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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.

Private-Public Partnership To Study And Restore Ohio River Banks

Erika Beras/90.5 WESA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Riverlife are partnering to conduct a 12-18 month study that they hope will eventually lead them to restoring the degraded banks along the Ohio River. 

The $258,000 study plans to look at ways to create a more diverse habitat that works with the existing infrastructure along the river. It will also create a natural landscape buffer to manage stormwater runoff.

The study will look at 4,000 feet of riverbank and 12.6 acres of the North Shore – starting around the Fred Rogers statue where there is a promenade and extending towards the West End Bridge, where the shore is wilder and currently covered in invasive species, particularly knotweed.

The report is expected to include information on the area’s ecosystem.

“Nobody gets the opportunity to interact with the riverbanks and the river experience,” said Acting Director of Riverlife Jay Sukernek.

He said he hopes a restored waterfront will in itself become a tourist attraction.

Col. Bernard Lindstrom, commander of Pittsburgh District of the Army Corps of Engineers, said the project goes beyond restoration.

“Its beneficial to not only the city but to the region and the nation in terms of water quality and in terms of environmental habitat and enhancing river and marine life,” he said.

Previous local Army Corps of Engineers restoration projects include Nine Mile Run in the East End and North Park lake.