Traffic will flow during NK bridge replacement
By Tom Yerace
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Another major Alle-Kiski Valley bridge, this one in New Kensington, will be replaced starting in April.
Construction on the Route 366-Route 56 cloverleaf bridge near Memorial Park should not be the traffic disaster motorists might envision, however.
That's what PennDOT officials indicated when they held a public presentation of the plans at New Kensington City Hall on Tuesday.
For the majority of the project, which will end next November, PennDOT officials said two-way traffic will be maintained on the Route 56 bypass under the bridge and at all times on the bridge, which carries Route 366 over the bypass. The structure is a key link for traffic between Westmoreland and Allegheny counties along Route 366 and from the New Kensington area to the Kiski Valley along Route 56.
“We can shift all the traffic to one side and then do the other side. Those shoulders are pretty wide so we'll be able to keep two 10-foot-6-inch wide lanes and a divider,” said Thomas J. Dougan, a design consultant for the project from Buchart Horn Inc.
“We are going to maintain traffic on Route 56 throughout the project except for 16 evenings from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” said Bill Beaumariage, PennDOT construction engineer for District 12 in Uniontown.
He said those times primarily will be when the contractor does work such as removing the present bridge piers and installing temporary supports. Beaumariage said severe financial penalties are built into the contract if that limitation is exceeded.
Also, electronic message boards will be set in place to remind motorists of when Route 56 will be closed two weeks in advance, he said.
The speed limit through the construction zone will be 40 mph, according to Beaumariage. The posted detour will move traffic from Route 56 to Route 780, then to Route 380. From there, it will go to Route 66 and then Route 356.
About the new bridge
Noreen Karolski, also of Buchart Horn Inc., and Dougan said the bridge structure will go from the current three spans to a single span. The bridge pillars will be removed and the abutments will be moved farther out under the bridge for better support.
They said the new bridge will be wider and higher than the existing one. The current bridge is 44 feet wide with one 14-foot-wide lane and one 16-foot-wide lane with shoulders that are just under six feet wide. The new bridge will be 55 feet wide with two 15-foot-wide lanes a 21⁄2-foot-wide median and one shoulder that is just under 6 feet while the one on the side closest to Valley High School will be just under 14 feet wide, Dougan said.
“That's a by-product of building it that way. You have to go wider,” Beaumariage said.
The bridge will be two feet higher to comply with newer vertical standards, he said. The current bridge is 141⁄2 high.
“Several of the beams underneath have actually been hit,” Beaumariage said.
He said the bridge is being built completely with state money at an estimated cost of between $2 million and $5 million.
About a half-dozen city officials and a representative from State Rep. Eli Evankovich's office were at the meeting, but no residents showed up.
Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba said, with the varied locations of the city's fire stations, emergency response should not be affected, even on the nights Route 56 is shut down.
“We'll be able to handle everything,” he said. “It might take a few extra seconds, but it won't be a massive delay.”
Mayor Tom Guzzo said the project is “a good thing.”
“They are giving everybody enough advance notice,” Guzzo said. “With shutting it down for just 16 nights, that's not going to inconvenience local traffic.”
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- A-K Valley students offer Franklin Regional ‘strong’ support
- Leechburg adds 2 part-time police officers
- Bronze flower vases stolen from Lower Burrell cemetery
- Burrell school board reviews security plan
- Agreement nears on Springdale police chief’s duties
- Experts: Cold weather requires A-K Valley residents to check gardens
- Cheswick fire truck to arrive in June
- Oakmont council OKs Speedway project
- Youngest of 3 Hays eaglets eating as parents have provided a lot of food
- Stork has arrived at Harmar eagle nest
- Arnold teen back home, but some A-K Valley missing-person cases decades old