Residents Say Demolition Is Long OverdueBy Amy Wadas

OAKMONT (KDKA) – What’s left of the old Hulton Bridge enjoyed its final afternoon of sunshine on Monday. The century-old bridge that connects Freeport Road to Oakmont will be demolished Tuesday morning.

The implosion is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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The old Hulton Bridge brings a lot of history to the area, but some folks say they’re ready for it to come down.

“These are portrait cookies,” said Marc Serrao, the owner of the Oakmont Bakery. “We took a snapshot of the Hulton Bridge and our photo machine puts it on the icing.”

Serrao has been in business for 28 years. And for those 28 years, the Hulton Bridge has stood high above the Allegheny River just a few blocks away from Oakmont Bakery.

But after 107-years, the historic span will be imploded.

“I’ll probably watch on my phone. I’m hoping we will be too busy here for me to leave,” Serrao said.

“From a distance, I think it would be interesting to watch,” Joy Werl, of Penn Hills, said.

While Werl plans to watch the implosion on live television, Larry Koff is rearranging his schedule so he can watch the old structure fall into the water.

“I’m changing my meetings around so I can go see the bridge and get my meetings done at the same time,” Larry Koff, of Dallas, Texas, said.

Students at nearby Riverview High School will be moved to the elementary school during detonation. The school’s windows have been boarded up as a precaution.

The rest of Oakmont, however, is planning to carry on as usual through the demolition.

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“We’re going to try to make minimal disruptions to traffic. At the time of the actual implosion, we will close and there will be a perimeter,” said Chief David DiSanti of the Oakmont Police.

Officials say 3rd Street is scheduled to close first at 7 a.m., followed by the new Hulton Bridge along with parts of Hulton Road and Freeport Road at around 9:30 a.m., and finally both directions of Route 28 will close around 9:45 a.m.

There’s also a single-lane closure on the northbound side between RIDC Drive and Harmar that begins at 9 a.m.

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As for where you can find the best viewing area, Riverview Park is out of the mix because it is in the safety zone.

PennDOT will be keeping people 1,000 feet away from the blast.

A blast some deem necessary.

“It was a little shaky. I mean it’s starting to rust. It’s time to go. Time for a new one,” Paul Roth, of Allison Park, said.

“I’m very excited about the new bridge. It’s already shown that it makes traffic smoother and is really a great superstructure,” Serrao said.

The new Hulton Bridge has been open to traffic since October. It’s a four-lane structure that has helped traffic move more smoothly, especially during rush hour.

Crews have roughly 72-hours to clean up the debris from the water. Cranes will be set up on barges, and will pull the debris out.

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KDKA will be live-streaming the implosion on our website.