When the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge shuts down Saturday for repairs, local police plan to provide two weeks of traffic detail in several key areas.
Sewickley Police Chief James Ersher said officers from Sewickley and Moon will be stationed on their sides of the bridge assisting with the increased traffic flow through the area.
Local officials expect increased traffic because the Sewickley Bridge and the Route 65 corridor are the main alternative detours during the closing. The Ambridge-Aliquippa bridge is expected to remain closed until mid-November as part of a $16.6 million repair project.
On the Sewickley side of the bridge, Ersher said, officers will be concentrating on the Route 65 intersections of Chestnut and Walnut streets during morning and afternoon rush hour.
Police also will monitor the Broad Street intersection, but Ersher said police cannot control the Broad Street traffic at the bridge.
Officers from Aliquippa and Ambridge will also be stationed on both ends of the closed bridge, helping to direct motorists during the first two weeks of the closure. In addition, PennDOT plans to monitor traffic flow patterns in the area during those two weeks.
“People are going to have to allow extra time, find alternative routes if they can, and they’re going to have to be patient. It’s out of Sewickley Borough’s control,” Ersher said.
PennDOT has indicated that funding is available for the first two weeks to assist with the additional traffic control costs, but nothing beyond those two weeks, Ersher said.
In a letter to the editor, borough manager Kevin Flannery said Sewickley would have a heightened awareness of traffic patterns. A traffic barrier will be placed at the top of White Street and Route 65. The barricade will prevent drivers from making a right turn from Route 65 onto the one-way street to bypass the lights. Kramer Street will also be blocked.
Residents of McDonald Street, Charette Place, Pine Street, Dippold Street, Maple Lane, White Street and Chadwick Street are asked to use Ferry Street as the access point to get around Sewickley.
“Many people will be inconvenienced. We ask that if you have an appointment, please take extra time, and please be more aware of traffic,” Flannery wrote.
Anticipating the headaches ahead, Flannery issued a memo to staff regarding the two-year project, asking everyone to “have patience in dealing with the public.”
He encourages the public to direct any questions to the PennDOT Project Field Office at 724-385-0018 .
What’s to come
- A $1.6 million project to repair the bridge that carries Route 65 over Birmingham Avenue in Avalon resumes on Thursday, March 8. Traffic on Route 65 will be reduced to a single, 11-foot-wide lane in each direction between Harrison and Elizabeth avenues beginning at approximately 7 a.m. on March 8 through mid-October.
- An estimated $5 million to $6 million resurfacing and milling project on Route 65 will begin in late May or early June. The work will stretch from the Beaver County line through Leetsdale and Edgeworth to the Sewickley Bridge.
- During the same time, a $1 million to $2 million resurfacing project will occur farther southbound along Route 65 in Emsworth from Charles Willow Street to Hazelwood Avenue.
- Restrictions will occur on northbound Route 65 as needed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through March 7 in the area of the Cross Street intersection. Crews from PSI Inc. on Thursday began conducting geotechnical drilling and research for a future improvement project.
Quaker Valley to parents: Anticipate bus delays
Quaker Valley is advising parents that buses may be delayed in picking up and dropping off students.
Because the district has no way of knowing if increased traffic flow on Beaver Street and throughout the borough will impact buses, the district is asking that parents be patient if a bus is late.
The district will be taking measures to avoid bus delays, while making sure the students are transported safely.
Updated at 10 a.m. Friday