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Work will begin in 2019 on a $13 million, year-long rehabilitation of the Jerome Street Bridge.
Yasmeen Manyisha, a spokeswoman for state Department of Transportation District 11, said rehabilitation of the 761-foot-long, four-lane bridge will be paid for with a combination of state and federal funding.
PennDOT and Federal Highway Administration officials offered an overview of rehabilitation plans for the bridge last week during a public hearing at the Palisades Ballroom.
The Jerome Street Bridge serves as the main entry to Downtown McKeesport from the west and connects West Fifth Avenue with Lysle Boulevard. It 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.
At this time, detour plans call for one lane of eastbound traffic into Downtown to be maintained throughout construction, Manyisha said, but westbound traffic --- toward 10th Ward --- will be detoured. One sidewalk on the bridge will remain open at all times, she said.
"The contractor will have shielding under the bridge during construction to protect the marina," Manyisha said. "The bike trail will remain open for the duration of the construction."
Built in 1937 by the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, the bridge is rated as "structurally deficient" by PennDOT, Manyisha said. According to PennDOT, a rating of "structurally deficient" does not mean that a bridge is unsafe, but that one or more of the major components are deteriorated.
There are no active weight or load limits on the Jerome Street Bridge, according to PennDOT data. The agency estimates that 11,240 vehicles use the bridge daily.
The bridge's last major overhaul was in 1988, Manyisha said. Work in 2019 will include replacement of the concrete bridge deck, barriers and sidewalks; repair and replacement of structural steel elements; concrete substructure repairs; and repainting the entire steel superstructure.
A contract for the repairs is expected to be awarded in 2018, Manyisha said. Work is expected to begin in Spring 2019 and to be completed in Fall 2019, she said.
(Both photos: Special to Tube City Almanac)
Originally published August 22, 2017.