Elizabeth Bridge to receive $17.1M rehabilitation
The $17.1 million rehabilitation of the Elizabeth Bridge is the largest Mon-Yough project in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission's 2015-18 Transportation Improvement Plan.
“This is a good project and we're glad to see it included in the TIP,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said once the commission approved the $4.7 billion plan on Monday. “We look forward to seeing the start of the work.”
According to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission the bulk of the work on the bridge is planned for 2017 and 2018.
The plan proposes $700,000 for design work next year and $200,000 apiece for utility and right-of-way activity in 2016.
“I think it is encouraging that they are moving to make the bridge safer,” Elizabeth Mayor V. Ann Malady said. “It is the second most heavily traveled bridge in Allegheny County. It is a good thing to have that done.”
The span between West Elizabeth and Elizabeth over the Monongahela River is known officially as the Regis R. Malady Bridge, named for the late state lawmaker and Mayor Malady's father.
“We were thrilled to read of that recommendation,” Elizabeth council president Monica Douglas-Glowinski said. “We are fully supportive of that.”
Douglas-Glowinski said it made sense to prioritize the Elizabeth Bridge since PennDOT had given it “a failing grade” and listed it among 1,000 bridges it needed to post last year.
It was posted by PennDOT in December with a 32-ton limit for single vehicles and 40 for combinations.
By order of the state Public Utility Commission, Elizabeth police, who patrol Elizabeth and West Elizabeth, are responsible for enforcing the weight limits on the span.
“We have a great police department and people are very helpful,” Malady said. “We're holding hands and moving together.”
PennDOT District 11 officials were not available for comment. Douglas-Glowinski has heard little from PennDOT recently, saying it's been “few and far between as far as the active communications with PennDOT.”
The Elizabeth Bridge was not on the list of projects to be covered this year under Act 89, the new state transportation funding bill.
“The Elizabeth Bridge is still under design at this point,” PennDOT District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan said in April when those projects were touted.
“The Elizabeth Bridge is a pretty complex bridge to design,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch told the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce in May.
The posting forced a detour via West Elizabeth, Jefferson Hills, Clairton, Glassport, Lincoln, Elizabeth Township and Elizabeth.
“There have been some hiccups along the way,” Douglas-Glowinski said. “The police have needed traffic details to move trucks through town.”
Truckers still occasionally take wrong turns.
“We still have issues,” Malady said. “Truckers have (global positioning systems) that are not as accurate as one would hope they would be.”
Frequent traffic backups have occurred for other reasons, ranging from a vehicle fire on the bridge on June 20 to the rescue of a 14-year-old boy who climbed up the side of the bridge on the West Elizabeth shore on July 18.
“Hopefully we don't see anything like that again,” Douglas-Glowinski said. “It had traffic tied up all over the area.”
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Special events planned as part of Kennywood’s 2015 season
- Allegheny County reiterates support for Pangburn Hollow overhaul
- Elizabeth Forward honors 6 for state Special Olympics medals
- No apology coming for Steel Valley teachers
- Old New England Elementary School sale approved by West Mifflin Area board
- Some ONE Homestead housing units almost ready for occupancy
- $3,000 taken from Duquesne VFW in possible inside job
- McKeesport firefighter injured battling blaze
- Greenock kids learn 3 R’s of Earth Day
- Political signs line Mon-Yough streets at election time
- Steel Valley board OKs no-tax-hike spend plan