Riverside Park track repairs have begun in Oakmont; park's lower level to be closed for weeks - Plum

Riverside Park track repairs have begun in Oakmont; park’s lower level to be closed for weeks

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 9:18 PM

Repair work has begun on the Riverside Park track in Oakmont.

As a result, the lower section of the park adjacent to Riverview High School will be closed for about two weeks starting Wednesday, May 20 as crews resurface it.

The track envelopes tennis and basketball courts as well as a playground.

Council awarded the $61,000 repair contract to New York-based Nagle Athletic Surfaces in February 2019.

Construction was delayed a couple times as council sought grant funding to expand the scope of work, and when construction projects were shuttered statewide due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Gov. Tom Wolf allowed construction projects to resume a few weeks ago.

Track supervisor Steve Smith said teams will be working 12-plus-hour shifts to get repairs done quickly and efficiently, weather permitting.

“It’s a pretty small track from what we’re used to,” he said. “Usually, we’re working on eight or 10 lanes. I’ve done a lot of these smaller ones, but I’ve never seen a layout with tennis courts and a playground. This is awesome. This is rare. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of track. Usually, it’s turf football fields, soccer fields (with tracks) — never tennis courts.”

Smith said his boss and trainer, Tracy Williams, was in charge of the track’s installation about 20 years ago. The park track has four lanes.

“He was happy to send me here,” Smith said. “This is one of his babies.”

Line painting will start once repairs are completed.

The high school track team participated in all away meets the past few years due to some of the lanes being damaged by tree roots that have pushed it up and made it uneven.

Meets were first rescheduled in March 2018, when it was determined the track does not meet competition standards.

The borough owns and maintains the park.

Councilwoman Carrie DelRosso was successful in securing funds for the project through the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation program.

It’s a matching $140,000 grant with Oakmont covering about half. Council budgeted $70,000 for track repairs.

DelRosso said the track repair is a much needed project.

“It was dangerous for the students to be running on it and competing,” she said. “The track needed to be resealed.

“We take pride in that park. We’re one of the (few) parks in Allegheny County that sits on the Allegheny River. (It’s) a destination park. Many people come in and walk that track. Senior citizens walk that track. … Riverside Park is a gem in our community. Once this track has reopened the public will be able to use it freely.”