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No major problems with bridge closure in Carnegie

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The long-anticipated closure of the Third Street Bridge between Carnegie and Scott has not created the issues borough officials worried it would.

The closure began July 2 and will run through December. About 8,300 motorists use the bridge each day, according to project manager Jeanna Fisher in the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, which is handling the project. The bridge connects Third Street in Carnegie across the Chartiers Creek to Carothers Avenue in Scott.

“I don't think there have been any major issues,” Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek said. “Washington Avenue has seen an increase in traffic, and I think that will continue through the detour.”

Kobistek and borough council members had expressed worries about the effect the increased traffic would have on the streets and normal traffic patterns.

Fisher said projects are run past community and PennDOT officials to make sure the detour routes can handle the increased traffic.

“If there was a structure we hadn't taken into consideration that could not handle the traffic, we would take that into consideration,” she said. “But this was the best detour route for this project.”

The detour takes drivers along Route 50 and Main Street through the borough's business district.

Borough manager Stephen Beuter said he hasn't heard any complaints about traffic.

“People have been well aware this was coming up over the past few months,” he said. “If anything, it just looks quiet in the Third Street area.”

It's a quiet that Phil Salvato, owner of the Third Street Gallery at 220 Third St., said he doesn't mind.

“I like the fact that we don't have all that traffic now,” he said. “It's less crowded and less hectic.”

He isn't worried that the bridge closure will hurt business at the gallery; if people want to come to the gallery or its events, they'll find a way, he said.

“I don't think it will affect us too much,” he said. “We're more or less a destination area; people will just have to go around.”

The closure is part of a $1.5 million bridge-rehabilitation project that includes repaving the road and bridge deck, steel repairs, painting, new lighting and new sidewalks. The project is being completed by New Kensington's Swank Construction.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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