Developers Tackle Challenges at Planned Moon Township Waterfront Park

The township moves forward with plans to develop a 17-acre park along the Ohio River.

Waterfront piers, a sprawling lawn and walking trails are among the amenities planned for a 17-acre Moon Township park overlooking the Ohio River. 

The park, which would be cornered between the Sewickley Bridge and Fab-Tec Industries along Route 51, is still in the planning stages.

"We feel this has the potential to be sort of a gateway, or icon for the township," said Sean C. Garrigan, of Stromberg, Garrigan & Associates, a Somerset-based landscape and design firm hired to develop the project.

"It has that iconic element to it," he said.

Moon Parks and Recreation officials are readying a master plan for the project, which will be presented before the township's Board of Supervisors in December. 

Planners have pieced together renderings of what the park could look like after its completion, working to overcome issues involved with developing a park on a former industrial site. 

The township acquired the property in 2004, and has spent much of the last year preparing a blueprint for the park and its amenities.  

Garrigan said winding concrete walkways throughout a portion of the park will pay homage to the property's industrial roots: The land once housed the RB&W factory, which manufactured nut bolts. 

"It sort of becomes abstract, but the threading, the spiral of the bolts is represented in (the walkway) pattern," he said.

The walkway will lead to a row of pavilions, outfitted for small picnics or larger events.

Park-goers would pass a tiered, open lawn and playground as they make their way to waterfront dock and pier areas overlooking the Ohio River, suitable for boating and fishing. 

A corner of the park will feature powered water jets that spring up through the ground. A small beach area is also planned. 

Areas of the park closer to the Sewickley Bridge will be more naturalized, including walking trails through indigenous vegetation. Portions of that area lay in a "100-year flood plain," and must be designed to sustain flood waters in the event of a major storm.  

No budget estimates are yet available. The township will seek funding sources for the project after supervisors approve its master plan, Garrigan said. 

Completion of the park is years away: Acquiring permits, engineering and constructing the park could take three to four years after a funding model is in place. 

Still, the planned park presents challenges for Moon officals. 

CSX railroad tracks run parallel to the planned park area, with trains passing as frequently as every 12 minutes during peak hours, Garrigan said. 

Much of the park will be closed to motorists. A parking lot will be constructed off of Route 51 and park-goers will enter the park through an existing at-grade pedestrian crossing over the tracks, according to current plans. 

"We are looking at entry-way gates, for both pedestrian and motorists as they enter the park," Garrigan said. 

Built after World War II, the RB&W bolt factory at the site was demolished in 2005, but minor oils and contaminants from the industrial site remain. 

The property, which sits on two parcels of land, must undergo remediation, including sealing contaminants underground, before the area can open to the public. 

All that remains from the original factory is a large cement slab and dirt foundation beneath it. Designers plan to reclaim cement pillars from that foundation to use as decorative monuments along the park's walkway. 

Garrigan said planners also hope to recycle existing concrete at the site, constructing a "cap" to close off contaminated soil. 

The Moon Municipal Authority will maintain access to its water pumps, which are located on the park grounds.

"It's a very strategic location," Garrigan said of the park. "This could be sort of the township's claim to the river, in some respects."


Would a waterfront park be an asset in Moon Township? Tell us in the comments. 

Jenna Staul October 18, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Hi Louisa, Little ways down (paragraph 14), I included that there is no budget estimate yet available for the project, as the master plan has not yet been submitted to the township and approved. The project is still in the exploratory phases. Jenna
maureen October 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Some of the best times of my younger life were at Moon Park
Debra Ricketts October 19, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I think this sounds like a great plan and a wonderful addition to our township.
MamaJoJo November 03, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I LOVE this idea! Why not utilize what amenities we have! The plans look wonderful. This will expand the current recreations we have and add new ones! This will be great for our economy as people come and visit. It is a win-win for Moon Township. Great forward thinking...keep it moving. It will be worth every penny.
Sharon January 31, 2013 at 08:24 PM
I think this is an awesome idea..we need more things to improve our area,i could definately see me and my friends and family going here,relaxing and hanging out. I never really liked Moon park kinda boring to me..I am originally from California;so as close to this would be the sandy beach area; overlooking a river...then we have no palm trees here;but i love the trees and foliage ,i love the idea of the water jets pouring up out of the ground..and people can get wet and cooled off on a hot and humid day(great for all ages)! I went to the Neville island bowling sand/beach area. I so totally loved it..the atmosphere...i think the park/trail /pavilions . I am so glad people are thinking of this idea"! great job! Moon twp, can actually be up and enjoyably fun and more stuff to do.Now we need to put an awesome place to replace Hoss's ...like ponderosa,or Texas roadhouse, Chuck e cheese, Elby's ;or something awesome and like that too! get these people loving Moon twp ,even more....hmm awesome waterfront park,great restaurant,entertainment..that will bring people to not just Robinson area;but to Moon twp,


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