PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Clean-up is well underway following the implosion of the Greenfield Bridge. It's a race against time and crews are hoping they can finish, and reopen the Parkway East by New Year's Eve.
Around the clock in a carefully choreographed dance of mechanical giants, the remnants of the Greenfield Bridge are being gobbled up and moved.
"We have basically two crews; they're working 12 on, 12 off," said Derrick Jeannerette, of Mosites Construction.
What a difference they've made since the dust settled from the implosion on Monday morning.
By Tuesday afternoon, only dirt remained on the outbound side of the Parkway East. The secret was in how the bridge was carefully imploded to pulverize the concrete.
"We charged that so we'd get fist-sized material, and I think that's exactly what we got there," said Jeannerette. "So, it's a heck of a lot easier to manage now in cleanup."
The north side of structure, which was nudged down post-blast, has all been removed from the hillside. The steel deck of the bridge has been hauled off, and most of the catch bridge as well.
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As for damage to the Parkway, Jeannerette says, "So far we've gotten a few small looks at it, and it looks like it's going to be in good shape."
They'll know more after all the dirt is removed.
While things are moving swiftly on the implosion site, on the detour routes, slowdowns through Oakland and Wilkinsburg are the rule, and backups elsewhere are occurring as folks try to find an alternative.
"We've added police in different areas where we find people who are not following the detour or are using different routes," said Pittsburgh Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa.
And as all this goes on, the old concrete name plates of the Beechwood Boulevard Bridge – yes, that's the structure's real name – sit neatly preserved and waiting.
"The plan is to reuse them on the new bridge," said Jeannerette. "We're going to put these pillars back up on each end of the new bridge so it will look primarily the same as it does now."
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