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Councilman Suggests Closing Bridges For More Events

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper2/ KDKA)

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper2/ KDKA)

CRAWLEY Dave Crawley
Dave Crawley joined KDKA in April of 1988 where he reports on the...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It doesn’t have to be just for Pirates games. The Roberto Clemente Bridge and more have closed down for other big events.

And that makes a local councilman wonder if we could do even more.

The towering duck that passed under the Fort Duquesne Bridge in September could not fit under the next one. That was by design. The Clemente Bridge was closed to traffic, so fans could throw a party fit for the 40-foot waterfowl.

Allegheny County Council member Ed Kress of Shaler hopes to see more events on county-owned bridges.

“We’d have different events,” he says. “Concerts. I even had a suggestion of having a boxing match on a bridge. So there’s plenty of opportunity, but the question is, what is the vision? It’s up to the people in this area to come up with an idea, too.”

Do bridge closings affect local businesses? Atria’s waitress Sydney Davis recalls the night of the duck.

“We had guests from all over the world for the duck when it came in,” she recalls. “Kids, adults, older people all came in with hats and shirts, so it was great. It was really good for business.”

But at Diamond Pizza, manager Eric Andrejeski says closed bridges keep customers away.

“It tends to hurt business because people don’t want to come down here and be a part of things like that,” he said.

Atria’s co-owner Jack Hunt says it all comes down to advance publicity.

“Without prior notice, we lose a lot of business,” he explains. “So it has its pros and cons. But all in all, I think closing the bridges for events is a great idea, because it makes this area a destination point.”

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