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Pittsburgh poised to take 11 properties for Banksville intersection construction |

Pittsburgh poised to take 11 properties for Banksville intersection construction

| Monday, March 26, 2018 5:21 p.m

Pittsburgh is poised to take 11 properties through eminent domain from five owners for a $2.2 million reconstruction of a troublesome intersection along Banksville Road at Wenzell Avenue and Carnahan Street.

The city would pay the five owners a total of $188,700 in addition to construction costs, for taking the property, according to council legislation scheduled to be introduced Tuesday.

At least one owner predicted a major disruption of his printing business.

Rick Ozanick, owner of Banksville Express Printing, said the city would block handicap parking spaces and the entrance to his lot. Ozanick would receive $47,640, according to the legislation.

“From what I see, this is going to get bad once this project is full-blown, and our handicapped clients, which we have several, plus walk-ins will not be able to come to our business,” Ozanick said in an email. “Our attorney is trying to work with them.”

The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, which administers street reconstruction, had no immediate comment on Ozanick’s situation.

Construction is expected to start this fall and take about a year.

City officials said a billboard along Banksville must be relocated, and some of the owners would lose pieces of their property for street widening. None of the property being taken includes a building.

Work includes widening of Wenzell, replacement and widening of a bridge over Carnahan, stream bank stabilization, signal upgrades, repairs to stairs paralleling Wenzell and other pedestrian improvements.

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith of Westwood, who represents that area, described the intersection as a hazard for drivers and pedestrians. She said the project has been in the works for years.

She said steps jut nearly into the street at one point, making it difficult for two vehicles to pass.

“There’s just been so many issues there,” she said. “It’s a difficult section of the road to navigate when there are two cars coming and the steps are difficult for seniors to navigate.”

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, or on Twitter @bobbauder.

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