The Port Authority will shut down its Gateway "T"(light rail) station October 31st. This is to make way for construction of a new Gateway station that's needed to "receive" the North Shore Connector. PAT spokesman Jim Ritchie says because of the connector "the lines will turn in a way so they can no longer use the existing (Gateway) station." He says the new station will be built in a slightly different location and is scheduled to open when the connector opens in late 2011. Ritchie says that because of the closing of the station, riders who rely on the "T" in that part of downtown Pittsburgh will have to find another way to use transit. He says the Wood Street station is only a few blocks away so many people will walk but since buses are free in downtown Pittsburgh, people can get off at the Wood Street station and hop on a bus toward the Gateway area.
As part of the closing of the Gateway station, PAT is removing a ceramic tile mural by the late Pittsburgh artist, Romare Beardon. The mural, which has been appraised at $15 million and has sustained some water damage, was installed in 1984 as part of the original subway construction. Ritchie says under the guidance of artists, crews are removing the mural titled "Pittsburgh Recollections," in pieces. It will be restored and then "hopefully displayed in time for the new station's opening."