WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — The Director of Code Enforcement in Wilkinsburg says about 25 vacant houses and other blighted buildings have been demolished as part of a long-term redevelopment plan going forward in the town.

Director Eric Parrish says more abandoned properties face a similar fate in the coming weeks.

A big project already underway is called the Ardmore Gateway Project, which affects Ardmore Boulevard from the Parkway East to the Wilkinsburg business district.

With a $350,000 state grant and funds from Allegheny County as well, the work will involve restoration of a block-long retaining wall along the boulevard, an integrated sidewalk and a new park near the road.

It’s a major project and will definitely have an effect on traffic in that area, Parrish said.

He says the work is all part of long-term capital planning to bring Wilkinsburg back to life again.

LaValle Evans told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti Friday night, “It’s disgusting. We need to do something about the buildings, tear them down, get rid of them.”

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Another Wilkinsburg resident, Brenda Broadus, says the property down the street from her was finally torn down. She called it an eyesore. Her husband, Tom Broadus, said he thinks part of the borough’s problems rest with local politicians.

“The only time you see politicians is during election time, when they knock on your door and call you on the phone,” Broadus said “Do something. Just don’t say what you’re going to do, do it.”

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