PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s been more than 20 years since the Andy Warhol Bridge has seen a fresh coat of paint. That’s all going to change because the bridge is about to undergo a major facelift.
The only problem is the work is going to last until 2017.
At 9 a.m., the bridge closed to traffic for some long-term and costly rehabilitation.
The bridge was built back in 1925 and while it has seen its share of maintenance, it’s getting a major overhaul worth about $25 million.
“We’ll be replacing the deck, doing superstructure repairs, working on piers and also adding decorative lighting,” Public Works Director Stephen Shanley said.
The Warhol Bridge is one of three bridges connecting to the North Shore from downtown. About 6,000 cars use the bridge every day.
Most people are taking the closing in stride.
“I’ll just take the other bridge, that’s all. There’s three of them,” Michael Walker said.
All three bridges were built before 1930. The Warhol Bridge is first on the list for rehabilitation, but the Rachel Carson (Ninth Street) is next. When that work is done, about 18 months of repairs will begin on the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
Rehab work on all three should last until 2021.
“Each of these [bridge rehabilitation] projects [will cost] $25 million, so they’re expensive and quite substantial,” Shanley tells the “KDKA Morning News.”
While the Warhol Bridge is closed, walkers, bicyclists and drivers are advised to use the Rachel Carson Bridge, or take the Roberto Clemente Bridge when it’s not closed for Pittsburgh Pirates games.
Shanley says they will be keeping an eye on how traffic flows during game days at PNC Park and adds they have had conversations with the Pirates to discuss the possibility of keeping the Clemente Bridge open to traffic during home games.
“We will be working closely with the Pirates…to make sure we accommodate them and the traffic so we’ll be monitoring it as we go through construction on all of these structures,” says Shanley.