* Pittsburgh Planning *
What Could Have Been
Route 51 - Liberty Tunnels Interchange?
In 1957, this plan for a proposed realignment of the interchange at West Liberty Avenue and Route 51 (Saw Mill Run) at the Liberty Tunnels was highly recommended and very close to becoming a reality. Even then the traffic congestion at this busy intersection was stifling. Beginning near Bausman Street, thru-traffic would have been re-routed onto the south face of Mount Washington, over the Liberty Tunnels southern portal, and ending at Warrington Avenue.
The plans had been approved, but for some reason they were put on hold for three years, then shelved completely. The heavily trafficked intersection was finally redone in 1999, and the reconfiguration was a grand improvement over what was once a traffic nightmare. Whether the above plans above would have been better is anybody's guess, but if implemented they would have saved motorists another forty years of frustration.
In 1958, this plan for a proposed new sports stadium, to replace Forbes Field, received the endorsements of several city officials and other local dignitaries. If built, it would have become the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The stadium complex would rest above the Monongahela River, and include a two-tiered parking garage and a hotel. The Smithfield Street Bridge would have been torn down and the riverfront dramatically reconfigured.
The plan was eventually shelved, and another ten years passed before the North Side groundbreaking for the new "Pittsburgh Stadium", renamed Three Rivers Stadium, in April 1968. It is, however, an interesting view of what might have been.
<Liberty Tunnels> <> <Brookline History>