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(Tube City Almanac file photo)
A partial closure of the Jerome Street Bridge begins Wednesday (March 31) and will continue through November.
Steve Cowan, district spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the westbound lanes (from Downtown toward Glassport) will close at 7 a.m. to allow the reconstruction of the bridge to proceed.
A single lane of traffic will be maintained eastbound, from 10th Ward to Downtown, Cowan said.
Additionally, barrier installation and line striping work will occur on Thursday, he said.
The Jerome Street Bridge connects West Fifth Avenue and Lysle Boulevard. Before COVID-19, the bridge carried more than 11,000 vehicles per day. The bridge serves as the main entry to Downtown McKeesport from the west and crosses the Youghiogheny River, the CSX Railroad and River Road, as well as the McKees Point Marina and the Great Allegheny Passage hiking-biking trail.
Built in 1937 by the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, the bridge is rated as "structurally deficient" by PennDOT.
The posted detour for cars includes Walnut Street to the 15th Avenue Bridge, the 15th Avenue Bridge to River Road, River Road to Rebecca Street, and Rebecca Street to Ramp No. 1 in 10th Ward.
The truck detour requires drivers to use the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge, Route 837, Route 885, Lebanon Church Road, Richland Avenue (Dravosburg Hill), and the Mansfield Bridge.
The rehabilitation work of the Jerome Avenue Bridge began in the summer of 2020. The $15.44 million rehabilitation project will continue through winter 2022 and includes a new concrete deck and sidewalk, barrier repairs, full painting, structural steel repairs, concrete substructure repairs, bearing replacement, and new expansion dams, Cowan said.
The Joseph B. Fay Co. of Tarentum is the prime contractor.
Originally published March 30, 2021.