I was driving across the Liberty Bridge towards Pittsburgh’s South Side
recently, when I was pleased to notice the removal of the containment
structure shrouding a nearby truss. This bridge has been hidden from
view for most of the past year, part of rehabilitating the lower section
of the McArdle Roadway, a winding passage from the South Side flats
(home of Paint BidTracker) up to Mt. Washington, the scenic vantage
point for out-of-town visitors.
The Penndot project includes
replacing sections of elevated roadway and fixing up the highly-visible
truss bridge (BidTracker #1947007 if you have access to our premium
archive and want to look up the details) (plus the Paintsquare news item
here, details from a local bridge enthusiast here, and a close-up from a local blog here). The work definitely needed to be done, but it has completely shut down my preferred route home from work.
has been blessed/cursed with a large number of major road and bridge
reconstruction projects this past summer. And apparently almost all of
them sought to interrupt my daily driving schedule. The McArdle job
sent me a new way, but then an unrelated project created a detour along
that route, spoiling my revised strategy. I used to get fairly
frustrated by this annual rite of summer, but then I started writing
about painting bids.
I read notices for hundreds of contracts
each day and write reports about quite a few, and I always pay extra
attention to the local jobs (it’s well-documented that Western PA has
its share of deficient bridges) . While I groaned when I realized the
scope of the McArdle job (and many others), I can’t help but take note
of what needs to be done to keep our most heavily-travelled roadways
And then I can’t help but enjoy watching the progress.
not saying I love sitting in stop-and-go gridlock, but my job (and a
lot of yours) gives me (and you) an inside view of what’s happening
behind those tarps. Our families, friends, and neighbors are dependent
on the protective coatings industry (and many others) to maintain our
infrastructure, and to provide the jobs this maintenance requires.
while the slow progress of three lanes merging to one can add some
extra grit to the daily grind, it’s important to appreciate our insight
on the progress these projects produce, from preventing steel corrosion
loss and concrete spalling, to buoying a flailing economy through a
recession. Plus the pavement will probably be smoother when you return
to your old way home.