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Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge closure expected to affect Route 65 traffic around Sewickley

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Round two of a closure of the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge that will last several months is nearing, and its impact will once again be felt in Sewickley, borough officials say.

Beginning March 4, PennDOT plans to close the Beaver County span through mid-November — after last year's closure for the $16.6 million multi-phase construction project.

Similar to the previous closure, PennDOT officials suggest drivers use the Sewickley Bridge, which connects Route 65 to Route 51.

Sewickley officials are preparing for a possible onslaught of traffic, but this time around, borough manager Kevin Flannery said, crews have a better idea of what to expect.

“We're prepared,” Flannery said. “We do anticipate additional traffic here, but we'll be able to handle it.”

Police officers from Moon and Sewickley will be positioned at each end of the bridge for one week to handle the potential for an increase in traffic, with PennDOT paying for those costs, Flannery said.

After the initial week, officers might not be present.

“At this time, we have no plans to spend additional money on police (for the bridge),” Flannery said.

More than 12,500 vehicles cross the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, according to PennDOT data.

As with any road closure, some drivers will find alternative routes, Flannery said.

“We don't expect all of those drivers to use the Sewickley Bridge,” he said. “People seem to find a different way that works for them.”

Flannery said borough crews were expected to place an electronic sign alerting drivers of the impending closure.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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