May 2024 Update

DOMI and its consultants will be sharing project updates and information about construction timelines, impacts, and detours with the community in July 2024, prior to the start of construction on the bridge.

More details will be coming soon!

March 2024 Update

Construction - Summer 2024

On February 29, the City of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) opened bids for the rehabilitation of the Charles Anderson Bridge and the reconstruction of the Panther Hollow Overpass. Mosites Construction Co was the low bid contractor. Through March and April, we have been finalizing legal agreements between the Project Partners, the construction team, and the utility companies and railroads who operate in the project limits.

We will issue Notice to Proceed to Mosites Construction Co on April 29, 2024. During the next few months, the contractor will be working offsite to fabricate steel plates which will be used to strengthen several deteriorated sections of the truss. Once completed, these first few repairs will allow the contractor to stage heavier equipment on the bridge and begin the wholesale rehabilitation of the structure.

A major component of the rehabilitation is the complete removal of the concrete deck and the system of steel stringers and floorbeams supporting the deck. This necessary improvement is time intensive and will keep the bridge closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic for the duration of the project.

The bridge will tentatively reopen to all traffic in Fall 2026.

Detour Routes

  • Bicycle and pedestrian detour from South Oakland:
    • Turn right onto Dawson Street, left onto South Bouquet Street, right onto Roberto Clemente Drive, straight onto Schenley Drive, straight onto Panther Hollow Road, straight to the bridge.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian detour from Schenley Park:
    • Go straight onto Panther Hollow Road, straight onto Schenley Drive, straight onto Roberto Clemente Drive, left onto South Bouquet Street, right onto Dawson Street, left to the bridge.

The current vehicular detour will remain in effect as follows:

  • Eastbound/outbound vehicles:
    • Take Boulevard of the Allies, turn 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.
  • Westbound/inbound vehicles:
    • Take Panther Hollow Road to Greenfield Road, continue to Greenfield Bridge, turn 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.

For up-to-date information about Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) routing, please consult PRT's website, linked here.

What's Next?

The City of Pittsburgh plans to hold a public meeting in early Summer 2024 to field questions about the bridges, the project schedule, detour routes, and what to expect during day-to-day construction activities.

Thank you for your patience through the lengthy design and during the upcoming construction project. When complete, the Charles Anderson Memorial Bridge will be ready for the next 84 years of service.

Please check our Frequently Asked Questions and feel free to send any additional Questions, Comments, or Feedback to the City using the tool at the bottom of this page.

As 2023 winds to a close, engineers across the city and state are putting the finishing touches on the final and comprehensive bridge rehabilitation plans for the Charles Anderson Memorial Bridge and the Panther Hollow Overpass in South Oakland and Schenley Park. The design addresses the critical issues identified during a bridge structural analysis at the start of the year and will also modernize the historic boulevard into Schenley Park.

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 1, 2023.

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 the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), the city's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (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-foot 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.

On May 31, 2023 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.

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.

Based on an updated structural analysis, the Charles Anderson Bridge (Boulevard 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.

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 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.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Updated April 19, 2024: The City of Pittsburgh is working with the construction team on the specifics of the construction schedule. Over the next several months, the contractor will work with steel mills to fabricate steel plates and beams to exact dimensions. We anticipate on-site activities to begin summer 2024. Before then, the construction team will host a public meeting to field questions about the bridges, the project schedule, detour routes, and what to expect during day-to-day construction activities.

The goal is to have the bridge re-opened to traffic in Fall 2026.

The bridge will undergo a complete rehabilitation, including a new deck and steel support system, repairs and strengthening of the historic truss, repairs to the concrete piers and abutments, restoration of the original ornamental railings and pylons, and full repainting of the structure.

Bus stops at either end of the bridge will be improved. During the rehabilitation, the sidewalks will be widened to six feet, eight inches and one of the westbound traffic lanes will be reconfigured to a two-way cycle track. This cycle track will connect to the existing facility near the Anderson Playground and DOMI is evaluating the expansion into South Oakland and deeper into Schenley Park.

The bridge was closed immediately on February 1, 2023, due to the findings of a structural analysis from the most recent bridge inspection. In its current state, vehicles cannot cross the bridge. The posted detour was developed to accommodate all vehicle classes including full-size trucks and buses. It is the decision of the driver as to whether or not they chose to use the designated route or navigate an alternative route around the closed bridge.

Some tweaks may be made to the posted detours to accommodate construction access, and those plans will be shared at a community meeting this summer.

PRT has already taken steps to alter bus routes during the closure.

Most special events in Oakland and Schenley Park require small, short-term closures lasting anywhere from a few hours to a weekend. While additional closures do extend the impact of the bridge closures, these events bring people together and are part of the fabric that makes Pittsburgh great. DOMI coordinates closely with the Special Events office to ensure closures have the least impact possible.

An in-depth traffic analysis was done evaluating anticipated traffic in 2025 and 2045 and determined that a single vehicle lane would meet the demands for the inbound traffic volumes on the bridge. Peak traffic volumes on Boulevard of the Allies and Panther Hollow Road are almost three times higher outbound during afternoon rush hour than the inbound morning traffic. The reduction to three lanes on the Charles Anderson Bridge will meet current and projected demands while improving safety in the park and South Oakland.

Unfortunately, due to the scope of work planned, it will not be feasible to maintain access to the sidewalks during construction.

Access to the Junction Hollow Trail and Bridle Trail will be preserved during construction with the possibility of intermittent stoppages of trail usage during construction, as needed, for the safety of trail users. If the Bridle Trail needs to be closed under the bridge during construction, trail users will be directed to the Anderson Playground pedestrian tunnel a short distance away.

The new bridge, once complete will include wider sidewalks, a dedicated cycle track, and improved bus stop locations at either end of the bridge.

Work on Swinburne Bridge won’t start until work on Charles Anderson Bridge is complete or nearing completion. DOMI is aware that the Swinburne Bridge has seen substantially more traffic since the closure. The engineering for the new bridge is still progressing, but in the meantime the bridge is being monitored and inspected regularly to ensure it is safe to use. Work is also being coordinated with schedules for the Commercial Street Bridge Replacement Project to minimize disruptions and overlapping detours.

This Charles Anderson Bridge project is a scheduled, federally-funded project, whereas the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge was declared to be a State of Emergency by the the City and the State.

Outside of emergency work, typical federally-funded projects can take upwards of five years to progress from Planning through Engineering. The design process must follow federal project development requirements, and there is oversight of the project to ensure both Federal and State design requirements are met.

There are many design submissions and design clearances that are required before the project funding can be secured and construction can begin. In addition, the complexity of the Charles Anderson Bridge structure requires significantly more engineering and labor to ensure the stability of the structure at all times during construction.

For these reasons, the rehabilitation of the Charles Anderson Bridge will take longer than the reconstruction of the Fern Hollow Bridge after its collapse.