The Interstate 376 (Parkway East) Bridge over Commercial Street and Frick Park carries an average of 86,000 vehicles daily and is the primary connection between Pittsburgh and the communities to the east. It is already closed to overweight vehicles; if it deteriorates further, additional weight restrictions could be required.

 “This bridge is so important to this region, and we look forward to working with the public and local officials every step of the way,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) secretary Leslie Richards. “We’re committed to ensuring that any upgrade meets the needs of travellers, the freight industry and the communities.”

A multi-year project to engineer, design, and construct the upgrade will be carried out using the committed funding of US$123 million. PennDOT is coordinating a study, beginning this autumn, that will determine whether to rehabilitate or replace the bridge.

Construction work, as determined by the results of the study, could begin in four to five years once the study, engineering, design and other preparations are complete.

“Given this bridge’s significance to the community, it will also underscore the importance of our new PennDOT Connects process that involves our local partners earlier in projects,” Richards added.