Bigelow Boulevard crosswalk, WPU grounds set to reopen on Oct. 24


Update: An earlier version of this story said the Bigelow Boulevard and William Pitt Union Grounds will be open on Oct. 17. It has been updated to reflect that the construction projects will open on Oct. 24.

The crosswalk on Bigelow Boulevard linking the Cathedral of Learning and William Pitt Union will open to pedestrian traffic on Oct. 24, but vehicles will have to wait.

Scott Bernotas, associate vice chancellor of Facilities Management, said in an email that some temporary features will be in place pending the delivery of concrete planters and other barriers that were delayed due to the pandemic. Once the permanent planters and other barriers are in place, the road will be fully accessible. Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said at the Board of Trustees meeting last week that some finishing touches may not happen until December

The new raised, mid-block crosswalk is designed to provide a safer pedestrian experience.

In addition, the William Pitt Union grounds, including outdoor seating areas, accessibility ramps and programmable amphitheater will open Oct. 24.

The road and grounds have been closed since Nov. 1, 2019. They were originally scheduled to reopen before the start of the fall semester, but the shutdown of construction early in the pandemic put the project behind schedule.

The total cost of the project, including utility upgrades, streetscaping, landscaping and all of the work on the William Pitt Union grounds, is $23.7 million. Project funding is provided by the Pitt general budget and a $1 million grant from the state.

The Bigelow project is one of the few in Pitt’s ambitious master plan that has moved forward since the pandemic started. The others projects also were already underway, including the Scaife Hall renovation and addition, Petersen Sports Complex addition and 5051 Centre Ave. in Bloomfield, a project being developed by Pitt and Wexford Science + Technology as a research facility.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 724-244-4042.


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  • aerial shot of bigelow project
    The new crosswalk on Bigelow Boulevard (seen at center) is scheduled to open on Oct. 24. (Photos by Mike Drazdzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Ground view of crosswalk
  • Area in front of William Pitt Union facing Fifth Avenue
    The redone area in front of William Pitt Union also is scheduled to open on Oct. 17.
  • Aerial shot of William Pitt Union courtyard
    The area in front of William Pitt Union will have more seating and activity spaces.
  • Front of William Pitt Union
    Benches surround the area that once was a driveway in front of William Pitt Union.