Bridge between Monessen, North Charleroi reopens after 4-year rehab
After a $26.1 million overhaul, the bridge spanning the Monongahela River between Monessen and North Charleroi opened to traffic on Saturday for the first time in nearly 4 1⁄2 years.
“It's beautiful,” said Irene Lesko, 86, of Jacobs Creek, who grew up in a North Charleroi neighborhood under the bridge. She said she was unsure she would live to see the day when the bridge reopened.
“I never thought that they would make it this beautiful.”
The bridge, once called the Charleroi-Monessen Bridge, is the John K. Tener Memorial Bridge, named for the former Charleroi businessman who served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1911 to 1915.
About a dozen descendants of Tener attended the dedication ceremony.
“What he did as governor was to build bridges among people in the communities,” said John E. Tener of Boston, a great-great-nephew who is his namesake.
“It is only fitting that you build a bridge and name it for him because he was a bridge builder metaphorically.”
Built in 1907, the bridge was rehabilitated shortly after World War II and again in 1986. It closed on Feb. 19, 2009, when an inspection revealed deterioration in the first 200-foot span closest to Monessen.
Hundreds crowded onto the bridge for the dedication. Monessen officials, lead by Mayor Mary Jo Smith, crossed it from the Monessen side. North Charleroi leaders, including Mayor Lee Hall, crossed from their side. They met in the middle for the ceremony.
Retired state Sen. J. Stout said the bridge unites the communities across the “life-giving Monongahela River.”
As part of the celebration, Robecca Novotne of Monessen and Michael Castner of North Charleroi got married on the bridge.
“As this bridge unites two communities, this (wedding) ceremony joins two lives together.” Hall noted.
Before the ceremony at the veterans memorial near the North Charleroi side of the span, officials unveiled a historic marker that honors North Charleroi and the plaque from the original bridge, now embedded in stone from a pillar of the former span.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
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.
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- Penguins GM Rutherford not counting on Dupuis’ return
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Zoning update raises fears in Ligonier Township
- Pittsburgh’s Downtown tops ranking of small to midsized cities
- Shenefelt of North Huntingdon accused of road rage altercation in Westmoreland
- Rangers up ante in Metropolitan Division with trade acquisitions
- Reputed major heroin trafficker in Westmoreland County pleads guilty, gets prison sentence
- ‘Let It Snow’s’ big-name cast filming all over Western Pennsylvania