptional job studying this area,” stated Robert Weimar, Interim Executive Director of PWSA. “These existing studies will help to inform the final design, and we look forward to continued collaboration throughout this project.”
It is estimated that the completed project will divert 17 million gallons annually from the combined sewer system. In early 2018, the design team will seek community input from project stakeholders, and PWSA is in the process of developing a public outreach plan to continue the community process.
The Negley Run project is a Section 219 Environmental Infrastructure Project as defined by the Water Resources and Development Act of 1992. It authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist non-federal agencies in carrying out water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection projects. The Army Corps of Engineers will provide 75 percent of the project cost as part of the cost-sharing agreement, and PWSA will contribute the remaining 25 percent.
“Working with a partner like PWSA is an integral component of a cost-share project such as this one,” said Wright. “Ultimately, we want to design a system that meets the needs of PWSA and the residents along Negley Run. PWSA makes for a valuable partner because they have a level of expertise and access to a lot of the hydrologic data needed to design an appropriate system.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles of operating area include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. Its jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose flood control reservoirs, 42 local flood protection projects and other projects to protect and enhance the Nation’s water resources, infrastructure, and environment.