By Elizabeth Perry
A project spanning 11 years, involving the Borough of Crafton, the Carlynton School District, the City of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority has reached fruition.
On Oct. 28, the Crafton Boulevard Sewer Separation Project, which involved the separation of 25 acres of sewer pipe and the creation of a new parking lot for Crafton Elementary School, was declared complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new lot.
“This has been such a monumental project over many years. So many people have been involved,” Mayor Coletta Perry said.
The project is predicted to remove 7.7 million gallons of excess groundwater yearly, stopping sewage overflows and filtering rainwater naturally before it is discharged into the river.
Engineer Alberto Jarquin moved from Massachusetts in 2009 and said this was his first big project after joining Gateway Engineers. He has been working on the sewer separation for 11 years. The initial project started on Clearview Avenue, laying pipe to separate out sewage water from stormwater. The Carlynton School District became involved in 2016 when the district wanted to build a parking lot on the space, but lacked funds. By pairing with ALCOSAN and Gateway Engineers, all of them were able to find collaborative solutions to their respective issues.
The parking lot was one of the final pieces of the project. An underwater stormwater collection system was installed within the school district’s parcel of land on Crafton Boulevard in the summer of 2021.
Later that fall, separate stormwater collection systems were installed on Sterrett Street, Barr and Clearview avenues. Road construction and improvements like decorative lighting, landscaping and sidewalks were completed on Crafton Boulevard from Baldwick Road to Clearview Avenue Extension by the fall of 2022.
The $3.274 million project was largely funded with a $2.647 million grant through ALCOSAN GROW and an H2O grant of $250,000, according to Crafton Board President John Oliverio.
Michael McCormick, a landscape engineer with Gateway Engineers, helped design the Crafton Elementary School parking lot. He said because the land technically falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Pittsburgh, the city required a “green” engineer to help create the design.
“There are millions and millions of sewer overflows being eliminated through this project,” Timothy Prevost, manager of wet weather programs for ALCOSAN said. “Gateway did a great job.”