I have been given a golden opportunity to present my worth to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.  One of the many facets of the 28 acres project is a freeway cap.  Coming from Columbus I am very familiar with this type of development.  Essentially a freeway cap is where a bridge which (crosses a major highway) is expanded to become more than just a road to that cars pass over.  It is a very interesting feat because it often creates prime space literally out of thin air.

If you have ever been to Columbus, Ohio you may be familiar with the Cap project over I-670 downtown.  High Street, a major artery in Columbus that passes right through the middle of the city and through Ohio State University was expanded where it passes over 670.  Not only did this expansion create retail space on either side of High St, but it also makes the interstate highway "disappear" to those traveling along High St. either by car or more importantly by foot.  The cap project in Columbus reconnected the Convention Center and northern parts of downtown Columbus with the Short North District.  Having spent most of the last 20 years in Colmbus, Ohio I can tell you that the project has been a resounding success.  You can see an aerial view of the Columbus Cap here:
The 28 acre project will also include a freeway cap element.  While not quite as extensive as the Columbus cap, it will be similar.  There will not be any retail space on this bridge, but it will be expanded to include green space and make it a more inviting thoroughfare for pedestrians.  One of the main objectives of the entire development is to reconnect the Hill District with the downtown Pittsburgh area.

I have been asked to do research into how exactly these cap projects in other cities came about, specific to government funding and procedure.  The most important aspect of the project is to determine where the money will come from to pay for it.  There are also a series of approvals that will take place to ensure that the project is in line with local, state and federal laws.  The cap near the Consol Energy Center will pass over Federal Highway 579.  Obviously whenever you are dealing with a federal highway you have to involve the federal government.  Undoubtedly this will involve a lot of "red tape" for lack of a better term.

I have the opportunity however to provide meaningful information that will have a significant impact on the future of the project.  It is very gratifying after a relatively short period of time with the organization to be given the chance to do something important and to prove my worth to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the picture below you can see the Consol Energy Center on the left, the now-demolished Civic Arena on the right, and the edge of downtown Pittsburgh near the top of the picture.  In between the Consol Energy Center and downtown Pittsburgh you can see Highway 579 passing through the city.  The freeway is already lowered which in other cities has been a major aspect of the project.  However, in Pittsburgh all that will be necessary is to extend and revamp the bridge that is already existing.

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