Visitors to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium may experience some traffic delays and detours beginning this month. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is planning on replacing the crumbling Heth’s Run Bridge, which sits in front of the Pittsburgh Zoo’s parking lot along Butler Street. With nearly 26,000 vehicles travelling through that particular area of Pittsburgh on a daily basis, the city is expecting traffic delays due to the bridge construction project.
“This is a 100-year-old bridge. I think it was built in 1913 and 1914. It is currently structurally deficient and it’s in significant need of replacement,” Steve Cowan from PennDOT said.
PennDOT is projecting to spend nearly $20 million to tear down the 100 year old bridge and construct a brand new structure. Cowan says they are planning reconstruction on Butler Street in the bridge area as well as One Wild Place. There will be drainage upgrades as well as sidewalk and signal upgrades on the new bridge.
To alleviate some of the congestion, PennDOT is building a temporary roadway winding through the zoo’s parking lot. Truckers will be detoured across the Highland Park Bridge, down Route 28 through Etna on state routes and back across the 62nd Street Bridge onto Butler Street during the construction process. The entire deconstruction and building process is scheduled to wrap up in the end of 2014, so expect some delays while travelling to the Pittsburgh Zoo or through that area of town.