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Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge
Project Information:    PennDOT- Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge Project

About this Project  The Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge project involves the complete replacement of the structure carrying Freedom Road (Route 3020) over the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Milepost T-28.01 in Cranberry Township, Butler County.

The goal of this project is to completely replace the existing bridge with a wider one that has additional travel lanes to accommodate the high traffic volumes on Freedom Road. Sidewalks will be included.

The new structure will also be lengthened to accommodate future reconstruction of the Turnpike which will include an additional travel lane in each direction.

The design and construction of this project is being administered by PennDOT District 10 with the participation of the PA Turnpike Commission.

Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge Project Display Boards Includes Project Overview, Construction Phasing, Bridge Details and Schedule.(November 5, 2015 Public Meeting)
 

Project Overview and Location Map           

 

 


Turnpike announces reconstruction project

Located in Cranberry and Marshall Townships, the 2.39 mile project will include the widening of the existing Turnpike roadway from four lanes with a 10-foot median to six lanes with a 26-foot median. This also includes replacing 3 bridges; extending 1 culvert, lowering Mt. Pleasant Road; constructing new storm-water facilities; and mitigating wetlands and streams. The project is expected to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2021.  More information is available, Turnpike Milepost 28.49-30.88 Reconstruction Project
 

New Freedom from congestion
Turnpike bridge replacement promises relief

Some day – no one is sure exactly when – the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission expects to widen its 65-year old toll road through Cranberry by adding another travelling lane in each direction.  Before that can take place however, both the Commission and its sister agency, PennDOT, need to prepare by extending the bridges spanning the Interstate highway enough to accommodate an additional 60 feet of traveling lanes, shoulders and median once the Turnpike expansion is eventually built. 

This past October, as part of that effort, a longer, wider replacement for the Thorn Hill Road bridge over the Turnpike was completed.  Now the Freedom Road Bridge over the Turnpike – long a choke point for Cranberry’s east-west traffic and one which the Township has been working to remedy since 2007 – is up for replacement.  In early November, officials of both state agencies, along with their consulting engineers, gave Cranberry’s Supervisors and residents a preliminary look at what to expect. 

Accelerated construction

The $8.5 million project visualizes having a new bridge in place by the end of September, 2018.  Its construction will take place in a single season, beginning at the start of April, 2018.  This year, before construction starts, PennDOT will negotiate rights of way through narrow strips of land with the owners of several properties adjacent to the work zone, which extends from Commonwealth Drive in the west to Executive Drive in the east.  Next year, after contractors’ bids have been accepted, the affected utility lines will be relocated. Then, the following year, construction will begin.  Work on the approach roads associated with the bridge, including the signalized intersections at both ends, is also included in the project’s scope. 

Traffic will continue to flow throughout the entire project. The current three-lane bridge will remain in service until the first part of the new span is completed. During the project’s second phase, the old bridge will be demolished and traffic will shift onto the new bridge segment deck. Then, when the second phase is complete, the roadway will span six lanes – two through lanes in each direction as well as two turning lanes. The finished bridge will also include eight-foot sidewalks on either side, separated from traffic lanes by cement barriers, although no foot traffic will be permittted while construction is underway. 

Longer, wider, higher

In addition to being significantly longer and wider, the new bridge will also be higher, creating a 16-foot clearance for the Turnpike traffic beneath it; the current bridge clearance is 14 feet, 8 inches. 

Once completed, the bridge will include dual left turn lanes for eastbound traffic along Freedom Road onto Executive Drive, although only one of those lanes will be available until Executive Drive itself is widened to receive the traffic. However, during the six months that the bridge is under construction, no left turns onto Executive Drive will be allowed.  At the same time, however, McIntyre Road – now a one-way link carrying traffic from Robinhood Drive to Freedom Road on the other side of the bridge – will temporarily become bi-directional.

To achieve a complete bridge replacement in just six months while maintaining traffic along the vital Freedom Road corridor, PennDOT is requiring its contractors to fabricate major components of the project off-site and then truck them into position once they’re largely complete. Pre-casting and pre-assembling bridge parts is a central element of the agency’s Accelerated Bridge Construction initiative, one which is also being applied to other state roadway projects throughout the Commonwealth.

PennDOT Freedom Rd Bridge plans
Now here’s the plan… 

Officials from PennDOT, the Turnpike and the Township, along with their consulting engineers, held an open house in November to show off plans for the Freedom Road Bridge replacement, expected to be open for use by October, 2018.