Media & Public Relations

Contact: Tom Fox
Phone: (724) 755-5260
July 1, 2010
Old Turnpike Bridge over Allegheny River to be Demolished July 13

Some neighboring residents will be evacuated in anticipation of the 10 a.m. blast
PITTSBURGH, PA (07/01/2010)(readMedia)-- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) will demolish the remaining steel portions of the original Allegheny River Bridge with two separate blasts. The first will occur July 13 at 10 a.m.; the second will occur near the end of July. The Joseph B. Fay Co. of West Deer, Pa. will remove the old bridge that was designed by Modjeski and Masters and built by the American Bridge Co. in 1950.

A safe zone of at least 1,000 feet will be established to protect the public, residents and workers near the blast. The 14 households located within the 1,000-foot clear zone have been notified and advised to evacuate their properties for approximately an hour on the blast days.

In addition, intermittent traffic stoppages should be expected on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at milepost 46.5 eastbound, and milepost 49.5 westbound just prior to the scheduled 10 a.m. blast on July 13. Allegheny River access will also be restricted for 1,500 feet in each direction of mile 14.2 near Harmarville, Pa., downstream of Lock #3, before the blast and for 24 hours after the July 13 demolition.

The old bridge is being replaced by twin structures, 2,350 feet long and 120 feet high, that will accommodate three lanes of traffic and a 12-foot shoulder in each direction when complete. The eastbound structure, which opened in October of 2009, is currently carrying both east and westbound Turnpike traffic. The westbound structure, and all of its component construction projects, is scheduled for completion this November.

The new Allegheny River Bridge was designed by Figg Bridge Engineers of Easton, Pa. The Walsh Construction Co., Chicago, Ill., with local offices in Canonsburg, Pa., was awarded a general construction contract totaling $188.9 million and received a formal notice to proceed on May 1, 2007. McTish, Kunkel & Associates is the construction manager for this project.

Permits required to demolish the structure have been issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The concrete piers from the original Allegheny River Bridge will remain in place for now, pending a decision by Allegheny County and permitting agencies.

The Allegheny River Bridge project is part of the $566 million mainline improvements the PTC is making between the Ohio line and New Stanton.