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Tarentum Bridge upgrade on hold

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
A traffic sign, implying the Tarentum Bridge will be closed in the future, lays on its side on the New Kensington side of the span, as repaving the bridge has been delayed until spring. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch

Don't believe everything you read.

Especially if it's a sign indicating the Tarentum Bridge might soon be closed.

Plans to repave the bridge, the main artery linking Tarentum and News Kensington, are on hold until spring because of the cold temperatures, according to PennDOT.

The work is part of a $7.7 million project to improve about 1.6 miles of Route 366 from the New Kensington side of the Tarentum Bridge to Bull Creek Road, west of the Route 28 interchange in Fawn.

“Bridge Closed” signs were visible on the side of the Tarentum Bridge Road in New Kensington during the past several days.

But PennDOT and its contractor, Golden Triangle Construction Co. of Imperial, agreed on Tuesday not to proceed with the bridge paving, according to Jim Struzzi, PennDOT spokesman for District 11.

“Because of the early, cold temperatures and the type of asphalt we need to use for the bridge, we have to move the paving of the bridge to next spring when it's warmer,” Struzzi said.

“We had hoped to get it done this fall,” said Struzzi, adding that there's a chance that the paving of the bridge could happen if “we have unseasonably warm temperatures in the next month.”

For now, the plan is to hold off on repaving for the bridge. When PennDOT does begin the work, the bridge will be closed to traffic in one direction for two weekends, Struzzi said.

Paving for the remainder of the project is expected to be complete by late November or early December, he said.

The Route 366 overall project includes concrete reconstruction, drainage, concrete ramps and curbs, sidewalks, better guard rails and other work on nearly 2 miles of Route 366 from the New Kensington side of the bridge to the two-lane section of Bull Creek Road west of the Route 28 interchange in Fawn.

About 22,000 vehicles travel that section of Route 366 daily, while the Tarentum Bridge carries about 21,000 vehicles each day, according to PennDOT.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com.

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