By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Santa Claus is going to be wearing construction worker orange on the Parkway East during Christmas week 2014.

The Greenfield Bridge which has been coming down on its own a chunk at a time for two decades is going to be imploded that week – dropped from its height to the Parkway below in a cloud of dust and debris.

The City of Pittsburgh which owns the bridge and the engineers of PennDOT have determined that imploding the bridge and building a replacement is the most economical plan ($17 million dollars) to replace the span.

To do the work, the litter pan bridge below the Greenfield Bridge – which has been catching the bridge’s droppings for the last 15 years – will be demolished first.

Then a mound of dirt 10 to 12 feet high will be put down on the driving lanes of the Parkway to catch the debris when the Greenfield Bridge is imploded. The dirt should protect the parkway driving lanes from damage.

There is still a lot of planning to do, but PennDOT’s Dan Cessna says the implosion and cleanup will require the total closure of the Parkway East between Squirrel Hill and Bates Street.

Cessna says, “We had looked at a period of time that is less than a week, probably three to five days.”

If the implosion takes place the day after Christmas 2014, the crews will work around the clock to try and reopen the road by New Year’s Day 2015.

The Parkway East in that area carries 50,000 cars a day and the Greenfield Bridge 15,000 cars.

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