Media & Public Relations

Contact: Tom Fox
Phone: 724.755.5260
Mobile: 412.841.5184
July 28, 2010
Second Blast to Remove Remainder of
Old Turnpike Allegheny River Bridge

PITTSBURGH, PA (07/28/2010)(readMedia)-- On July 30th at 10 am the remaining portions of the old Turnpike Allegheny River Bridge (ARB) will be demolished. A 268 ft. span located on the western side of the bridge will fall into the non-navigational, back channel of the Allegheny River and a 213 ft. long span on the eastern side of the bridge over the Allegheny Valley Railroad will fall on land. In addition, abutments on each end of the bridge and the eight piers in between are in the process of being dismantled. Debris from the first blast that fell into the river has been removed.

Safety procedures that were implemented for the first blast will again be in effect on July 30th. They include the evacuation of 14 residencies, establishment of a 1500 ft. safety zone that will include the closure of Freeport Road and Denny Estates, and intermittent traffic stoppages on the Turnpike Mainline at milepost 46.5 eastbound, and milepost 49.5 westbound for approximately 20 minutes. Allegheny River access will also be temporally restricted for 1500 ft. in each direction of mile 14.2 near Harmarville, PA downstream of Lock #3 before and after the blast.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) again reminds area residents and the general public that there are no safe viewing areas around the ARB due to surrounding structures and private property restrictions. Police and safety officers will closely monitor the perimeter to ensure safety regulations are enforced.

The J.B. Fay Company of West Deer, PA is the demolition contractor and Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) out of Phoenix, MD is the explosive contractor for both of the blasts that removed the total ARB structure at a cost of $3.2 million.

The old bridge is being replaced by a $188.9 million, twin structure, 2,350 ft. long, 120 ft. high structure that will accommodate three lanes of traffic and a 12 ft. 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 bridge, and all of its component construction projects, is scheduled for completion this November. The Walsh Construction Company of Chicago, IL, with local offices in Canonburg, is the general contractor and McTish, Kunkel and Associates is the construction manager for this project.

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