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W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge rehab project remains on schedule

| Saturday, July 19, 2014, 1:01 a.m.

The countdown is on toward completion later this year of the multi-year, $31 million W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge rehabilitation.

“All paving has been complete and line striping is scheduled for the middle of August,” said Amie Downs, spokeswoman for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. of Tarentum continues a process that's supposed to be done by Dec. 15.

“All in all, the bridge is looking spectacular, it is on budget and on schedule,” said county Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin, who heads the public works committee on council and whose district includes the bridge.

“Traffic patterns will remain the same until the end of August, when a new phase is implemented that will carry one lane of traffic on the upstream side and one lane of traffic on the downstream side,” Downs said.

The current pattern has all vehicles using the upstream side of the bridge, which faces Glassport and U.S. Steel's Irvin Plant.

“This will allow the contractor to continue removal of the underdeck shielding and assist in the installation of the new handrail,” Downs said.

The county spokeswoman said Fay has completed all concrete deck and sidewalk on the downstream side of the bridge, the side that faces downtown McKeesport.

“They are currently going through and sealing all concrete surfaces,” the county spokeswoman went on. “Painting of the bridge (by subcontractor Avalotis Corp.) is 100 percent complete aside from touch-up painting.”

Work on aluminum handrails for pedestrians is scheduled to begin next week, with installation of posts and panels scheduled through the end of August.

“The punch list has been addressed and crews are out there ... taking away part of the under-deck scaffolding,” state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Dravosburg, said after two recent tours of the bridge linking Dravosburg, Glassport and McKeesport's Tenth Ward.

The first on June 13 examined the bridge's surface structure and involved Kortz, Macey and county Public Works Director Steve Johnson. The second on July 7 took Kortz and Macey to the understructure, webbing and piers of the bridge.

“In both cases questions were answered and concerns were added to a punch list to be corrected,” Macey said.

“The contractor will continue handrail installation, removal of the underdeck shielding and completion of punch list work through the end of the year,” Downs said.

Public officials have kept their eye on the Mansfield Bridge for years. While he was county council president, Fitzgerald held a series of bridge summits focused on a group of county-maintained spans over the Monongahela River.

Those summits began along with plans more than 14 years ago for rehabilitation of the Glenwood Bridge linking Hays and Hazelwood.

That was followed beginning in 2005 with work on the Homestead Grays Bridge between the Waterfront and Greenfield and then the 2009-11 overhaul of the Rankin Bridge linking Whitaker and Rankin.

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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