PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A dream is closer to becoming a reality.
A proposed zip line that would sail from Mount Washington to the North Shore has been awarded a grant. It would cross the Ohio River at 50 miles-per-hour with a 400-foot drop.
The concept sounds simple enough – a little swing across the river.
When KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen and photojournalist Lori Sperling took you on the Laurel Highlands zip line tour last summer, the longest ride was 1,600-feet in and above the tree tops.
The ride from Mount Washington is a full half mile in open air, much of it dangling above the mighty Ohio.
“You sit down in the seat and there are triple redundancies in the harness,” says Adam Young, the creator of Zippitt.
Young says ZipRider would design and install a line that would look a lot like the one on the company’s website. Potential riders say bring it on.
“I’d ride it for sure; that’s a great idea,” said one person.
“Absolutely, and I’m deathly afraid of falling; not afraid of heights, but falling,” added another person.
“We do an agreement with the owner of the land up here, and are in discussions at the bottom and pursuing permits,” Young says.
Young has already checked with the Mount Washington neighbors.
“We had a community meeting about it and everybody who showed up was pretty positive about it, so it is pretty positive so far,” Jason Kambitsis, of Mount Washington Community Development, said.
But at a cost of about $3 million to build, Young’s biggest challenge may be funding. Already it’s gotten a grant from Awesome Pittsburgh to pursue the idea and a lot of online support.
What about the cost of the ride?
Young: “We’re looking at about $30.
KDKA’ John Shumway: “And how long will the ride last?”
Young: “A minute.”
If everything goes as planned, the attraction could be up and operating between one and two years, but there are an awful lot of big ifs involved.