County council considers advertising on bridges
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Banners and signs on Allegheny County bridges someday could generate extra money to help maintain the spans.
That is latest idea being considered by county council to raise funds without imposing any new or higher taxes.
Members of council's public works committee voted today to recommend that county officials create a list of bridges longer than 20 feet that might be suitable for "advertising, naming rights, or sponsorship notices."
Council will consider the proposal when it meets Tuesday.
The county owns 520 bridges, Public Works Director Joseph Olczak said. The great majority of them, however, are culverts or other short spans that likely would be of no interest to potential advertisers.
"Bridges are critical parts of our infrastructure," said Councilman Ed Kress, R-Shaler. "We have to look at different sources and ways to raise revenue for their maintenance." He is prime sponsor of the bridge measure.
Other alternative fund-raising proposals considered by council in recent months include a plan to sell similar naming and sponsorship rights to amenities at the county's nine parks and at Pittsburgh International Airport. Both of those measures have been discussed by council committees but members have taken no action on them.
Mr. Kress said he had no estimate on how much money might be raised from the sale of bridge advertising or naming rights.
Many of the county's best-known bridges already are named for famous residents of the region, Mr. Olczak noted. County bridges crossing the Allegheny River at Sixth, Seventh and Ninth streets in Pittsburgh, for example, are named, respectively, for baseball great Roberto Clemente, artist Andy Warhol and environmentalist Rachel Carson. Council members indicated it was unlikely those names would be changed.
First Published June 29, 2011 7:36 pm