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West Mifflin and Duquesne residents got an early holiday present from Allegheny County when the Homeville Bridge re-opened to traffic on Monday --- one day earlier than expected.
The 781-foot-long viaduct, built in the mid-1950s, closed in August 2015 for a $10 million reconstruction project that included replacement and widening of the concrete deck from 26 to 29 feet, a new five-foot wide sidewalk, replacement of the existing hand rail with an 8-foot-tall protective fence, new lighting, structural streel repairs and re-painting of the entire structure.
It was the first major rehabilitation of the bridge since 1981, county officials said.
The bridge is owned by Allegheny County and carries two lanes of traffic and pedestrians over Lower Bull Run, Thompson Run Creek, the Union Railroad and Grant Avenue Extension. About 10,000 vehicles per day used the bridge before the closure, including emergency vehicles, school buses and 400 commercial vehicles.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, state Sen. Jim Brewster, state Rep. Bill Kortz and Allegheny County Council Member Bob Macey held a ribbon-cutting for the bridge on Monday.
“This is an exciting day for the many residents and business that rely upon the Homeville Viaduct Bridge for access and travel," Fitzgerald said. "I know that many have been waiting for this day for quite some time and I thank all of our partners for their efforts to open a day earlier, and on budget, when all was said and done."
He called the project an example of what can be accomplished when "federal, state, county and local officials work cooperatively."
The project was done with the assistance of the Federal Highway Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, ms consultants, Michael Baker International and Mosites Construction Company.
“I’m so glad to see this project completed for residents," Kortz said. "Not only is it a relief for those who live and work here, but public safety officials are glad to see the bridge reopened."
County officials said the work extended the usable life of the Homeville bridge "for decades."
“This project is evidence of the impact that Act 89 funding has had in our county,” Macey said. “That investment, along with the $5 registration fee for local infrastructure, has allowed us to make a significant impact on our region’s transportation systems. The residents and businesses who use the Homeville Viaduct Bridge are grateful to see this project completed and are excited to use it now."
Originally published November 23, 2016.