Pittsburgh buys 14 new pickups that can assist come winter, councilman says

Amid muggy, stormy weather Wednesday, Pittsburgh officials announced they were buying 13 pickup trucks and a dump truck that will bolster the city’s public works fleet and aid in snow removal come winter.

“We’re always thinking about winter,” said Molly Onufer, Mayor Bill Peduto’s spokeswoman.

The city received a reimbursement from a state Department of Environmental Protection grant that freed up the money in the public works budget.

The city and its Equipment Leasing Authority bought 13 pickups equipped with snowplows and salt spreaders and a one-ton dump truck that also has a plow and spreader on it. The cost of the trucks wasn’t immediately available.

The pickups can be used year ‘round by the city’s parks and street maintenance crews.

“This is just the beginning, and we will continue to provide them the equipment they need,” Acting Public Works Director Chris Hornstein said.

Councilman Anthony Coghill lauded the purchase.

“That’s welcome news,” Coghill said.

He lives in Beechview and his district includes the Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick, Mt. Washington and Overbook neighborhoods in the city where there were multiple snow removal complaints last winter.

“We’ve got to put more salt down,” Coghill said in January, when city officials were barraged by some residents who said they waited several days before a salt or plow truck got to their streets.

In Coghill’s district, the narrow, hilly streets are better served by pickups that can plow and spread salt rather than the “salt hog” dump trucks the city also uses, he said.

“It’s the smaller trucks that I’ve been pushing for,” Coghill said.

The new trucks, coupled with a new public works garage that’s set to be built in Knoxville, should help snow removal when winter comes, Coghill said.

“I’m hoping its finished for this winter,” he said.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, tdavidson@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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