Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Restoring Floodgate System Could Take Weeks, Cost $50K

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Restoring Floodgate System Could Take Weeks, Cost $50K

Article excerpt

Restoring the floodgate system on Washington Boulevard will take at least until late November and cost up to $50,000, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's administration said Friday, releasing an independent analysis of the troubled warning network.

Bronder Technical Services of Prospect found problems including a faulty radio, deficient controller devices and electrical issues in the $450,000 system, which uses six caution signals and three automatic gates to alert drivers to high water. Those swing arms failed to drop Aug. 28, when motorists had to be rescued from flash flooding.

Initial findings last month revealed that control switches for the system had been turned to "off."

"This is something that will never happen again," said Kevin Acklin, Mr. Peduto's chief of staff, about the failures. He said the city plans "to have a regular maintenance, inspection and operations schedule" through the public works division and oversight from the Department of Public Safety.

Mr. Peduto ordered that the equipment be fixed as soon as possible, according to his staff. Bronder officials could not be reached immediately Friday, but the company indicated in a four-page report that it may take six to eight weeks to secure specialty parts. The group suggested tree-trimming to prevent interference with the system, plus fresh batteries and upgraded control gear.

"A definitive spare parts inventory should be maintained by the City of Pittsburgh to ensure continued operation of the system," Bronder's Jason M. Previte wrote in the report. The company will repair the system, the bulk of which it identified as operational, Mr. Acklin said.

The city took responsibility for the system's upkeep this summer after on-again, off-again communications with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. …

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