PITTSBURGH’s Port Authority Transit awarded a $36·2m contract to A&L Inc on January 28 for reconstructing 3·2 km of the Overbrook tram line as a light rail route. It is the first of three contracts covering the 8·9 km route between Castle Shannon and South Hills Junction, which was closed in 1993 because of serious bridge and track deterioration.

The complex project requires five new bridges and eight new stations, double tracking several segments and the straightening of a curved hillside alignment near Bon Air. A&L will rebuild from Denise to Glenbury Streets in Overbrook, and from Glenbury to South Bank. The company will also grade separate those portions of the line that formerly shared a right-of-way with the South Busway, completing all civil works including catenary mast foundations and station platforms. All three segments are scheduled to be under way this year, allowing the line to reopen in 2004.

Coming 10 years after PAT completed the first stage of its LRT programme, the Overbrook restoration is part of the second stage, which is being 80% funded by the Federal Transit Administration.