TARENTUM (KDKA) — At midnight on Tuesday night, PennDOT shut down a bridge that tens of thousands of drivers use every day.
The Tarentum Bridge is closing for repairs.
“There’s too much stress for this early in the morning,” said Zakk Neusch, a resident from New Kensington.
“It’s a pain in the butt to get here in the mornings now,” said Brian Crabill from Hyde Park.
Neusch and Crabill travel over the Tarentum Bridge every day for work. But now they say their daily commutes have taken a turn for the worse.
“I have to go all the way around the bridge through the New Kensington Bridge,” said Neusch. “I picked up my one coworker who lives 5 minutes away from me at 7 this morning, and I didn’t make it across that New Kensington Bridge until 8:05.”
PennDOT recommends taking the New Kensington Bridge now that the $3.24 million project, which includes new concrete overlay and steel repairs, is underway.
Some drivers say day one of construction has been a disaster. Drivers are being detoured to the New Kensington Bridge.
“There are so many people,” said Neusch. “People are just being jerks about it, cutting everyone off, pulling in front of people.”
“We have to leave an extra half hour early, said Crabill. “So instead of getting up at 6, I’ll get up at 5:30 instead.”
Residents nearby are also concerned about the noise. But despite that and the detour, drivers say they would rather be safe than sorry.
“It’s going to make the bridge better,” said Neusch. “I’d rather drive across the bridge knowing that I’m not going to fall into the water, that I made it across safely.”
“As long as they do it right,” said Crabill. “It was pretty cracked. The bridge was cracked up and stuff. I’m glad they’re repairing it.”
Work on the eastbound part of the bridge will wrap up on June 13, followed by the westbound side on June 29.