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Freeport Road bridge taking shape; expected to reopen Sept. 4

Tawnya Panizzi
| Saturday, July 28, 2018, 10:51 a.m.
Reconstruction of the Freeport Road bridge between Aspinwall and Sharpsburg has been ongoing since May 7. It is expected to reopen on Sept. 4.
Reconstruction of the Freeport Road bridge between Aspinwall and Sharpsburg has been ongoing since May 7. It is expected to reopen on Sept. 4.

Jeff Zukerman is counting down the days until September.

The owner of Ryan’s Auto Glass, at 23 rd Street in Sharpsburg, said the anticipated Sept. 4 opening of the Freeport Road bridge can’t come soon enough.

The span which connects Aspinwall and Sharpsburg was closed May 7 for reconstruction, setting in place a 2.6-mile detour and creating major inconvenience for the thousands who travel the stretch each day.

“We know that it’s necessary, it’s just the pains of going through it are evil,” Zukerman said.

The $5 million project is part of PennDOT’s $220 million improvement program targeting 65 bridges in Allegheny County.

Work includes paving, drainage, guiderails, curb repairs and new sidewalks.

The short span travels over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, just west of the Highland Park Bridge.

The project has translated to decreased productivity and higher labor costs for Zukerman.

Despite reminders by his staff, customers drive by habit along Freeport Road to reach his shop and are forced to turn around.

“Our customers are always 20 minutes late now,” he said.

“Our mobile guys are in and out all day and the detour adds 20 minutes to each trip.”

Zukerman and others, including Mayor Matt Rudzki, are happily watching construction now that the bridge is taking shape and the four-month closure is coming closer to an end.

Rudzki has been updating residents of the work every few weeks on social media.

“The decking is down and they’re ready for rebar,” he said. “The forms for the walls of the bridge are also taking shape.

“We’ll be beginning the one-month countdown soon.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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