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McArdle Roadway to close for 1 year

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Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011

Part of McArdle Roadway will close for a year starting Monday as crews replace a bridge along the gateway to the South Side for motorists coming from the Liberty Tunnel and Mt. Washington, officials said.

"We're thrilled the infrastructure is being repaired and attended to," said Rick Belloli, executive director of the South Side Local Development Co.

"But we're looking forward to a year when no major roads into the South Side are closed," he said, referring to restrictions imposed during recent projects on East Carson Street and the Hot Metal and Birmingham bridges.

Pittsburgh Public Works plans to spend $7 million replacing McArdle's Viaduct No. 1 in what will be the city's largest road or bridge project this year. Built in 1933, the 540-foot-long bridge stretches over Norfolk Southern Railway tracks near Windom Street. It is rated structurally deficient.

Patrick Hassett, Public Works' assistant director for transportation and engineering, said train traffic won't be affected. Crews will work around train schedules, halting construction activities as needed when trains pass through.

Motorists will be impacted. McArdle will be closed between Arlington Avenue and South Ninth Street -- although the stretch between Arlington and Windom will be open to local traffic. Motorists will be detoured around the closure via Arlington Avenue, East Carson Street and South Ninth Street.

The lower section of McArdle was closed for an extended period about seven years ago when crews replaced Viaduct No. 2, over a ravine near Arlington. The city spent about $300,000 to reinforce Viaduct No. 1 in 2007, "to shore it up and keep it open" until this year's project, Hassett said.

Detoured motorists will encounter a sharp turn at Arlington and East Carson.

"It's very unnatural and feels almost illegal," Belloli said of the right-hand turn for those headed toward the South Side. He advised motorists approaching a red light at the intersection to pay attention to the stop bar painted on the road and the no-turn-on-red sign.

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