What is the Bigelow Transformation Project?
A transformational streetscape and infrastructure project that will reimagine the block of Bigelow Boulevard between Fifth and Forbes Avenues in exciting ways that will improve safety, expand accessibility, create utility resilience, and beautify the grounds, all more sustainably, to further connect the campus and community. Learn more here.
Why are renovations happening now?
Pitt has aligned vital campus infrastructure work with the City of Pittsburgh’s previously-announced Complete Streets plan for Bigelow Boulevard. Coordinating the work as one project rather than two makes sense, decreases costs and minimizes disruption. Pitt and the city, which owns Bigelow Boulevard, announced these reconstruction plans and have shared them in public meetings over the past year.
What’s the timeline?
Work will be completed in three phrases, beginning Nov. 1, 2019. A detailed timeline provides information about key project dates and closures.
What are the benefits?
Where do we start? Once completed, the work will improve safety and traffic flow, expand accessibility, support the city’s plans and priorities, enhance campus and community connectivity, bolster sustainability and support our Campus Master Plan. Learn more about these benefits and how we’ll accomplish them.
What areas will be impacted?
Check out Getting Around Bigelow Boulevard while renovations are underway, with routing plans to get around whether you’re taking a Pitt shuttle, Port Authority bus, biking, walking, or driving.
During phase two of the project, the William Pitt Union Grounds and sidewalks on Fifth and Forbes avenues are also closed for renovations.
There may be partial temporary closures at different times during renovations. Check this site for updates throughout the project.
How long will Bigelow Boulevard be closed?
The block of Bigelow Boulevard between Fifth and Forbes avenues will be closed from Nov. 1, 2019 through the project’s completion. Check out Getting Around Bigelow Boulevard while renovations are underway, with routing plans to get around whether you’re taking a Pitt shuttle, Port Authority bus, biking, walking, or driving.
Will pedestrians be able to cross Bigelow Boulevard during renovations?
No. This block will be closed to all traffic, but we’ve got you covered to navigate around the block while renovations are underway - Check out Getting Around Bigelow Boulevard, with routing plans to get around whether you’re taking a Pitt shuttle, Port Authority bus, biking, walking, or driving.
Why not build a pedestrian overpass?
A street-level crossing is the most accessible, convenient and cost-effective approach for Bigelow Boulevard — and the option people are most likely to use. Additionally, a pedestrian bridge in this location would not align with the City of Pittsburgh’s view of quality urban design. After the project is complete, Pitt Public Safety personnel will assist with managing the flow at the mid-block crosswalk at peak times, such as during the change of classes.
Why not permanently close the street?
Bigelow Boulevard is owned by the City of Pittsburgh, Pitt’s partner in this project. While permanent closure is not feasible, the changes being made are designed to improve the experience and safety of all users of Bigelow Boulevard.
Where will I catch the shuttle?
The northbound shuttle stop will be relocated to Forbes Avenue in front of Schenley Plaza. The southbound shuttle stop will be relocated on Schenley Drive in front of Hillman Library. While the bus shelters will not be moved, stops will be clearly marked with signage.
Where can I find accessible parking and passenger drop-off during construction?
Alternate locations for accessible parking and passenger drop-off are available on Forbes Avenue in front of Schenley Plaza and on Schenley Drive in front of Hillman Library.
Is this a precursor to a permanent closure of Bigelow?
No. Bigelow Boulevard is an important vehicular connection between Fifth and Forbes Avenues. This project is designed to accommodate pedestrians and all modes of transportation more safely.
Who is leading this project?
The University of Pittsburgh is taking the lead on this project that will benefit the city, the campus and the neighborhood. The plan was developed in collaboration with and feedback from the City of Pittsburgh, Oakland Business Improvement District, Oakland Transportation Management Association, and Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, part of the Pittsburgh Campus Master Plan process.
What is the cost? Where is the money coming from?
The total cost of the project, including utility upgrades, streetscaping, landscaping, and all of the work on the University’s William Pitt Union grounds, is $23.7 million. Project funding is provided by the University of Pittsburgh general budget and a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
What will the overall impact on green space be?
The Bigelow Block Transformation Project will expand and enhance usable green space on the William Pitt Union grounds and utilize sustainable landscaping practices. As part of our commitment to increasing tree canopy over the next ten years, we will be planting two dozen new trees along the Bigelow streetscape and William Pitt Union grounds.
How can I stay informed as this project progresses?
We will provide ongoing updates on this webpage. Progress and updates will also be shared through major University channels, including @Pitt, social media and campus newsletters, as well as directly to community groups and partners. Additionally, major updates will be shared via the Oakland Transportation Management Association website and newsletter.
What if I have a question that’s not answered here?
We’d love to hear it! Please submit your question using our online form.