The South Highland Avenue Bridge in Shadyside will close for replacement Monday, detouring vehicles, buses and pedestrians for about six months.
The bridge was built in 1925, but its stone abutments and center pier date back to 1875, according to the Pittsburgh Public Works Department. It spans Ellsworth Avenue, the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway and Norfolk Southern Railway tracks.
The 117-foot-long bridge is a key link between Shadyside and East Liberty and, with its rust and graffiti, considered a bit of a civic eyesore. It is listed in a state bridge inventory as both "structurally deficient" and "functionally obsolete."
Plans call for rehabilitating the stone abutments and center pier. Girders will be removed and replaced with a new deck that will increase the vertical clearance on Ellsworth and improve the views for those crossing the bridge.
The bridge and Ellsworth Avenue will close early Monday and force detours on two Port Authority routes: 71B Highland Park and 75 Ellsworth. The 71B will use Shady Avenue instead of South Highland Avenue through Shadyside, and the 75 will detour off Ellsworth between the East Liberty Busway Station and College Avenue, spokeswoman Heather Pharo said.
Busway service will not be immediately impacted, but there may be several weekend closures of the busway later in the project, she said.
Detours are expected to remain in place through mid-September, city project manager Chuck McClain said.
A public meeting on the $2.9 million project is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside.
Jon Schmitz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1868. Visit the PG's transportation blog, The Roundabout, at www.post-gazette.com/Roundabout. Twitter: @pgtraffic. First Published February 27, 2013 5:00 AM