Aerial view of the McKees Rocks Bridge over the Ohio River. (Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)

Work on the McKees Rocks Bridge, which crosses the Ohio River to connect Route 65 in Pittsburgh’s Brighton Heights neighborhood with Route 51 in McKees Rocks, moves into a new phase this week.

The westbound off-ramp from the bridge to Helen Street in McKees Rocks will close at 7 a.m. Monday through early October. The following Monday, the westbound on-ramp from Helen Street will close through early September.

The closures will allow crews to replace the pavement on each ramp. The bridge will continue to have one lane of traffic in each direction.

The work is part of a $22.4 million project by Brayman Construction to replace the sidewalks, repave a series of ramps and lay new concrete on the bridge deck.

The detour for traffic heading from Route 65 to Helen Street sends motorists south from the McKees Rocks Bridge across the West End Bridge. Turn right on Route 51 (West Carson Street), left on Stanhope Street, right on Linden Street, right on Route 51 (Island Avenue), right onto the McKees Rocks Bridge and take the off-ramp to Helen Street.

Motorists from Helen Street should take the ramp to the McKees Rocks Bridge toward Route 65, then turn right onto Route 65, take the ramp to cross the West End Bridge, turn right onto northbound Route 51 (West Carson Street), left on Stanhope, right on Linden and right onto Route 51 (Island Avenue) to the McKees Rocks Bridge.

Although this project will continue until fall 2025, it is only preliminary work for a major rehabilitation that is awaiting funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The bridge is about 5,900 feet long — the longest in PennDOT’s District 11 that covers Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties — and includes a variety of construction styles and a hodgepodge of entrance and exit ramps.

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Ed Blazina

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at