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Tarentum Bridge to be repaved over next 2 weekends

Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
The George D. Stuart Bridge (commonly known as Tarentum Bridge) photographed on Monday, August 5, 2013.

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Suggested detour

The eastbound lanes of the Tarentum bridge will close 10 p.m. Friday and reopen 6 a.m. Monday. Here's a look at PennDOT's recommended detour:

• From Route 366, follow Freeport Road/West Seventh Avenue south to the New Kensington Bridge

• Turn left onto the New Kensington Bridge

• Turn right onto Industrial Boulevard

• Turn left onto Seventh Street

• Turn left onto Route 366

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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 R.A. Monti
Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, 1:11 a.m.
 

The New Kensington-bound lanes of the Tarentum Bridge will be closed around-the-clock this weekend, according to PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan.

Cowan said the bridge, as well as the East First Avenue ramp, will close for paving at 10 p.m. Friday and reopen at 6 a.m. Monday.

The closure will begin the final phase of PennDOT's $7.7 million project to revamp about two miles of Route 366 between Fawn and New Kensington. About 21,000 motorists use the bridge each day, according to PennDOT.

Cowan said the Tarentum-bound lanes will likely close the following weekend, Aug. 16-19.

“It hasn't been confirmed yet, but it looks like the lanes will be closed the same times during the weekend,” he said.

Cowan said Imperial-based Golden Triangle Construction has been contracted to complete the paving. The project, started last June, included the construction of a new roadway between the Tarentum Bridge and Fawn and the addition of new turning lanes at the East 10th Avenue intersection to alleviate traffic congestion.

The majority of the Route 366 project has been complete for almost a year, but the final step couldn't be taken until the end of mating season for two peregrine falcons that lived under the bridge.

The endangered falcons successfully nested under the bridge last year for the first time. The birth of two chicks were the first confirmed peregrine falcon births in the Alle-Kiski Valley in recent history.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Endangered Species Act and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act protect the birds, nesting or otherwise.

The falcons are not known to be nesting at this time, so the Game Commission gave PennDOT the OK to start the project in April. But, due to scheduling conflicts, this is the earliest the paving could start, Cowan said.

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