New Fern Hollow Bridge on track to reopen this year

PITTSBURGH — The new Fern Hollow Bridge remains on track to reopen by the end of 2022, according to leaders with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

“We’re actually way ahead of a normal schedule for a bridge like this,” said Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, PennDOT’s district executive for District 11. “Everything has gone very, very well. ... The bridge will be open to traffic hopefully this year. We have our fingers crossed, but that depends on getting these materials on time, weather — all those things have to go in our favor.”

This week, crews are expected to start pouring concrete onto the bridge deck. Work was slated to begin on Wednesday, but the weather forecast has pushed the start time to Friday at 5 a.m.

Crews will pour in sections, and the work is expected to last about three to four weeks.

“That will complete the deck,” Moon-Sirianni said. “And then they have work to do on the back wall of the bridge and quite a bit of roadway work.”

The bridge’s railings could potentially hold up the reopening, she said. Procuring and fabricating the steel is expected to take some time. Moon-Sirianni hopes railings can be in place by November, allowing the bridge to open to traffic.

In any case, it’s expected that some work will need to continue next year, from finishing up aesthetic details to adding light posts and some signage.

“I just want everyone to know once we’re driving across the bridge, that’s not going to be the finished project,” she said. “We’ll have a lot of work to do in the spring.”

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