Monday, February 16, 2009

Hulton Bridge Replacement

The two-lane, lilac colored Hulton Bridge that is a main artery to and from Oakmont is being replaced, but not for a few more years. The Hulton Bridge, which is stricken with traffic during peak hours, has about 25,000 vehicles crossing it daily. The new bridge will have four lanes, and will hopefully alleviate some of the chronic traffic problems. A two-year construction period will begin in 2012, under the best circumstances.

Bob Cooper, president of the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce, says a wider bridge is what Oakmont really needs. However, depending on where the new bridge is placed will cause problems. Cooper says placing the bridge farther upstream or downstream will affect property owners. He calls it the “not in my backyard theory.” It’s a good idea; as long as the new structure does not adversely affect them.

PennDOT prefers building the bridge upstream, which will reduce traffic going towards the Riverview Junior-Senior High School. However, that also means the bridge will be within 30 feet of a condominium complex on the other side of the river. Regardless, Cooper says a wider bridge will be more beneficial than problematic to Oakmont in the long run.

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