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April 4, 2005

Alcoa Foundation Funds International Design Competition for a Footbridge Across the Ohio River

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2005--Alcoa Foundation today announced that it has invested $413,000 in the Riverlife Task Force in Pittsburgh to sponsor an international design competition for world-class improvements and enhancements to Pittsburgh's West End Bridge that will add a walking and bicycle trail across the Ohio River.

"This signature project will enhance Pittsburgh's skyline with a footbridge unlike any other in the world while building new connections from the river to neighborhoods now separated by roadways and other obstacles," said Kathleen W. Buechel, president and treasurer of Alcoa Foundation.

"With Alcoa's Corporate Center on the city's North Shore, we know first hand that Pittsburgh's bridges are jewels that crown the city's rich history and topography. Alcoa Foundation sees this investment as a way to extend Pittsburgh's traditional downtown and provide a front door to our city's natural resources so that more people can enjoy our riverfronts."

The West End Bridge was chosen for the competition because enhancements to the bridge would close a loop of trails being developed around the rivers known as Three Rivers Park. Currently, trail users must travel across a parking lot to reach steep staircases that lead onto the bridge, located several hundred yards off of the trail. The stairs lead to a narrow walkway over the span that has heavy vehicular traffic.

"We'd like to expand public access to Pittsburgh's riverfronts and take in the dramatic views of our topography and our skyline from the bridge. Point State Park should be the center of a riverfront park system, rather than the end of downtown." said Lisa Schroeder, executive director of the Riverlife Task Force. "By hosting this design competition, we can develop a plan to determine our options, and we'll move forward from there. The idea of building a footbridge emerged from over 100 community meetings held throughout the city, and the plan has been well received in its conceptual form."

A steering committee will oversee the process and will provide guidelines to architectural design firms from across the world, who will submit ideas. The steering committee members are:

Tom Balestrieri, President, The Buncher Company
Kathleen W. Buechel, President and Treasurer, Alcoa Foundation
Karl Ishman, District Executive, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
John C. Oliver, Co-Chair, Riverlife Task Force
Lisa Schroeder, Executive Director, Riverlife Task Force
Dr. Edie Shapira, Co-Chair, Riverlife Task Force
Bill Strickland, Executive Director, Manchester Craftsman's Guild
Terry Wirginis, President, Gateway Clipper Fleet

A preliminary timetable would have responses due before summer's end and a winner chosen by late fall.

About Alcoa Foundation

Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in the countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. Alcoa Foundation manages Alcoa's ACTION and Bravo! programs which recognize the volunteer efforts of employees with grants to the organizations they serve. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit, under Community.

About Alcoa

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 131,000 employees in 43 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at

About Riverlife Task Force

The Riverlife Task Force, a non-profit corporation, is a public-private partnership established in 1999 by Mayor Tom Murphy to create a vision and master plan for Pittsburgh's riverfronts. A group of fifty-five civic leaders, elected officials and property owners, the Task Force is dedicated to the development of Three Rivers Park, a grand urban-scale waterfront park at the confluence of the three rivers -- the Allegheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio -- in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. More information can be found at