PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When the Hulton Bridge closes Wednesday night and traffic is forced to detour, the expectation is the Highland Park Bridge is going to get the lion’s share of the 20,000 detoured drivers.

“We’re going to be putting a lot more traffic, especially in the a.m. hours, along that route,” said PennDOT’s Steve Cowan.

That’s a lot of drivers right through the heart of Verona, anxious to keep moving and get out of the mess.

“We depend on traffic coming through, so there is concern when they re-route all that,” says Michal Molitierno, of Verona Motors Express Care. “We might have a few slow days there.”

The detour will also take them past the front doors of Oakmont Bakery where they’re taking a glass half full approach.

“We’re really excited about the new bridge’; and fortunately, the closures are pretty short in comparison to what they could be,” says the bakery’s Courtney Daniels.

PennDOT fully understands the congestion possibilities, so two police officers will help keep things moving in Oakmont.

“We’ll have two in Verona and three on down Allegheny River Boulevard to the Highland Park Bridge.”

Meanwhile, on the North Side of the river, once the bridge is closed they are going to turn off the light on Freeport Road, which should mean a free flow of traffic.

However, they need to work there, so they are putting up a temporary signal and there will only be one lane of traffic. That means one direction will go, and then the other.

PennDOT is concerned about what impact that will have.

“We do expect congestion issues, especially the first couple days when we implement a new traffic pattern,” said Cowan. “Single lane traffic definitely makes travel difficult.”

Cowan says alternative routes are recommended until the bridge reopens at two weeks from tonight.

Here’s PennDOT’s suggested detours:

From the West
• Take Freeport Road (Route 1001) north to Route 910
• Turn left onto Route 910
• Take Route 28 south to the South Route 8 Highland Park Bridge/Aspinwall (Exit 6) interchange
• Take the Highland Park Bridge to southbound Route 8 towards Washington Boulevard
• Follow Washington Boulevard to Allegheny River Boulevard (Route 130)
• Follow Allegheny River Boulevard back to the Hulton Bridge
• End detour

From the East
• Same detour in the opposite direction

Alternate Detour
From the West (not posted)
• Take Freeport Road (Route 1001) north to Route 910
• Turn left onto Route 910
• Take Route 28 north to the Route 366 Tarentum/New Kensington (Exit 14) interchange
• Take Route 366 south
• Continue straight on Logans Ferry Road (Route 2075)
• From Logans Ferry Road bear right onto Coxcomb Hill Road (Route 909/2082)
• Coxcomb Hill Road becomes Hulton Road
• Follow back to 3rd Street
• End detour

From the East (posted)
• Same detour in the opposite direction

This will be the first of two total closures of the Hulton Bridge. The second will come in late September and will also last two weeks. The new bridge should be open in mid to late October.

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