House Floating On Allegheny, Monongahela Rivers Draws Attention
24 April 2015
Max Construction moved a new subdivision style “boater building”
11.5 river miles from the Fox Chapel Marina on the Allegheny
River, around Pittsburgh’s Point and up the Monongahela River
where it will anchor a new South Side Marina.
It’s a bit odd to see a 2½-story house that would be more
at home on a cul de sac instead bobbing along on Pittsburgh’s
But that’s what happened Thursday morning as Max Construction
moved a new subdivision-style “boater building” 11.5 river miles
from the Fox Chapel Marina on the Allegheny River, around
Pittsburgh’s Point and up the Monongahela River where it will
anchor a new South Side Marina. The trip, made with the assistance
of three towboats, took three hours.
“I didn’t announce the move, but I knew as soon as we started
moving it we would attract a lot of attention,” said Mike White,
project superintendent with Max Construction, whose headquarters
are in Saltsburg, Indiana County. “And that’s what happened. My
phone has been ringing nonstop with people wanting to know what’s
Mr. White said construction of the boater building, built on a
floating dock, not a barge, began two months ago at the Fox Chapel
Marina because none of the docks or river bank access for the new
South Side Marina were in place in the Monongahela River, just
below the Hot Metal Bridge. Both marinas are owned by David
About 400 feet of new docks were floated from Fox Chapel, where
they were built, to the South Side last week. And the boater
building followed the same route, including passing through the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock and Dam No. 2 at Highland Park
without a problem, Mr. White said. The building was towed by one
towboat and tended by two others, to help guide it in windy
“We were able to deal with the wind and it was all good. We had no
problem,” he said.
Work is under way along the South Side river bank on a walkway and
elevator shaft that will provide access over the active railroad
tracks that run along the river.
The boater building, which still needs some siding and other
exterior and interior finishing work, will have vending machines,
restrooms and showers on the first floor for those who have slips
at the marina. The second floor will house the marina’s offices.
Mr. White said work should progress enough to begin docking boats
in the marina’s slips by May 1.
Don Hopey: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1983. Twitter: