Motorists who think the Sewickley Bridge area is a commuting nightmare now may want to steer cleer of Route 65 over the next couple of weeks.
That's because PennDOT is gearing for two projects expected to have a huge impact on motorists traveling on the bridge and Route 65.
Borough Manager Kevin Flannery said he received notice Friday of PennDOT's plans to begin work Tuesday, Sept. 4 on Route 65 from the Sewickley Bridge to the Beaver County line. The work will occur during the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
For motorists, this will mean one-lane traffic in both directions. The work is expected to be completed in two to three weeks.
In addition to the Route 65 work, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, PennDOT is also planning to repair the Sewickley Bridge apron, the approach to the bridge. The concrete and asphalt repair work will require alternating one-lane traffic, with Flannery estimating traffic could take 20 minutes to alternate in each direction.
The bridge is currently under heavy use since PennDOT closed the nearest Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge for long-term repairs.
Flannery said PennDOT plans to work continuously throughout the weekend on the Sewickley Bridge to finish the work. But with Sewickley's annual Harvest Festival planned for Saturday, Sept. 8, he also worries about the impact the bridge could have on the all-day festitivites. Local churches, businesses and non-profits are participating, not to mention about 135 vendor booths.
"It's going to be a mess next Friday," Flannery predicted.
Anyone thinking of using Beaver Street as a short-cut will also have to contend with roadwork in Edgeworth, which starts on Tuesday, the same day PennDOT plans to begin Route 65 work.
While PennDOT didn't coordinate the roadwork plans with Sewickley, Flannery said plans have been coordinated to ensure safety officials can respond to emergencies.
Flannery said he spoke to Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital, the Sewickley Valley YMCA and local police have been placed on notice. Valley Ambulance plans to have an ambulance stationed on the Sewickley side of the bridge and Lifeflight has been rearranged, Flannery said.