PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Parkway East is now closed down in both directions for the weekend as work crews begin dismantling the Greenfield Bridge.
The century-old bridge will be demolished between Christmas and New Year’s.
The first thing to be removed will be the sidewalk and the concrete slabs that make up the deck.
Then, the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Parkway will close again for additional work.
The Parkway will be shut down for safety sake.
Pat Hassett, the assistant director of the Pittsburgh City Engineering Department, says the closure is necessary.
“You want to minimize what falls onto the Parkway, so as to minimize damage,” said Hassett.
Hassett said if everything came down on the Interstate, it would cause major damage, and result in the highway staying closed a lot longer than two weekends.
Thousands of drivers will be impacted by the closure, especially since it coincides with the annual holiday Light Up Night weekend, as well as both Pitt and Penguins games at home Saturday.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor, of Squirrel Hill, says, “It’s something that has to be done. We can’t delay [demolishing] the Greenfield Bridge any longer.”
Police will man a number of major intersections in the area affected to help in traffic flow; but nonetheless, the city says motorists should expect significant delays on posted detour routes.
The closure will end at 6 a.m. Monday.