MT. WASHINGTON (KDKA) – Good news for daily riders of the Mon Incline: the Port Authority has finished its restoration project ahead of schedule, and it comes just before a very busy weekend.
By getting done a little bit early, operators can be certain that everything is perfect for Light Up Night.
A big day for people who county on the Mon Incline from Mt. Washington down into the city. They knew when it closed in September that it was going to be a couple months. The good news for them is it reopened a couple days early Wednesday.
“It’s beautiful again,” local rider Dana Ritter said. “It’s good to be back, you know? And look at the city.”
Something old is new again.
Buck Harding of Mt. Washington said the inside of the cars look “nice. It was all painted inside. All fresh wood. Looks good.”
The refurbished Mon Incline rides on new rails. It also got new decking near the station houses, plus new electrical sensors. All that work took a couple months.
“I had just started riding it since I moved up to Mt. Washington,” resident Nia Franklin said, “so like a day after I first rode it, it was shut down.”
“It was pretty inconvenient whenever the bus was taking us, bringing us around, you know?” she added. “It was, like, at least 15 to 20 minutes every time you catch it. Waiting down here, waiting up there. It was definitely a difference.”
New safety harness connection points can now support six crew members instead of two. But mainly, regular riders appreciate how it reduces their commute.
“They have a shuttle that came down and around and dropped you off at Station Square,” Mt. Washington resident Anthony Scaramuzzini said. “It’s a lot easier to have that convenience of the incline to take up and be home a lot quicker than it would be to take the bus.”
Both cars were taken from the stations and refurbished. Benches were sanded, refinished and restored. Everything looks new on the incline that first made the trip in 1870. And now, part of Pittsburgh’s past is new again.
About 1,000 people per day count on the incline as part of their daily commute. It really gets busy, however, on the weekends and special events. That’s why it’s perfect that they will have it all ready to go for Light Up Night on Friday.