Bridge Restrictions Could Cause Traffic Congestion
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Spruce Street-Spruce Run Bridge that carries Route 65 over the corner of Ben Avon will be the first to see the new weight restrictions in Allegheny County.
It will join 13 others already freshly posted in Beaver and Lawrence counties.
“We need to extend the life of these bridges,” says PennDOT Dist. 11 Executive Dan Cessna.
Cessna says with a lack of repair funding coming from Harrisburg, imposing weight limits, or reducing them, removes stress from the bridges. And with 46 in the district involved, there’s a good chance you could be impacted.
“That road that they travel now might have additional trucks on it that are detoured off a bride that is posted,” Cessna said.
In the case of the Spruce Street Bridge, Route 65 trucks are being sent across the McKees Rocks Bridge and along the other side of the Ohio River on Route 51, directly past Mary Anne’s Breakfast ‘N Lunch Spot.
“I know what it does to my business, it hurts every time,” said Mary Schrock of Mary Anne’s Breakfast ‘N Lunch. “People won’t stop when there’s a lot of traffic.”
The Route 65 detour takes the trucks through Neville Island.
Probably one of the most congested detour routes will be the Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnel. It’s where the trucks will be sent when they are detoured off the Liberty Bridge.
The Liberty Bridge is by far the busiest included in the new restrictions. The bridge carries a combined 50,000 vehicles a day – many of them trucks heading to and from the South Hills, which will now be Fort Pitt Bridge-bound.
Cessna says Liberty Bridge work could be ready to go within a year of the green light. But that green light is in the form of green cash from Harrisburg. And like the rest of the weight restricted bridges, the restrictions and detours will continue until the funding gets out of legislative limbo.