May 2023 Public Engagement Update

On Wednesday, May 31st, City of Pittsburgh representatives, in collaboration with community partners, hosted a public engagement to discuss updates to the Charles Anderson Bridge Rehabilitation project. The meeting was held virtually with hybrid watch parties throughout Oakland and Greenfield.

If you missed the meeting, you can watch the recording here:

or here:

You can also review the chat transcript here:
May 31 Charles Anderson Bridge Meeting Chat Transcript

Special thanks to community partners Greenfield Community Association and Oakland Planning and Development Corporation who partnered with the City to host watch party hubs throughout Oakland and Greenfield:

Greenfield Watch Party: Magee Recreation Center, 745 Greenfield Avenue

Central Oakland Watch Party: OPDC offices, 294 Semple Street

Oakland Square Watch Party: 3439 Parkview Avenue

South Oakland Watch Party: Frazier Fieldhouse, 3716 Frazier Street

Please scroll down to "Document Library" and view the April 2023 Project Update if you'd like to review presentation materials in advance of the meeting.

Project Update, April 2023

As Preliminary Engineering for the rehabilitation of the Charles Anderson Bridge was wrapping up at the beginning of 2023, an independent inspection and analysis of the bridge was underway. The findings from this analysis prompted the immediate closure of the bridge on February 1st.

In the time since the closure, the City of Pittsburgh has been evaluating the best solution for reopening the bridge responsibly. While investigating the timeline for short-term repairs relative to the upcoming long-term rehabilitation, it became clear that expediting the long-term project would save taxpayers' money by eliminating the investment in temporary fixes.

Mayor Gainey was proud to announce in this press release that with support from PennDOT and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), DOMI has received approval to expedite Final Design for the full bridge rehabilitation. In addition, DOMI has been working with PennDOT and the SPC to secure construction funding for Fiscal Year 2024. With these measures in place, the design team is preparing to complete the design documents by the end of 2023 with construction anticipated to begin in Spring 2024. DOMI will provide further updates on the anticipated construction schedule as information becomes available. Currently, it's anticipated to take two construction seasons, with the possibility of extending into a third season.

With the conclusion of the Preliminary Engineering phase of the project, a presentation summarizing the work completed to date is available for review in the "April 2023 - Project Update" PDF slideshow in the Document Library, below.

In addition to the rehabilitation project moving onto an expedited design schedule, DOMI and PennDOT have expanded the scope of the project to include the rehabilitation of the adjacent Panther Hollow Overpass located east of the Charles Anderson Bridge in Schenley Park. This 58-ft concrete box-beam bridge, carrying Panther Hollow Road over the ramp to Panther Hollow Road, is approaching the end of its functional life. To minimize disruption to the corridor in the years ahead, the bridge superstructure will be replaced at the same time as the long-term repairs to the Charles Anderson Bridge.

We understand the closure of the bridge has caused an enormous disruption and increased traffic around the East End. Please use the form at the bottom of the page to share with the design team any questions, comments, or concerns with the project and we will respond as information is made available.

Bridge Closure, February 1, 2023

Based on an updated structural analysis, the Charles Anderson Bridge (Blvd of the Allies over Panther Hollow) has been closed to all vehicular traffic until repairs can be made. The bridge will remain open to pedestrians and bicycles, as will the Junction Hollow Trail, which runs below the bridge.

Needed repairs to the bridge will be undertaken as soon as possible to re-open the bridge to vehicles. DOMI estimates these repairs will take no fewer than four months and are projected to cost between $1M and $2M.

While the bridge remains closed, the detours are as follows:

  • For eastbound/outbound vehicles: Boulevard of the Allies, right onto Bates Street, left onto Second Avenue, left onto Greenfield Avenue, left onto Ronald Street, straight onto Greenfield Bridge, to Greenfield Road, to Panther Hollow Road
  • For westbound/inbound vehicles: Panther Hollow Road, to Greenfield Road, to Greenfield Bridge, right onto Alger Street, left onto Winterburn Street, right onto Greenfield Avenue, right onto Second Avenue, right onto Bates Street, to Boulevard of the Allies

Project Update, January 2022

In the fall of 2019, DOMI and the design team held a series of public meetings to collect feedback and concerns from the communities who use the bridge or will be impacted during the rehabilitation of the structure. This feedback was instrumental in shaping the course of the preliminary analysis and design work completed on the project so far.

Investigation into the feasibility of rehabilitating the structure and preserving its historical features was just kicking off as the pandemic upended the existing channels for community outreach.

The feasibility study concluded that it is both feasible and prudent to rehabilitate the historical bridge while still improving upon the layout of the structure to reflect how Pittsburghers traverse Schenley Park today.

The City and the design team have prepared the "January 2022 - Project Update" available for download in the Document Library, below. The presentation summarizes the work completed to date on Preliminary Engineering. As Preliminary Engineering nears completion, work will transition from a broad technical analysis of the existing bridge and the surrounding site to the development of construction documents, drawings, and design specifications. This work will continue through 2024 with construction anticipated to begin in late 2025.

(Note: In light of the recent analysis that lead to the full closure of the bridge, DOMI and the design team have been investigating options to accelerate the start of construction.)

Project Background

The City of Pittsburgh, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), is advancing the Charles Anderson Memorial Bridge project.

The bridge is a critical link on Boulevard of the Allies, a roadway connecting Squirrel Hill and Greenfield to Oakland and downtown. The bridge also serves as a key entrance to Schenley Park, carrying the Boulevard over the Junction Hollow trails and CSX railroad.

The existing continuous, three-span, steel structure (built in 1939) is individually eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under Criterion C for its engineering significance as a Wichert Truss bridge. The structure is also a contributing element of the NRHP-listed Schenley Park Historic District.

This eligibility is factored into the preliminary analysis and design when determining what various bridge enhancements are feasible. In addition, care is given to reducing pain-points for those who use the bridge, i.e. how to minimize frustrating detours or overlapping construction with adjacent infrastructure projects. This project aims to modernize the Charles Anderson Bridge with an emphasis on safety for all users of the bridge. Questions, comments, and feedback on the project can be submitted at the bottom of this page.

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Zachary Workman, PE

Project Manager, DOMI

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