On June 30th the outbound lane of the Bloomfield Bridge was closed from Bigelow Boulevard to Liberty Avenue. The lane will remain closed to traffic for 44 days and is the first leg of a 13-month reconstruction project that will include the complete concrete reconstruction of the Bloomfield Bridge, as well as Bigelow Boulevard between the Bloomfield Bridge and Baum Boulevard, and Baum to Morewood Avenue.
The improvement project, which will cost $12.34M, will be implemented in five phases and is projected for completion in July of 2016. In addition to bridge and road improvements, PennDOT will also install new traffic signals at many intersections.
At a public meeting in June, a PennDOT spokesman introduced representatives from Swank Construction Company, the contractor on the project. While community members generally approved of the plan to improve the neighborhood’s deteriorating roadways, they voiced concerns about detour routes, noise, dust, and increased traffic. Several attendees pointed out that PennDOT had bypassed community groups when planning the project and noted that involving them would have ensured that the plan aligned with their communities’ current vision and master plans.
To accommodate traffic during Little Italy Days, PennDOT has agreed to open as many safely operational lanes into Bloomfield as possible. The Department has also agreed to a second community meeting that will take place in two months to update community members and hear their concerns.
Questions or concerns about the project? Check out the website created to track construction and provide updates. Contact Mavis Rainey of the Oakland Transportation Management Authority (OTMA). Rainey, who is working with PennDOT to coordinate community feedback and questions, can be reached at 412.687.4505 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.