McCandless Crossing developer's payment to aid North Park Lake

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A $75,000 investment by the developer of McCandless Crossing will help Allegheny County protect its multi-million dollar restoration of North Park Lake, the county's parks director says.

Parks chief Andrew Baechle told members of county council his department backed plans by AdVenture Development to help stop stream-bank erosion along a 1,000-foot section of Pine Creek. Pine Creek and the North Fork of Pine Creek feed the 75-acre man-made lake that is the chief attraction of the county's largest park.

The plan also has the support of the Friends of North Park and the North Area Environmental Council.

Following the recommendation of its parks committee, council approved the AdVenture proposal at its meeting Tuesday. Bob McGurk, project manager for the North Carolina-based development firm, said the stream-bank restoration would begin in the spring.

The work still needs approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

AdVenture Development agreed to pay for the project in return for the right to build on wetlands within its $100 million McCandless Crossing project, which is being built about 2 miles north of North Park. It is on both sides of McKnight Road, south of Cumberland Road, in McCandless. The latest phases of the "town center" development will include a hotel, a 12-screen movie theater, restaurants, stores and 53 townhouses.

The budget for the "stream mitigation and enhancement project" will pay for a professional landscaping plan and 5,045 trees and shrubs whose roots will help stabilize the stream banks. Two rock structures called "J-hooks" will be constructed in the creek to add oxygen to the water and reduce the amount of sediment that reaches North Park Lake.

The county spent about $20 million in local, state and federal money removing more than 310,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake between 2009 and 2011. The effort was designed to improve recreation options and fish habitats in what had become a weed-choked, shallow body of water.

The stream-bank restoration fits in with efforts by the nonprofit Allegheny County Parks Foundation to upgrade the multiuse trail around the lake, Mr. Baechle said. That work will include construction of a new bridge and boardwalk.

The already-completed portions of McCandless Crossing include a Lowe's home-improvement store and LA Fitness center. The last phase of the development includes a new home for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, which is under construction at the intersection of Babcock Boulevard and Cumberland Road.


Len Barcousky: or 412-263-1159. Freelance writer Jill Cueni-Cohen contributed to this report.


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