Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Montour Junction Fields Delayed Fill Must Be Added

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Montour Junction Fields Delayed Fill Must Be Added

Article excerpt

Construction of the first athletic fields at Montour Junction will have to wait until 2015, Allegheny County's director of economic development says.

The sports fields are proposed for 78 acres in Coraopolis, Moon and Robinson that served as a railroad yard for decades. The complex eventually will become a new Allegheny County park along the Ohio River.

The land to be developed as Phase I of the park along Montour Run has to be elevated as much as 5 feet with fill, according to Dennis Davin. Once that mix of earth, stone and other soil components has been placed on the site, the material will need to settle for six months, he said.

The first fields in what now is formally called The Sports & Athletic Complex at Montour Junction will have artificial turf surfaces. That synthetic grass cannot be installed until the soil beneath it has compacted, Mr. Davin said. "We can't have settlement issues down the road," he said.

The timetable had called for Phase I fields to be completed this year. That schedule had to be set back following the release of a geotechnical engineering report that called for elevating the tract where the artificial-turf fields are to be built above the 100-year flood plain.

The budget for Phase I, which covers about 25 acres, is about $7 million, with $3.5 million raised so far. The county is seeking additional funds from individuals, foundations and government agencies.

The second phase of the park project calls for creation of a sprawling level, open area closer to the Ohio River that could be configured for several different types of "nontraditional" sports fields.

Those "nontraditional" sports include such fast-growing activities as soccer and lacrosse, where many teams find themselves without places for practice or tournaments.

The proposed open space will be large enough for as many as 10 fields, Mr. …

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