PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A section of Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh could remain closed for several weeks after a large stone fell off the Frick Building.
Over the weekend, a stone weighing 1,500 pounds fell off the building. As a result, Grant Street was closed between Fifth and Fourth Avenues.
“We just want to make sure that we’re very cautious. This is granite, several tons of granite up there,” Maura Kennedy, of the City Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspection, said. “We just want to make sure we are creating enough of a protective zone, because if another piece were to fall, it could cause real harm.”
Today, officials received a report from engineers who have been surveying the building.
Officials plan to build a wall to contain any additional chunks of granite that may fall. They’ll also extend the scaffolding all the way to the top of the Frick Building.
“We do know that it’s going to take some time to get this wall erected and the scaffolding installed,” said city Operations Director Guy Costa, “so it’s going to be some time before the southbound lanes can be reopened, as well as Forbes Avenue.”
Right now, there are no estimates on how much all of the precautionary and repair work is going to cost, only that it will be expensive.
“The city will have discussions with the building owner,” Costa said. “It’s already been a great expense to the city at this point and will continue to be a great expense.”
The biggest cost for the city right now is police to handle the traffic flow with streets shut down. And there only appears to be a little relief coming there.
For now, the barricades are going to stay in place at Fourth Avenue and Grant Street, but the hope is that, come Thursday, one lane, the lane closest to the City-County Building, could reopen to traffic.
“Optimistically, we will get one lane open on Grant Street, northbound, and this could take potentially two, three or even four weeks until this problem is resolved,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
There may also be new parking restrictions in place in the area, so pay attention. The city says it will be towing cars in the way of the traffic flow.