PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A total rehabilitation of Pittsburgh’s iconic bridges spanning from Downtown to the North Shore is about to begin.
They are the iconic view of the Allegheny River. The sister bridges, or triplets, were built almost a hundred years ago, and now they are showing their age.
“We keep up with any repairs, so they are safe structures, but it is time to rehab them,” says Allegheny County Public Works Director Stephen Shanley.
When Shanley says rehab, he means the whole works – concrete deck, the steel, piers and lighting.
First up is the Warhol, or Seventh Street Bridge. It will shut down in a few weeks, creating an issue on Pittsburgh Pirates game nights at PNC Park with the Clemente Bridge already closed.
“We’ll monitor that as we go and we’re going to make improvements along the way,” says Shanley.
It’s also a major change for the Port Authority.
“We have about 350 buses a day using the Warhol Bridge, and they’ll have to be detoured during the work,” says Jim Ritchie, the spokesman for the Port Authority.
They’ll probably detour to the Ninth Street Bridge.
But when the work is done, gone will be those nail-biting 10 foot lanes.
“The configuration will be three lanes at this time for the Seventh Street Bridge,” Shanley says.
The center lane being a turn lane on each end of the bridge and a neutral zone in the middle; and as for the look, Pittsburghers voted for no change.
“We’re going with the Aztec gold. They’re will be a fresh-coat of paint, a new deck, the piers will be cleaned up and pointed, and new decorative lighting,” Shanley said.
As for the schedule, construction will probably begin on the Warhol Bridge on Aug. 23. It will go through the rest of this year and next year and wrap up through Light Up Night next year.
Then, the attention will turn to the Rachel Carson Bridge. That will also take almost two years of construction. Finally, they’ll do the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
The entire process will wrap up by 2021.