PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s been a long time coming, but the Greenfield Bridge finally opens this weekend.
The finishing touches were made Friday, and there are lots of festivities planned for the reopening.
Rising out of the dust and footprint of its predecessor, the single-span bridge is a bit wider with three lanes of traffic, bike lanes and a wider sidewalk. For the folks who live in that neighborhood, it’s more than just an important commuting link to Oakland.
“Just the connection from here to Shenley Park is one thing. That’s somebody’s daily life, their daily routine — just going to the park and enjoying the park themselves,” Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor said.
Friday’s final inspection revealed a few items for the so-called punch list to complete the job, but project director Pat Hassett said nothing on the list would be significant enough that it would keep the bridge from reopening.
Friday was all about finishing touches, including the fine points of returning the bridges’ original monuments.
“We don’t want to forget our past, and we don’t want to forget what this bridge meant,” O’Connor said.
Before it carries traffic, there is partying to do, starting with a one-mile run across the bridge and into the park Saturday morning, then Zumba, trike races, adult-size big wheels and miniature golf.
Food trucks will be there, as well, and there will be bands playing from noon until dusk.
“We will be cutting the ribbon in the dark, and when the ribbon is cut, everything will light up,” Hassett said.
Then a final inspection on Sunday morning, and the bridge will get to work bringing with it high expectations.
“Businesses will hopefully start thriving again,” O’Connor said. “We’ll see more visitors into the neighborhood, and it’s beautiful.”
Watch David Highfield’s report —
For two nights, the new $17.5 million bridge will be bathed in white light, impossible to miss if you’re driving below on the Parkway. The lights courtesy of LUXE Creative.
“I would drive past the bridge, and I would see the progress, and I thought, ‘We have to light this bridge up,'” Martin Potoczny, of LUXE Creative, said. “So I decided to light the bridge as gift to the people of the city of Pittsburgh.”
The bridge will be open to regular traffic at 8 a.m. Sunday.
The former Greenfield Bridge was demolished in December 2015 with the promise that a new one would be open within two years.