PWSA Will Break Ground on Forbes and Fifth Water Main Replacements

Mora McLaughlinMedia Release, News

The approximately $14M project will replace over two miles of mains, lead service lines.

Pittsburgh, PA – As part of its 2021 Capital Improvement Program, The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will break ground on the Forbes and Fifth Water Main Replacement Project next week. This $14 million project, spanning both Forbes and Fifth Avenues, between Sixth Avenue and the Birmingham Bridge, will result in over 11,656 feet of new water lines and new service lines for residents and business owners in the Central Business District and Uptown. 

Water mains will be replaced on Forbes and Fifth Avenues, between Sixth Avenue downtown, and the Birmingham Bridge.

This project is part of a major utility coordination effort, involving Peoples Gas, Duquesne Light, the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), and the  Port Authority of Allegheny County. PWSA’s infrastructure improvements will be followed by the construction of the Port Authority’s Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT), slated to begin in late 2023. PWSA is committed to working as quickly as possible to minimize the impact of construction to the neighborhood. New infrastructure will be more reliable and reduce the need for emergency repairs in future years, after the BRT pathway is established. Additionally, if any lead service lines are found connected to our old water main, we will coordinate with property owners to replace these service lines at no direct cost.  

Key Project Details
  • PWSA has prepared a flexible working schedule that will accommodate the residential and commercial customers along the project path: 
    • Fifth Avenue: work will occur during the daytime, Monday-Friday, between 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
    • Forbes Avenue west of Chatham Square: work will be completed at night to avoid traffic congestion, Monday-Friday, between 8:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. 
    • Forbes Avenue east of Chatham Square: work will be completed during the day, Monday-Friday, between 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
    • Wyandotte and Moultrie Streets are “no-outlet” streets receiving water main replacements and will be completed during weekends, from 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
  • Crews will work in one-block segments to reduce no-parking zones.  
  • One lane of traffic on both Forbes and Fifth Avenues will be maintained throughout the project.  
  • Work in these one-block segments will be completed in their entirety, from water main replacement to sidewalk restoration, to reduce disturbance to the neighborhood.  
  • Asphalt in the street will be temporarily restored, leaving final restoration to be completed as part of the BRT project. 
  • Work is anticipated to be complete in spring of 2022. 
First Construction Sites 

Work will occur in smaller segments to minimize traffic impacts. Crews will begin work on Monday, May 3rd, at the following locations:  

  • Forbes Avenue (Van Braam Street – Miltenberger Street) 
  • Fifth Avenue (Kirkpatrick Street – Jumonville Street) 

“This work, and PWSA’s other water main replacement efforts, are crucial to securing Pittsburgh’s water future. We believe this project can serve as an example of how utilities and government agencies can work together to improve infrastructure and minimize disruptions caused by construction,”  said Will Pickering, Chief Executive Officer of PWSA. “We thank the communities of Uptown and the Central Business District for their cooperation while we upgrade our infrastructure to provide more reliable water service to the area.”  

Project updates will be available on PWSA’s website throughout construction at