BOSTON (KDKA) – Just a few months ago, it was considered one of the most run-down, worn out bridges in our area.
On Monday, about 18,000 drivers are getting their first chance to drive on the newly rebuilt Boston Bridge.
Only a few days ago, it was impossible to drive across the Youghiogheny River.
“It was a lot of the confusion at first that hurt us because people didn’t know if it was open or closed,” Dan Antonelli, owner of Woody’s Little Italy, said.
It’s been around for 80 years, and for almost 50, it’s been the gateway to Woody’s Little Italy.
Antonelli said having the bridge being out of commission through the summer hurt a bit, but not as much as some feared.
“We thought we’d be down about 40 percent, and we only ended up being down about 20 percent,” Antonelli said.
PennDOT had planned to keep some traffic on the bridge through the summer, but engineers realized it required such major work that cars had to stay away.
According to federal data, the Boston Bridge is rated as “basically intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action” — with a sufficiency rating of only 16.3 percent.
Crews essentially had to take off the top part of the bridge deck and rebuild it, and bolster the steel structure underneath.
The workers did get a reward for their efforts in the end.
“We actually invited all the bridge workers for a beer. We sent out messages to let people know were open. We did twice the business yesterday,” Antonelli said.
The crews are wrapping up work on the sidewalk on one side of the bridge. That should be done soon, and then crews will go work on the other side.
All of the work should wrap up sometime in December.