Northbound Route 65 Closed Until Next Week After Truck Strikes Waterline

AMBRIDGE (KDKA) — A Beaver County emergency official says Northbound Route 65 in Ambridge will remain closed until next week.

Both lanes were closed after a tree service truck with an extended boom hit the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge while going under it on Route 65 on Tuesday afternoon.

The bridge appears to be fine, but the impact was on the superstructure protecting the main waterline that comes across the river attached to the bridge and serves about 28,000 customers in Ambridge, Harmony, Economy, Baden, Edgeworth and New Sewickley.

PennDOT says the main issue is safety for the drivers who travel on Route 65 in the northbound direction. A portion of the high pressurized line dangles right above the highway and officials say if it’s not taken care of properly, there could be dire consequences.

“We want to make sure people are safe before we reopen that roadway. We can’t have another incident putting the public’s lives in jeopardy,” PennDOT’s Steve Cowan said.

The steel superstructure was bent and the entire structure and pipe moved a couple of inches. There has been no breach to the waterline, and Ambridge Water is currently pumping to fill the water tanks on the Ambridge side of the river in case they have to shut it down for repairs. Engineers will make that determination in the morning.

Contractors have been working to make temporary repairs to the support system for the waterline.

PennDOT said the fix is complete, but it has to be inspected to make sure a barrier is in place for the support structures.

Right now, it’s unclear exactly when that might happen. It could be anytime between today and next week according to officials.

“When we do reopen the roadway, it’s just going to be for a short timeframe until the contractor can put in the permanent solution and fabricate the materials needed,” Cowan said.

PennDOT has posted the following detour:

  • From northbound Route 65, turn right onto Route 989 (8th Street)
  • Turn left onto Duss Avenue (roadway becomes Route 2001)
  • Turn left onto Logan Lane
  • Turn right onto Route 65
  • End detour

Southbound 65 traffic is not impacted and remains open.

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