Notes:P. J. McArdle Roadway

From Pittsburgh Streets

To do

History and McArdle's involvement.

1914-04-03, "Mt. Washington roadway: Delegation reports Mayor Armstrong as favoring it," Pittsburgh Gazette Times, p. 16, 85752738:

Former Councilman P. J. McArdle, Dr. H. G. Carmalt and J. B. Sullivan saw Mayor Joseph G. Armstrong yesterday about the proposed 30-foot boulevard along the face of Mt. Washington. When they came away from the conference Mr. McArdle said the mayor favored the improvement, and had promised that, if City Council should include that item among the other bond propositions which are to be submitted to the people at a special election, he would not only approve it, but would take the stump for it during the bond issue campaign. The delegation represented the Mt. Washington–Duquesne Heights Board of Trade. The estimated cost of the roadway is $416,000.

The mayor and his department heads conferred again yesterday with regard to the items to constitute the bond election schedule. The Law Department was represented at the conference, and as soon as the various items have been agreed upon the necessary "desire" ordinances will be prepared. These ordinances, which will express City Council's desire to increase the city's indebtedness fit a technicality that must be complied with before the regular bond election ordinances can become law.

1914-04-04, "Civic club passes a roadway resolution," Pittsburg Press, p. 13, 143643495:

The board of directors of the Civic club of Allegheny county yesterday afternoon passed a resolution urging upon council consideration of the proposed Mt. Washington roadway. . . .

1914-04-05, "Mayor Armstrong says he will take stump for measure: Movement launched to have new improvement included in bond issue," Pittsburg Press, real estate and financial section, p. 5, 143644692:

[Map: "Route of proposed 6,000 mile [sic] highway which may lead traffic to Tenth st. bridge."]

The Mt. Washington–Duquesne Heights board of trade and the South Hills Civic club are urging council to include in the forthcoming bond issue an item for sufficient funds to construct the Mt. Washington roadway. As outlined by the department of city planning the roadway will start at a point near Tenth and Carson sts., Southside, and thence by a grade of 5 per cent gradually climb the face of Mt. Washington to Grandview ave., near Merrimac st.

The length of the roadway is about 6,000 feet, and it will cross the Pittsburg, Virginia and Charleston tracks at Seventh st., thence intersecting Brownsville ave., at grade above the Knox school, over the Castle Shannon incline by a bridge, circling coal hill ravine and passing under the Monogahela [sic] incline and along the brow of the hill for 2,500 feet at a 4 per cent grade. This stretch will give a magnificent view of the city and the three rivers, the like of which probably exists nowhere else in the world. The night view from this point is unique, and Prof. Earl Barnes, the noted lecturer and art student, pronounces it one of the most wonderful seen in his travels.

Two years ago Mayor Magee vetoed the desired ordinance passed by council, because the plans from Brownsville ave. to Tenth st., were not then completed. Since then surveys have been made by the City Planning commission and details worked out to a spot at Tenth and Bradish sts.

At a conference Thursday between Mayor Armstrong, Director of Public Works Swan, and a committee from the Mt. Washington-Duquesne Heights board of trade, Mayor Armstrong said not only was he heartily in favor of the Mt. Washington roadway, but in the event of council putting this item in the bond issue he himself would take the stump and urge its approval by the voters.

The cost of the project is estimated as $464,000. Considering that the interest and sinking fund charges would be small, it is said such an amount would be more than saved in special transportation fees not met by individuals. Besides there would be a direct saving on the cost of commodities to this section. It is understood that every two-horse load now costs 40c extra to this section.

The South Hills is a growing residence section—some 20,000 people receive mail from the Mt. Washington sub station, and the assessed valuation of this ward, the Nineteenth, is the largest territorially in the city, being over $23,000,000. Four inclines are now required to be operated 24 hours a day to accommodate the traffic to this section.

It is declared that such a roadway will give the citizens of the Nineteenth ward a greater interest in the city as a whole; it will make that ward a real part of the city instead of an inaccessible suburban community, sectional antagonisms will be destroyed, and civic pride will be fostered.

The advantages of an overland route to Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights can hardly be overstated, according to one resident, who says such a route is only a link in the highway to the South Hills district. By connecting Merrimac st. with Grace and thence to Southern ave., via Simms st., on a 2 per cent grade, traffic can reach the bridge provided for Beechview, West Liberty ave. to Brookline, Dormont, Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon, Fair Haven, Carrick, and all the territory reached by the county roads south of Pittsburgh.

But if all these manifest advantages to the South Hills were not considered it would still be a good proposition for Pittsburg, says one promoter. By the proposed shifting of traffic to the Tenth st. bridge, or to a new bridge about Fourth st., as is provided later on to connect with the Monongahela boulevard at Shingess st., the congestion on Wood st. and Smithfield st. would be relieved at least one-third.

Statistics show that 107 cars per hour each way, now cross the Smithfield st. bridge. Six cars per hour, each way, now cross the Tenth st. bridge. Any roadway that will direct traffic from the most crowded part of the city to an unused part, is sure to attract the favorable attention of every shipper, wholesaler, and department store. The traffic congestion of the downtown section is rapidly becoming an acute problem—one of the most insistent council has to solve. Motor traffic has increased by leaps and bounds, and in the next five years it will probably be doubled. Pittsburg must provide for it.

As was said at the meeting with the mayor, this is a roadway that will relieve it one-third, besides bringing increased revenues to the city in the form of greater taxable valuation in a large but not as yet thickly settled territory. This is the experience of the section reached by the Grant boulevard builders, and it is thought reasonable to consider it here.

It is the belief of the committee which met the mayor that the projected roadway so vitally concerns such large interests and so great a community, that it merits the earnest and favorable consideration of every citizen of Pittsburgh.

1914-04-12, "South Hills residents advocate a new bridge across Monongahela: Proposed double-deck structure would connect with projected Mt. Washington roadway," Pittsburg Press, theatrical section, p. 6, 143654552:

[Map: "Map showing proposed bridge across Monongahela river and territory it would directly benefit on both sides of stream."]

1914-04-17, "South Hills residents appeal to commissioners: Want traffic bridge and Mt. Washington roadway," 143661531:

South Hills residents last evening decided to ask the county commissioners to support them in providing a traffic bridge across the Monongahela river to connect with the projected Mt. Washington roadway, and otherwise promote traffic in that section of the city.

1914-10-23, 143767309, 88653949: Bond ordinances to be introduced in council, including $416,000 for Mt. Washington roadway.

1914-11-05, 86505370: Councilmanic committee on finance: bond issue for $735,000 for Mt. Washington roadway.

1915-03-30, "Improvement delayed," 88007852:

A committee representing trade bodies from the South Hills visited City Controller E. S. Morrow yesterday in the interests of the Mt. Washington roadway. The committee was informed that owing to the referee's report on the proposed councilmanic bond issues, no money is available for the work at this time. The case is to be taken to the supreme court.

1915-07-18, "Plan new bond issue to cover improvements," 143990888:

As a result of the recent Supreme court decision on the councilmanic bond issues, an ordinance is being prepared to be presented soon in special session of council, authorizing a new bond issue of $2,760,000.

. . .

The proposed Mt. Washington roadway, the widening of East Ohio st., and the West Liberty ave., improvement are included in the A. and B. schedules.

1915-11-20, "$7,000,000 bond issue agreed on: Mayor, controller and council tentatively approve extensive improvements: Water rate plans," 85896210

1916-06-03, "Hillside road finds many warm friends: Large delegation from Mt. Washington speaks for councilmanic bond issue: Estimated cost $657,000," 85468300

1916-06-03, "Hill residents ask for road: Mt. Washington delegation tells council thoroughfare is urgently needed: Bond ordinance pending," 86669520

1917-09-07, "Babcock talks on bond issues to Southsiders: Outlines extensive schedule of improvements for South Hills: Urges strict economy," 94410028:

E. V. Babcock last night addressed the South Hills Chamber of Commerce and spoke at meetings in the Holmes school, Fourth ward and at the Perry school, Perrysville avenue. He discussed the question of future improvements, declaring that improvements to be undertaken should be financed without adding to the burden of the taxpayers. . . .

. . .

Mr. Babcock then entered into a discussion of the construction of the following improvement items:

Mount Washington roadway from Brownsville avenue to Grandview avenue.

1919-02-04, 87640017:

The detail of the mayor's program, which council referred to the finance committee, follows:

. . .

Construction of Mt. Washington roadway, $650,000.

1919-05-24, "Liberty Tunnel site chosen after exhaustive research; 14 other locations studied: County commissioners and planning commission tell of work; choice backed by experts, including Goethals—90 per cent of city-South Hills traffic cared for directly," 85813078):

A connection between the South Hills and the upper end of the South Side flats, and with Hazelwood, by way of the Tenth Street Bridge, would be furnished by the Mt. Washington roadway which will run past the northern portal of the tunnel to South Tenth street.

. . . Another important connection, going up hill, will be the new Mt. Washington roadway.

1919-05-24, "South Hills tunnel site is chosen," 86668291

1919-05-24, "Officials pick site for tunnel in South Hills," 144851797

1919-05-26, "Liberty Tunnel and bridge routes are explained," 144855082

1919-07-08: Vote on seven issues, including the construction of the Mt. Washington roadway. Advertisements about this in papers on 1919-07-06.

1919-05-27, "Plan of Liberty Tunnel, bridge and connections," 85813475

1922-06-15, "Mt. Washington road project awaits plans completion: City ready to start work—tentative route made: Setup $771,000 for roadway," 88199884: Plans being drawn up, extension planned (from Liberty Tunnel to Seventh and Sarah Streets), description of new system comprising Liberty Tunnel and Bridge, Mt. Washington roadway, Boulevard of the Allies, and Brownsville Avenue.

1922-06-15, "Plans to connect new tubes with boulevard under way: Hillside roadway may take care of tunnel traffic pending bridge: Benefit to South Hills," 85855455

1922-10-12, "Mt. Washington road plans to be completed Dec. 1: Work on new highway not to be started until spring," 86471149:

Work on the Mt. Washington roadway will not be started until next spring, although plans and estimates will be completed December 1, Thomas M. Reed, the city's chief engineer, said yesterday. The plans, on which three corps of engineers have been at work, will be submitted to Public Works Director Charles A. Finley and will include the original route of the highway from South Seventh street to the intersection with the Liberty tunnels.

Test pits drilled in the hillside between Brownsville avenue and Grandview avenue, Mr. Reed said, show the roadway there will rest on a solid foundation. The original plan provided for a highway extending under the Pennsylvania tracks and along the hillside to the mouth of the new tunnels. This plan, Mr. Reed said, would make it necessary to have a 40-foot cut into the hillside, with a tunnel drilled under the railroad. The tentative plans indicate the cost would exceed the $771,000 bond fund.

An alternate plan, providing for a semi-viaduct over the railroad, extending from South Ninth street to the tunnels, would bring the cost within the available fund. If work is started next spring, Mr. Reed stated, the roadway can be completed within a year, the upper end, from Grandview avenue to the tunnels, being completed next fall.

1922-10-12, "Roadway plans to be ready soon: Mt. Washington project set for completion next fall," 87562183:

Completion of the Mt. Washington roadway in the fall of 1923, if the work is started next spring, was promised yesterday by Assistant Chief Engineer Tom M. Reed, who also said the plans for the roadway will be completed and laid before the director of the department of public works December 1. A corps of engineers has been at work on the plans several months and still have perplexing questions to solve.

Tests of the bluff which the roadway will cross show rock foundation available over the great part between Brownsville avenue and Grandview avenue and Merrimac street. The engineering and cost problems are involved in the distance east of Brownsville avenue, which includes a deep cut and a tunnel under the railroad. It is questionable whether $771,000 bond funds available will cover all this work.

1923-01-24, "Mt. Washington road money insufficient: $771,000 bond issue not enough to finance project, Mayor says," 85917772:

A delay in construction of the Mt. Washington roadway is necessary because of insufficient funds to finance the project, Mayor William A. Magee announced yesterday.

A revised plan, which may permit the construction of one section of the highway, the Mayor said, is being prepared by Public Works Director C. A. Finley and the city engineers. The people's bond issue of 1919 provided $771,000 for the roadway, or boulevard, but the latest estimate indicate this sum will be inadequate.

Director Finley is said to favor completion of the lower end of the roadway first, from a point between South Seventh and South Eighth streets to the north portal of the new Liberty Tunnel. Councilman P. J. McArdle has advocated starting the upper section first, which would provide a roadway from Grandview avenue and Merrimac street, along the hillside to the new tunnel. The revised plans probably will be completed within a few weeks.

1923-02-05, "Mt. Washington roadway puzzle is causing stir," 149531244; "South wards' residents plan action on roadway: Trade board official favors short route to Mt. Washington: Sections 'penalized,'" 85918911: Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights residents argue that the section to Mt. Washington should be completed first.

1923-11-21, "Mt. Washington roadway plan lacks funds, says council: Conference today to determine state of project: Gas increase protest filed," 87646025, 87646038:

Council and the mayor will confer today on the Mt. Washington roadway, to determine if work can be started on the project for which $801,000 bond funds are available. The administration has resisted efforts of P. J. McArdle to have an ordinance introduced for the roadway from the north portals of the Liberty tunnels to Merrimac street, and has declared council understands the project cannot be started until funds are in sight for its completion from South Seventh street to Merrimac. McArdle denies council has this understanding.

1923-11-27, "Council sustains veto: Ordinance for part of hill top roadway is put aside," 85415464:

Council yesterday unanimously sustained Mayor William A. Magee's veto of an ordinance directing the Department of Public Works to prepare an ordinance for construction of the part of the Mt. Washington roadway which is to extend from Merrimac street at Grandview avenue to the north portal of the Liberty Tunnels.

Councilman P. J. McArdle, who introduced the "ordinance for an ordinance," which was an innovation in Councilmanic procedure, explained his vote to support the Mayor's action yesterday on the grounds that his original purpose, that of having the legislation brought before Council, had been accomplished in conference with the Mayor and Director Charles A. Finley of the Department of Public Works.

Director Finley, in a report submitted to Council yesterday, said that the necessary opening and improvement ordinances for this part of the roadway will be prepared and presented to Council in four to six weeks.

1940-01-02, "M'Ardle dies in home at 65: Heart attack fatal to veteran Councilman," 141356525, 141356675

1941-01-14, "Roadway pleas before Council," Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, p. 11, 523209288:

Petitions were before City Council today favoring and opposing the proposed changing of the name of Mt. Washington Roadway to "P. J. McArdle Roadway," in honor of the late councilman.

The petitions were signed by residents of Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights.

Those in favor of the change said the roadway was built due to the efforts of Councilman McArdle, while those against the change said strangers to the city would know how to find the roadway as now named, but couldn't find it if called "McArdle Roadway."