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New Charleroi-Monessen bridge open for good on Saturday

| Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 1:51 a.m.
Crews work on the Tener Bride Monday, June 24, 2013. When the span opens Saturday, it work will continue on the bridge, but it will remain open, PennDOT said.

On Saturday, the John K. Memorial Tener Bridge will be unveiled, and traffic will cross over the Monongahela River between Monessen and North Charleroi.

And that traffic flow will not be short-lived despite a prominent rumor to the contrary, a PennDOT official said.

The former Charleroi-Monessen Bridge was closed Feb. 19, 2009, after an inspection revealed deterioration.

PennDOT decided to replace the bridge rather than repair it, and the aged span was imploded July 11, 2011.

The new bridge is named for Tener. As president of the Mercantile Bridge Co., Tener was instrumental in the development of the old span, which opened in 1906.

Construction on the $26.1 million Tener bridge project began in late 2010.

Construction was delayed by utility issues and high water one winter, PennDOT acknowledged.

Len Kubitza, PennDOT's assistant construction manager for the project, said that when the bridge opens Saturday, most of the top of the bridge in the travel lanes will be completed.

“What will be left will be painting of big girders,” Kubina said. “And some of that can be accessed from underneath with man lifts.”

Kubitza said some intermittent single-lane closures will occur as crews complete preparation work for painting.

“But we're not closing bridge in its entirety,” Kubitza said. “The only closures will be single lane with flag people with alternating traffic.”

Fencing on the Monessen side of the span was painted black and white. On the North Charleroi side, fencing is red and white.

Monessen's colors are black and white. Charleroi Area's colors are black and red.

What color will the rest of the bridge be painted? Blue, Kubitza confirmed.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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