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Mon Riverfront Portal Proposed by Riverlife, Point Park

Riverlife and Point Park University plan to build a portal that would create a smoother link between Downtown and the north bank of the Monongahela River.

Point Park spokeswoman Terra McBride said the structure would connect Point Park's Academic Village at Wood Street with the parking lot and green space of the Mon Wharf Landing. She said hundreds of people who park along the riverside will pass through the portal to get to Downtown destinations.

"Hopefully, it will be used even more than what the Mon Wharf is used for currently," said McBride. "We want to make sure to make the connection between Downtown and that riverfront obvious for people."

The public art project was designed by New York City artist Nobuho Nagasawa, along with the Pittsburgh-based firm LaQuatra Bonci Associates.

Nagasawa said her objective for the portal is to "enhance the uniqueness of the site by acknowledging the cultural and natural history, and promoting greening and awareness of ecology."

It's expected to cost anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million, said McBride, with contributions from private donors and government grants. McBride said it's important to make these investments into the city's riverfronts.

"People want to connect with nature," said McBride. "We're in this really great urban environment, but Pittsburgh has this really great natural setting, and we want to make sure to connect the two."