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10th Street Bridge Will Close To Outbound Traffic Starting Thursday

Courtesy of Bryan Orr
Construction crews work on the inbound side of the 10th Street Bridge.

Rehabilitation of the 10th Street Bridge (also knowns as the Philip Murray Bridge) began one year ago. 

The roadway, built in 1933, connects the South Side to downtown Pittsburgh, and is used by about 15,000 vehicles per day.

The project is slated to wrap up by the end of the year, but beginning May 24, the bridge will only serve inbound vehicles, traveling in the direction of Downtown.

Pittsburgh Public Works deputy director Mike Dillon says they’ve been working on the eastern side of the bridge, now they’re switching to the western side.

“And in order to do that work we have to limit the width of the bridge to 11 feet," he said. "So that will only allow inbound traffic to be on the bridge at that time."

The contractor, American Bridge Company, needs more space to maneuver as crews finish repainting, repaving and repairing steel on the 1,275-foot-long span. The outbound side will reopen in six months, but the pedestrian walkway will remain accessible throughout the project.

The $20 million rehab also includes the installation of a dehumidification system. The bridge is a suspension bridge, and the system will send forced air through the cables, keeping the relative humidity below 35 percent. That will help prevent corrosion of the wire in that make up the cables, explained Dillon.

He says this is the only traditional cable suspension bridge in Pennsylvania, so this will be the first dehumidification system in the state.

“I know they installed it on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and in several other bridges in Europe," he said. 

When the project ends in December, the bridge will have a new traffic pattern, as well. Previously, it accommodated four lanes, two heading in each direction. That’s going to change, says Dillon.

“If you’re heading from the South Side to Downtown, it’ll begin as one lane and then open up to two lanes once you hit Second Avenue,” said Dillon. “If you’re going from Second Avenue to the South Side, it’ll start as one lane and then widen out to two lanes when you get to Muriel Street.”

Detour: For those trying to reach the Southside from Second Avenue, outbound traffic will be redirected using Forbes Avenue, the Birmingham Bridge, and East Carson Street. According to Public Works, alternate routes include using the Smithfield Street Bridge downtown and the Hot Metal Bridge in Oakland.