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Eminent domain action approved to advance W. Mifflin bridge work

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 3:21 a.m.
 

Another step is being taken to bring about the $8 million to $10 million rehabilitation of the 60-year-old Homeville Road bridge in West Mifflin.

At Tuesday's meeting of Allegheny County Council, an ordinance acquiring nearly a quarter of an acre by condemnation was presented by county Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

It would acquire by eminent domain 0.195 acres of required right-of-way area, 0.098 acres of required aerial easement and 0.035 acres of required drainage easement from properties belonging to the Levine and Hirshberg families.

That acquisition would be among the final steps before a bridge known as Thompson Run Bridge No. 5 and the Homeville Viaduct is shut down, possibly for a year, for its first overhaul in 30 years.

The bridge carries Homeville Road over Thompson Run, Grant Avenue Extension and tracks of Union Railroad Co. It connects The Village Shopping Center with West Mifflin Area High School.

According to an aerial map on the Allegheny County real estate website, it is a wooded area that extends both northeast and southwest away from the existing bridge.

The proposed ordinance was referred by council president John DeFazio, D-At Large, to the public works committee chaired by Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin.

In 2011 county Public Works construction manager Mike Dillon said water leakage and rust caused damage at seven expansion joints where spans that comprise the bridge connect.

In addition, concrete barriers that separate the bridge's vehicular areas and sidewalks are deteriorating.

Bridge plans as detailed in 2011 included the widening of traffic lanes from 26 feet to 29 feet, resurfacing of the deck, replacement of sidewalks and railing and installation of new lighting.

In 2011 Dillon said Allegheny County would fund 5 percent of the project, PennDOT 15 percent and the rest would be covered by federal highway funds.

The bridge has its share of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic, borough officials said at Tuesday's West Mifflin council meeting.

“There is a lot of foot traffic,” borough public works director James Hess said.

In September council approved the use of 503 square feet of land as a temporary construction viaduct for the project.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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