Press Release
PWSA Breaks Ground on Smallman Street Water and Sewer Improvement Project
As part of its 2018 Capital Improvement Program, PWSA will break ground on the Smallman Street Water and Sewer Improvement Project on Tuesday May 29, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA – This $13 million project, spanning Smallman Street from 16th Street to 21st Street will result in over 7,000 feet of new water lines, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer in the Strip District.


This project will impact merchants, residents, and visitors of the Strip, but its benefits will be long-lasting. PWSA's infrastructure improvements will be followed by the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Infrastructure and Mobility's street redesign in 2019, as well as the development of the historic Produce Terminal. PWSA is committed to working as quickly as possible to minimize the impact of construction to the neighborhood.


The water mains and sewer lines running under Smallman Street, between 16th and 21st Streets, are over 100 years old. They are reaching the end of their useful life – increasing the likelihood of disruptive pipe failures and emergency repairs. 



Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tasked water and sewer providers nationwide to replace their combined sewer systems. Combined sewers contain both sanitary and stormwater flows. When they reach capacity, the combined sewage overflows, untreated, into rivers and streams. The two new sewers built for this project will be separated and designed for either stormwater, or sanitary flows, therefore addressing the federal water quality requirements imposed on PWSA and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN). 


Key Project Details: 


  • Work will take place between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. PWSA has reserved the right to work night shifts and Saturdays to maintain a rigorous schedule. One lane of traffic in both directions will be maintained throughout the project.
  • Traffic will be shifted to one side of the street to allow for a designated construction corridor. Barriers will be placed to designate the work area.
  • Signs will be in place throughout the construction zone to direct traffic.
  • After working hours, the numbered streets intersecting Smallman Street will be opened to traffic.
  • Parking will not be available on either side of Smallman Street, between 16th Street and 21st Street for the length of the construction project. Alternative parking lots are available to customers.
  • Pedestrian walkways will be maintained on both sides of the street, separated from traffic and the construction zone.
  • Construction is estimated to be completed in January 2019. 


“This project is an example of our more proactive approach to replacing our aging infrastructure before it fails. We recognize the temporary disruption the project will cause, but the water quality and reliability improvements will benefit the city for the foreseeable future,” said Executive Director Robert A. Weimar.



PWSA recognizes the collaborative effort with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, Strip District Neighbors, Buncher Group, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority to communicate project impacts and ensure a smooth transition to construction for the merchants of the Strip District. 



Project updates will be available on PWSA's website throughout construction at



  • Published
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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