By Juliet Martinez
The 107-year-old Swinburne Bridge is slated for replacement, but the project suffered a false start in the area of community input. Residents complained to Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure that a scheduled June 16 meeting was not well publicized and affected households were not notified far enough in advance.
The meeting was abruptly canceled when project manager, Zachary Workman, sent an email on June 15 saying the meeting would be postponed until mid-July.
The community group Junction Coalition shared with The Homepage a list of demands they sent to Mr. Workman for future community input planning. The demands included announcing meetings at least 14 days beforehand, using social media and a wide array of other channels to publicize meetings, posting meeting presentations on the project website early so people can review them beforehand, and having the meetings focus on discussions with the community rather than lengthy presentations.
The Swinburne Bridge is a two-lane structure connecting the neighborhoods of Four Mile Run, South Oakland, Greenfield and Hazelwood. It passes under the I-376 Frazier St Viaduct and over CSX/Allegheny Valley railroad and Saline St. The bridge consists of six deck- and thru-girder spans on steel bent towers, according to the Engage Pittsburgh project website (see below).
The project description says the bridge, “lacks modern principles of bridge design which provide increased redundancy and decreases future maintenance needs.”
To receive notifications about the Swinburne Bridge replacement project, create an account on the Engage website, and click “follow” on the Swinburn Bridge page, https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/swinburne-bridge.
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