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Weather delays cleaning project

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 1:36 a.m.

The weather has delayed but hasn't halted a washing project on McKeesport's Jerome Bridge.

“Every bridge in (PennDOT) District 11 and in Allegheny County has to be washed every five years,” said Dave Donati, Facchiano Contracting's general superintendent for the project that began on Wednesday. “We actually cleaned this bridge about two years ago.”

Old salt and dirt is removed in the cleaning process.

“We're cleaning the bridge to maintain its integrity for awhile,” Donati said. “All the structural steel is cleaned under the bridge and below the deck and above it.”

The work was halted on Thursday after rain rolled into the Mon-Yough area.

Once weather again allows it, single-lane closures are scheduled on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. until the work is completed.

“Additionally, single-lane closures will occur on (Joe Bendel Way/Water Street) beneath the bridge as needed,” District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan said. “Motorists are advised to use caution and expect stop conditions when traveling through the area.”

Facchiano has six crewmen involved, one of whom watches the process from a boat in the Youghiogheny River — including the limitations that face the other crewmen.

“We can't go over the railroad lines,” Donati said. “We can't go over the electric lines.”

The Jerome Bridge crosses over the Marina at McKees Point, as does another span that takes CSX rail lines across the Yough from the downtown area into the Tenth Ward.

When work takes place on any state-maintained bridge, information is available online at 511pa.com.

In addition, Cowan said, motorists can call 511 to check traffic conditions on major roadways before traveling.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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