PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – November 2009, the Mon Wharf landing enhancement project was dedicated — another step toward completing the Great Allegheny Passage from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh.

“I was here, passing through the Navy in the ‘60s,” said Mike Edens of New Orleans. “What a difference. This is likely a completely new city. The air quality is great. The people are friendly. It’s a great place.”

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Now Mike is back. He went out to explore, but wasn’t crazy about what he found by the wharf.

“Garbage, couple of homeless people sleeping in sheltered places,” he said. “Obviously maintenance hasn’t been through in several days.”

Here’s what we found: Only 10 of the 85 lights along the park had class that was not smashed. The rest were filled with water. Many fixtures were left with bare exposed wires.

“We had vandalism with lights before,” said Guy Costa, Chief Operations Officer for the City of Pittsburgh. “We had to come up with a different solution or we eliminated them, so it’s not good what we are seeing here. But I assure you, we are all going to work together and improve it.”

There’s graffiti, discarded fishing bait containers and tackle. There’s also broken liquor bottles and more than one person sleeping in the overgrown natural areas.

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They raised millions of dollars to build the beautiful park down along the Mon River. You see pavers and the concrete. But the lights that are inside are now broken out and the trash has started to pile up. The question for the city is how are you going to fix it?

“We are going to be meeting with River Life Task Force to come up with alternative plans on the lighting, how the water is draining,” said Costa. “As you can see, some of the trough covers are broken off, some vegetation. Now you are telling me some homeless living here so there are some issues we need to address.”

With the Fourth of July and the Regatta coming up, Costa says it will be addressed quickly.

“It’s a beautiful venue, you know, in a beautiful city, a beautiful place for fresh air and relaxation,” said costa. “It’s a great place that needs to be cared for.”

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