Steelers, Pirates, casino reach agreement on traffic
Friday, November 02, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Casino developer Don Barden has reached agreement with the Steelers and Pirates on an estimated $16 million in traffic improvements around the proposed North Shore casino that could allow for a casino ground-breaking by the end of the year.
Allegheny County Judge Joseph James announced the agreement late this morning. He was assigned to work with the parties after the Steelers and Pirates sued to block casino construction due to traffic concerns.
Under the agreement, an overhead pedestrian walkway will be built from the proposed light rail transit station --- to be built at the current site of the Carnegie Science Center's SportWorks facility -- across Allegheny Avenue to Heinz Field.
The improvements also will include lane controls and signs at the West End Bridge and West End Circle, which will be one of the primary access points to the casino.
The cost of the work will be shared by Mr. Barden, the Steelers, and city, Allegheny County and state governments.
The sports teams agreed to drop their legal challenge.
Mr. Barden said the agreement should clear the way for construction to begin once the city approves final design for the casino complex. The major hang-up there is the visibility of a huge parking garage behind the casino building.