PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Traveling near the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium may be a bit tricky starting in September.

PennDOT is planning to replace a bridge right in front of the zoo’s parking lot along Butler Street.

“This is a 100-year-old bridge. I think it was built in 1913 and 1914. It is currently structurally deficient and it’s in significant need of replacement,” Steve Cowan from PennDOT said.

PennDOT will tear down the crumbling bridge and build a brand new structure, but that’s not all.

The nearly $20 million project includes a lot more.

“We’re also going to be doing reconstruction on Butler Street in the bridge area as well as a little bit of One Wild Place. There is going to be signal improvements, drainage upgrades, sidewalk improvements,” Cowan said.

With nearly 26,000 vehicles traveling through the area on an average day, there is no doubt, there will be backups.

If you’re heading to the zoo, expect delays.

To help with the congestion, PennDOT is building a temporary roadway that will wind through the zoo’s parking lot.

“Instead of having a very lengthy detour, motorists will have just a minor inconvenience on this temporary roadway,” Cowan said.

Truckers won’t be as fortunate and will be detoured altogether.

“The truck detour will basically take trucks across the Highland Park Bridge, down [Route] 28 onto Route 8 through Etna on state routes back across the 62nd Street Bridge onto Butler Street,” Cowan said.

As for the timeline on this project, signs will go up in the area just after Labor Day alerting people to the traffic changes then actual work will begin at the end of September.

The entire project is scheduled to wrap up late next year.


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