By Alice Crow
The Pennsylvania Department for Transportation will begin its preservation project on the Thornburg Bridge in June, with rehabilitation work expected to last for 12 to 18 months.
The bridge, which is located on Route 60 between Thornburg, Crafton and Ingram, crosses over Chartiers Creek.
The rehabilitation project will begin at Cornell Avenue and end at Woodmere Drive. PennDOT officials say they intend to repave the road with latex-modified concrete after removing the current concrete using a process called hydrodemolition.
Repairs will be made to the bridge’s deck, making only minor alterations to the existing substructure, drainage and roadway approach. PennDOT will also install new guide rails, traffic signals and ADA curb ramps.
Those who regularly travel on the bridge may experience increased traffic due to lane closures. During daylight hours, one lane for each direction of traffic will be maintained, while left-turn lanes will be eliminated. Cornell Avenue may also be temporarily closed to accommodate construction.
PennDOT officials report that the bridge may be closed for up to four weekends during the project. Vehicles will be directed to take a detour ranging from 11 to 12 miles mostly on I-376 and I-79.
Mayor of Crafton Coletta Perry believes the construction is well-timed, as she sees the Thornburg bridge as needing some work. She says she has driven the detour route, and while there will surely be slowdowns due to construction, she doesn’t see the project being as intrusive as some may expect.
The Thornburg bridge was built in 1980 and is rated in fair condition by PennDOT. On average, 17,513 vehicles travel across the bridge daily. The project was announced in 2020 and at the time, residents were encouraged to leave feedback through an online survey.