The Greenfield Bridge, a vital artery between Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood and Schenley Park, re-opened this weekend.
When workers imploded the old bridge in late 2015, approximately 19,000 vehicles that used it daily had to find other routes, resulting in traffic congestion in parts of Oakland and Squirrel Hill.
The new bridge also marks a new beginning for Greenfield, according to Patrick Hassett, the city’s assistant director of mobility and infrastructure.
“Having the bridge back will serve as a moment in which we get reconnected to the park and to Oakland and to our neighbors,” Hassett said. “It’s been missed for the last two years, not only by commuters but by the residents of Greenfield.”
Re-opening the bridge could not come soon enough for Bruce Famili. He owns Rialto Pizza, located near the Greenfield entrance to the bridge. Famili said being cut off from Oakland has resulted in a 30 percent drop in his lunchtime business.
“I have had to layoff two of my three delivery drivers in the daytime, so having the media saying the bridge is open and having a bridge party is gonna help to get that business back,” Famili said.
Traffic configurations on the new bridge will be the same as they were on the old span. Two traffic lanes will flow from Schenley Park into Greenfield and one lane will carry drivers from Greenfield into the park. There will also be a sidewalk for pedestrians. However, the new bridge will also have a dedicated bike lane. That should bring more cyclists into Greenfield according to Eric Boerer, advocacy director for Bike Pittsburgh.
“There are a lot of reasons to go to Greenfield, so I think it’ll help open up that neighborhood to people who want to explore it,” Boerer said.
The city is also petitioning to have a Healthy Ride Bike Station installed on the Greenfield side of the bridge