This photo, from the roof of the U.S. Steel Tower, shows the Civic Arena on Jan. 28, 2012.
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority board has taken another step in preparing the former Civic Arena site for redevelopment.
Board members authorized a $555,685 contract with Michael Baker Jr. Thursday to do final design work for four roads — Centre Avenue, Washington Place, Bedford Avenue, and Crawford Street — that border the 28-acre site in the lower Hill District.
Plans call for those existing roads to be repaved, with upgraded signals, intersections and sidewalks at an estimated cost of $12 million.
It is expected to take six months to complete the final design in preparation for construction.
The SEA also is planning to build five roads within the site for the office, residential and commercial development proposed by the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and to re-create part of the street grid that was destroyed when the arena was built more than 50 years ago. Final design already has been completed for the roads that will be closest to Crawford Square in the Hill.
SEA officials have $15 million in state funds to complete the interior streets. They and the city and county are still awaiting word on their application for a $21 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. Part of that money would be used to upgrade the four streets bordering the site.
The Penguins are required to prepare the first parcels for development in October. They are expected to start with housing at the Crawford Square end of the site. They are negotiating with Hill leaders and the city on how much of the housing — 1,200 units in all — will be available to lower income residents and other issues.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org and 412-263-1262.
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