This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. on Monday, March 18.

Traffic patterns will change Monday on for the McKees Rocks Bridge preservation project.

For the next phase of the project, all traffic will move from the westbound lanes to the eastbound lanes with traffic maintained in one lane in each direction. Work will begin at 6 p.m. Monday and will require traffic stoppages for as long as 15 minutes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. with all shifting work scheduled to be done by 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Crews will be installing a barrier between lanes and conducting line painting overnight.

The bridge — the longest in Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties at about 5,900 feet —crosses the Ohio River to connect Route 65 in Pittsburgh’s Brighton Heights neighborhood with Route 51 in McKees Rocks.

The multiyear project includes full reconstruction of the bridge deck and sidewalks on the main part of the bridge. Crews worked on the westbound side of the bridge last construction season and will be on the eastbound side this year.

The project also has included a series of ramp improvements that were done last year.

Along with the traffic change, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation revealed that the cost of the project has nearly doubled because of problems discovered by crews for Brayman Construction Corp. during the first part of the project. As a result of “unforeseen issues,” spokeswoman Yasmeen Manyisha said, the cost of the project has increased from $22.4 million to $38.6 million.

That work includes replacing and upgrading the entire barrier between the deck and substructure of the bridge because “it was more deteriorated than expected,” she said. Crews also had to remove and replace strips of concrete bridge deck more than 2 1/2 feet wide on each side of the bridge along the gutter line and more steel repairs than expected were need needed under the sidewalk.

Additionally, the department added safety features during construction to control speed, delineate travel lanes and help EMS teams with emergency responses during construction.

Even with the additional work, the project still is expected to be finished by fall 2025, Manyisha said.

This project is still considered is considered interim work on the bridge. The department seeking additional funding for painting the bridge and other work that could cost as much as $90 million.

This story was changed to reflect the additional cost of the project because work has been added.

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