The Hulton Bridge is an iconic landmark in the Oakmont community, but it might be getting a new look in the near future.
At last week's Oakmont Council workshop meeting, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation representatives Eric Veydt and Bob Collins presented a draft of the plans for the new Hulton Bridge, which carries traffic over the Allegheny River between Oakmont and Harmar Township.
The bridge was built in 1908 and has two lanes of traffic. According to PennDOT, the scope of work includes replacing the existing bridge with a four lane structure, including consideration for bike and pedestrian facilities, just upstream of the existing bridge.
The project—estimated to cost $70 million to $90 million—also includes the reconstruction of the Freeport Road/Hulton Road intersection and realignment of Hulton Road at the Oakmont approach to align with the new river crossing location. An upgraded traffic signal will be placed at the intersection of Freeport and Hulton roads.
The project is scheduled for a bid opening in late summer 2013—work beginning in the fall—with the new bridge opening to traffic in late 2015. The project would be entirely complete by spring 2016.
The new bridge will be built “off line,” so a detour will not be required. Maintenance and protection of traffic will be conducted in phases to allow for reconstruction of the approaches.
As part of their presentation, Collins explained which parts of bridge maintenance were the boroughs responsibility. According to Collins, PennDOT does not maintain the street lights on the bridge or the snow and ice removal during winter on the bridge’s sidewalks.
Since part of the bridge is in Harmarville, council members tried to decide how to approach the split of expenditures between the two boroughs so that the energy bill for the street lights would be split evenly.
Collins proposed that the borough create a written agreement with Harmarville to solidify who would pay for what to avoid confusion.
Council President Timothy Milberger asserted that he didn’t want to pay for Harmarville’s side of the bridge maintenance but creating a contract on their own terms would put the borough in power of the bridge.
The PennDOT representatives said they would get back to the borough regarding energy metering options for the bridge.
For more information about the project, click here.
What do you think about the plans? Are you looking forward to a new bridge in the borough or do you like the one there? Tell us in the comments!