TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

$80M Hulton Bridge between Harmar and Oakmont PennDOT's biggest project in district in decade

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
A steady stream of traffic going both ways cross the Hulton Bridge on the Oakmont side of the span on Friday, March 1, 2013.

Daily Photo Galleries

AlleKiski Valley Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Tom Fontaine and Jodi Weigand
Saturday, March 2, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
 

A much-anticipated project to replace the Hulton Bridge is slated to get under way in August, according to a PennDOT 2013 construction schedule for projects in Allegheny County that was released Friday.

The replacement bridge, costing as much as $80 million, is the single biggest project in PennDOT's District 11 in about a decade, said District Executive Dan Cessna.

The 104-year-old, two-lane bridge spans about 1,500 feet across the Allegheny River, connecting Hulton Road in Oakmont and Freeport Road in Harmar.

It's one of the worst-rated bridges in Western Pennsylvania, with a sufficiency rating of 3 out of 100, but carries about 20,000 vehicles a day, PennDOT records show.

The new bridge will have four traffic lanes and a pedestrian walkway.

“It will provide considerable congestion relief,” Cessna said.

Unlike the existing bridge, there will be no overhead trusses on the new bridge.

Traffic will continue to use the current bridge while the new span is built.

About 80 percent of the funding for the project is from the federal government.

“It would have been disastrous had we not gotten this bridge,” said Oakmont Mayor Robert Fescemyer. “It's going to be nothing but beneficial. If we had to close the (aging) bridge, we would starve over here.”

Fescemyer said he stressed to PennDOT officials the importance of keeping the span open during construction.

“When they rehabbed that bridge 10 years ago, they closed it down for seven months,” the mayor said. “We lost four businesses in the borough of Oakmont during that time.”

He said he was told the bridge would close for only about two weeks while the new bridge is connected to Freeport Road on the Harmar side.

Other Valley projects

Other local projects included on PennDOT's 2013 construction schedule include:

• Work will continue in 2013 to complete the widening of Route 28 between the 40th Street Bridge and East Ohio Street.

• The $36.4 million project is slated to be completed in fall 2014.

• Continued work on a $2 million project to restore Saxonburg Boulevard in West Deer following a landslide.

• Replacement of the Plum Avenue Bridge over Plum Creek in Verona and Oakmont. The project is estimated to cost about $1.2 million.

• A $3 million to $4 million “group roadway project” in Aspinwall, O'Hara, Verona and Oakmont that includes paving and shoulder and drainage improvements on Washington Boulevard from Negley Run to One Wild Place; Freeport Road from Western Avenue to Old Freeport Road; and Allegheny River Boulevard from James Street to Allegheny Avenue.

• A $1.3 million project to replace a bridge that carries Saxonburg Boulevard over Little Pine Creek in Indiana Township.

Pittsburgh, the region

• Other projects in Allegheny County include continued work in the Squirrel Hill and Liberty tunnels, replacement of the West Carson Street Viaduct and improvements along Route 19 in the North Hills.

All of the projects have price tags of more than $20 million.

• The $49.5 million Squirrel Hill Tunnel project will require up to nine weekend closures and lengthy detours, most of them affecting outbound motorists.

“It will be the most impactful local project,” Cessna said.

Crews are increasing the clearance inside the tunnel by more than a foot, to 14 feet, 9 inches.

• A project to improve the Liberty Tunnel will enter its fourth phase and cost up to $30 million.

Cessna said crews will put a smooth, white surface on the interior walls, restoring the tunnel's original look.

Two 18-day-long tunnel closures — one in each direction — will occur, starting in August. A fifth phase of work will be done next year.

• The West Carson Street Viaduct project, expected to cost up to $45 million, will result in “significant” detours for northbound traffic and affect outbound traffic on the Port Authority's West Busway, Cessna said.

Tom Fontaine and Jodi Weigand are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read AlleKiski Valley

  1. Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
  2. Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history
  3. New Kensington-Arnold committee discusses ways to combat bullying
  4. ATI reveals details of contract offer to steelworkers union
  5. Northbound Rt. 28 ramp to 31st Street Bridge closed tonight
  6. USW rallies in support of ATI, other steel companies’ employees
  7. Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
  8. Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft
  9. South Butler superintendent heads home for Mohawk job
  10. Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana in New Kensington
  11. Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley offers free services at clinic