Watch CBS News

Pittsburgh Dealing With Bridges Showing Their Age

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - In a city of many bridges, some are over-the-hill.

Popular in its day, the style of the Greenfield Bridge was duplicated all over the city of Pittsburgh.

Originally, there were seven similar structures. After the demolition of the Greenfield Bridge, only one is left standing that had not been scrapped or totally rehabbed.

Guy Costa, operations chief for Pittsburgh, says the Larimer Bridge is showing its age.

"Larimer Avenue Bridge is inspected on an annual basis and is wrapped as needed," Costa said.

Carrying Larimer Avenue over Washington Boulevard, like its cousin over the Parkway East, the Larimer Avenue Bridge has been showing its almost one century in use and has been slowly crumbling.

Wrappings are attached that catch the droppings and protect people and businesses below.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Costa says the city is actively applying for grant money to bring the bridge down.

"More than likely it's either going to be demolished and rebuilt, but more than likely it just goes away," Costa says.

As for how they demolish it, don't expect a big boom. The buildings below make a blast impossible.

Another bridge won't be so lucky. The Hulton Bridge is headed for an explosive end, and a short drop into the Allegheny River.

Since the new Hulton Bridge opened, crews have been picking and clearing concrete off the old span, stripping it down to its skeleton.

Dan Cessna, a PennDOT executive, says the more debris that is taken now, the less they'll have to fish from the water.

As they did with the old Donora Bridge last summer, the old Hulton span will be dropped into the water.

"We're planning for late January, early February. Discussions are ongoing with the United States Coast Guard right now regarding exactly when we will implode the bridge," Cessna said.

After the implosion, the race will be on to fish pieces out of the water. With the old bridge gone, PennDOT will return attention to finishing connections on the Oakmont side of the new bridge and getting all lanes open.

This project will hopefully be completed by spring.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.