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Bridge project to close Route 56 in New Kensington overnight on Wednesday, Thursday

| Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 1:31 a.m.

One of the Alle-Kiski Valley's most heavily traveled sections of road will be closed for two nights this week.

PennDOT announced on Monday that the Route 56 Bypass in New Kensington will be closed overnight on Wednesday and Thursday.

The closure, which will start each night at 8 and end the following morning at 6, will allow crews to install beams on the bridge that carries Route 366 over Route 56, according to PennDOT spokesman Jay Ofsanik.

“We don't want morning and evening traffic to be affected, so that's why we're doing the work then,” Ofsanik said.

The beam replacement is part of a $2.8 million project that will result in a wider, higher and better-supported bridge at the cloverleaf.

Ofsanik said that in addition to the closing of Route 56, the ramps of the Route 366 bridge will be closed for four 15-minute periods during the overnight hours.

Ofsanik said crews won't know when they will need to close those sections of roads until right before they need to stop traffic.

PennDOT's official detour would take motorists about 25 miles around the construction by using Route 56 eastbound to Route 356, to Route 66, to Route 380, to Route 780, to Route 366.

But residents are more likely to use local roads such as Craigdell and Leechburg roads in New Kensington and Lower Burrell.

About 15,000 motorists drive Route 366 at the cloverleaf each day. That figure does not include cars that pass through the intersection on Route 56.

R.A. Monti is a freelance reporter for Trib Total Media.

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