Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
President Biden is holding his first formal press conference of the year at the White House. WESA will carry live special coverage starting at 4 p.m.

Local Groups Question Plans To Add A Second Double-Stack Freight Route in Pittsburgh

Gene J. Puskar
A Norfolk Southern locomotive pulls a train of tanker cars through downtown Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019.

Norfolk Southern wants to raise several rail bridges so it can run taller, double-stack trains from the North Side through Downtown and eastern suburbs, similar to those already chugging through the South Side. The rail company says that area is too congested and prone to landslides.

Rudy Husband, resident vice president for Norfolk Southern, says the company usually prefers to lower its tracks, but existing features like retaining walls and public utilities make that a bad option for Allegheny Commons. 

Hear a conversation about the plans with:

  • Glenn Olcerst, North Side resident and lead counsel for Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh;
  • Matt Mehalik, executive director of the Breathe Project; and,
  • Ed Blazina, transportation reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Confluence invited a representative of Norfolk Southern to be a part of this panel, but they declined in favor of an individual interview. 

Credit Courtesy of Jodie Hnatkovich
Courtesy of Jodie Hnatkovich
Jodie Hnatkovich is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in trauma, grief, and maternal mental health.

Elsewhere in the program:

An estimated one in seven American women may experience depression and anxiety during or after pregnancy. Jodie Hnatkovich, licensed professional counselor specializing in grief, trauma and maternal mental health, says that while awareness is growing, there are still barriers to care for many women. New fathers should also be included in the conversation, according to Hnatkovich, as they face stressors that could result in similar mental health struggles. 

And the Pennsylvania Turnpike is facing a lawsuit from two groups claiming that money generated by the turnpike shouldn't be used to fund PennDOT projects. WESA's Margaret J. Krauss reports.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Recent Episodes Of The Confluence