PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tomorrow will bring another major step in the return of the Fern Hollow Bridge.
For thousands of East End drivers in Squirrel Hill, Point Breeze, Regent Square, and on the Parkway East, the bridge can’t open soon enough.
As soon as the massive concrete beams settled into place, the work started, all aimed at tomorrow.
“They’ll start pouring the deck on the Fern Hollow Bridge,” said Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, PennDOT District Executive.
It’s a lot of concrete that will take 3-4 weeks to pour.
“They’ll start at the end where they put the first beams obviously by the gatehouse and they start in the middle of that, that span,” Moon-Sirianni said. “Then they’ll go to the middle of the next one and middle of the last span, and then they go back and they pour the eight foot sections in between after that.”
It’s a meticulous process that takes time to cure and for the beams to settle under the weight.
“In about a month, it will look like a bridge and every thing will be in place,” Moon-Sirianni said.
With lots of work left to do, the connections on each end of the bridge will need to be finished, as well as the pedestrian areas and the guiderails that will need worked on.
“Honestly, when we see then the railing gets to the site, I think everyone’s going to be very happy and able to get a real confident schedule when we see that, both the pedestrian railing and the PA barrier on site,” Moon-Sirianni said.
As for the bridge opening in this calendar year, Moon-Sirianni says the contractor feels pretty good about that possibility.
“You know, they always love to beat their goals,” Moon-Sirianni said.
She says PennDOT would like to have the bridge open before the Christmas holiday travel season begins, but notes that when it does open to traffic, it won’t be completely finished.
Things like light poles and a pedestrian signal near the gatehouse will be coming after the bridge opens, but the primary goal is getting the bridge open to traffic.
Rehab of the park under the bridge isn’t expected to be done until springtime as well.