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Hulton Bridge set for Jan. 26 implosion

Mary Ann Thomas
| Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, 11:05 p.m.
The steel frame of the Hulton Bridge as seen from the shoreline.
Jason Bridge | Tribune-Review
The steel frame of the Hulton Bridge as seen from the shoreline.

PennDOT is planning to blow up the Hulton Bridge, which spans the Allegheny River between Oakmont and Harmar, on Jan. 26.

The demolition of the 107-year-old lavender truss bridge coincides with the near-completion of a $66 million Hulton Bridge, erected next to the old span.

PennDOT will secure a 1,000-foot safety radius around the implosion site, which will shut down traffic on Route 28 for 15 minutes and other nearby roads, according to Karlene Durso, project engineer for Brayman Construction Corp. of Clinton Township, the bridge project's main contractor.

Students from Riverview High School, next to the bridge on the Oakmont side, will be transferred to another district building during the blast.

The company plans a series of explosions at strategic places on the bridge, which will shear off the span's steel superstructure just above the piers. It's designed so the collapsing bridge falls into the Allegheny.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard are working with Brayman to close river traffic at the site for up to three days, according to Brayman officials.

More details will be released as they become available, according to PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan. The Army Corps did not return a call for comment.

The new bridge's arched deck is set higher above the Allegheny than the original span and doubles the number of traffic lanes.

One of those new lanes will remain closed until spring as workers complete connections on the Oakmont side.

As a result, motorists are still experiencing traffic congestion.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at mthomas@tribweb.com.

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