Mt. Lebanon sewer project should solve neighborhood flooding

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Officials say a $2.6 million sewer improvement project will help solve flooding problems in a Mt. Lebanon neighborhood but will result in one of the local streets having a new look.

Municipal commissioners on Tuesday voted to award a contract to low bidder A. Merante Contracting of Pittsburgh to install a parallel sewer system and relief storm sewer in the area of Altoona Place and Mapleton Avenue. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner John Bendel dissenting.

He said his preference would be to restore one of the streets affected by the project, Rae Avenue, with brick, as it currently is paved. That option, though, would have cost some $343,000 more than restoring Rae with asphalt.

“I believe that there’s value in preserving our brick streets,” Mr. Bendel explained. He acknowledged the additional expense but added, “I think it’s important for us to begin a process to preserve the character of our community as much as we can.”

During the discussion session prior to Tuesday’s regular meeting, Dan Deiseroth of municipal engineer Gateway Engineers said that about 10 miles of municipal streets, about 12 percent, are paved with brick, which is installed over a concrete base.

“Bricks are going to become more difficult over time,” he told commissioners, as demand for them falls with more municipalities opting for asphalt paving.

Commissioner Dave Brumfield said the added expense of maintaining brick streets could detract from maintenance on other streets.

“Anyone put off a year because of that would have every reason to be really mad,” he said.

In other business Tuesday:

• Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the transfer of a liquor license to SRG South Hills LLC, which intends to open a restaurant at The Galleria.

Attorney Mark F. Flaherty, representing the firm, said plans call for an establishment called BRGR, which specializes in gourmet burgers. Two other BRGR restaurants are open, in East Liberty and Cranberry Township.

“It’s a family-oriented, slightly more upscale operation,” Mr. Flaherty explained.

The approximately 220-seat restaurant would take over space previously occupied by DragonFire Japanese Steakhouse, which also served alcohol. BRGR anticipates employing 50 to 60 people, according to Mr. Flaherty.

• Another unanimous approval was given to the municipality issuing $4.2 million in bonds to pay for a series of capital projects.

Among them are improvements to municipal parking garages, at a cost of more than $1.6 million; storm-water improvement projects in the areas of Longuevue Drive, Lindendale Drive and Mapleton Avenue-Marlin Drive, totaling more than $1.5 million and a new municipal building roof at $480,525.

Harry Funk, freelance writer:

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