By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There will be some major headaches for drivers, as two bridge projects get underway.

One was planned – one not-so-planned.

It’s an old bridge over the railroad tracks that is literally crumbling.

And it’s critical to commuters coming out of the county airport region.

“It’s definitely a main artery coming north or east,” one man said. “Where else you gonna go?”

The northbound lanes of Lebanon Road were shut down Monday morning, immediately confusing a lot of drivers.

Even an ambulance on an emergency run stopped when it could not turn north and had to be given directions by the police.

“It’s a lot longer, so it’s a bummer that it’s closed that way,” one woman said.

The northbound lane will be closed for two weeks and after that, one lane of traffic across the bridge will resume, shifting as needed through the rest of the project.

Meanwhile, for the 35,000 drivers who pass north and south on I-79 just above Zelienople every day, get used to single lanes across the East Lancaster Road bridges. Monday, a Marcellus shale truck popped both bridges, crunching concrete and cutting off the interior support cables.

“I think they broke nine and there’s only 21 in the thing, so they lost a lot of structural strength,” said Bob Skrak of PennDOT Butler County. “So we had to obviously restrict traffic from that part of the bridge, we didn’t want a bridge failure.”

Southbound was closed Monday morning, then the northbound side was closed immediately after. The accidents and rush hours there have been no picnic.

“We’ve gotten at least 4 and 5 mile backups,” Skrak said. “So, it happens.”

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