PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After 100 years, an old but historic bridge in our area is now history!
With the flip of a switch, 150-pounds of explosives took down the old Charleroi-Monessen Bridge shortly before 9 a.m. this morning to make way for a brand new span between Washington and Westmoreland Counties.
Onlookers gathered on both sides of the span to watch as the old bridge ended up in the river in the blink of an eye and a puff of smoke.
“The noise was scary!” John Timko of Rostraver Township told KDKA. “I didn’t realize it would get down so quick!”
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing and so I left the gym early and came down and watched it and it was amazing,” added Cindy Bellora of Rostraver Township. “It was very loud, lots of smoke.. but it was a nice day for that!”
The bridge closed in 2009 after an inspection found significant structural deficiencies.
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According to PennDOT’s Bob Kovach, construction on the new bridge is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2013. Even though the projected opening date isn’t until the spring of 2013, PennDOT is hoping to get some traffic moving across the new bridge by November of 2012.
Some residents say it can’t come soon enough.
“We’re waiting for it because this is a main link for us,” Timko added. “We can’t wait till it’s done!”