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Development & Transportation
Building Innovation is a collection of stories by 90.5 fm WESA reporters about the Pittsburgh region focusing on efficient government operation, infrastructure and transportation, innovative practices, energy and environment and neighborhoods and community.

Mon Incline To Reopen Ahead Of Light Up Night Deadline

Rebecca Devereaux
90.5 WESA
The Monongahela Incline reopens Wednesday after a 10-week closure. Funded by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the $3.6-million project is the fifth major renovation since the incline opened in 1870.

The Monongahela Incline is scheduled to reopen Wednesday ahead of its long-stated Light Up Night goal.

The 635-foot incline closed for renovations Sept. 8.

Port Authority of Allegheny County and its contractors spent the last 10 weeks rehabbing and refurbishing the cars, rails and control system, spokesman Adam Brandolph said. The $3.6-million project is the fifth major renovation since the incline opened in 1870.

Incline operators will continue performance testing leading up to the city's annual holiday on Friday, he said. Shuttle buses used during its closure will also go offline.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald praised the speedy work in a statement released Tuesday.

“We’re grateful for the patience and cooperation of Mt. Washington residents and business owners during the incline’s restoration," he said, "as we would not have been able to have this completed without their buy in.”

Mt. Washington business owners and residents appealed to Port Authority officials this summer to delay the project through Labor Day, citing fears of a drop in potential end-of-summer sales. 

Laura Guralnick, director of economic development for the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation, said at the time the neighborhood welcomes the approximately 1.5 million visitors every year, including up to 22,000 delivered to its door from the Mon Incline on Labor Day alone. 

According to Brandolph, the Mon Incline is the oldest continually operating funicular railway in the country and sees more than 1,500 riders on weekdays and nearly twice that amount on weekends.

The incline operates 5:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:45 a.m. to midnight on Sundays and holidays.