A $200 million Pennsylvania Turnpike project that will eventually widen and reconstruct eight miles of the toll road in Hampton, Indiana Township and Harmar will begin to seriously disrupt traffic on adjacent roads next Monday.
That is when one of three Route 910 bridges that cross the turnpike will be closed for replacement. The bridge crosses at turnpike mile 44.3, near Blue Run Road in Indiana Township.
The posted detour for cars is 12 miles long and uses Saxonburg Boulevard, Harts Run Road, Dorseyville Road, Fox Chapel Road, Guys Run Road and Locust Hill Road. Trucks will be sent on a 20-mile detour using Saxonburg Boulevard and Routes 8 and 28.
Replacement of the span with a steel beam bridge is expected to take until October.
In all, the turnpike plans to replace six bridges that cross the toll road to clear the way for widening it to six lanes in the affected area, a project that will stretch at least through 2018. Also scheduled to start this year is replacement of the Middle Road bridge in Hampton, which will require a detour, and the Rich Hill Road bridge in Harmar, a job that will bring restrictions but not a full closure.
In addition, a small bridge on Saxonburg Boulevard over Deer Creek, just south of Fossil Ridge Road, is scheduled for replacement this year. It does not cross the turnpike. That project is being done by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and will require a detour for several months, according to the project plans.
In future years, the turnpike will replace two other Route 910 bridges and the Saxonburg Boulevard Bridge over the toll road, and demolish the McClellan Road bridge, all in Indiana Township.
In all, residents of the area are facing at least four years of detours on various local roads. Turnpike spokesman Tom Fox said the work is being done in phases to reduce disruptions. "It's always a priority to try to have it make as much sense as possible," he said.
When the bridge work is completed, the turnpike will undergo full-depth reconstruction from Butler Valley to the new bridge crossing the Allegheny River. In addition to the extra lanes, the rebuilt highway will have a 26-foot median, which is more than double the size of the existing one.
Turnpike officials said about 40,000 cars per day use that section, making it one of the busiest on the toll road.