Buses return to Saw Mill Run Blvd. Bridge

May 17, 2022
The Port Authority of Allegheny County reopened the bridge to bus traffic on May 14 and expects light-rail vehicles to resume use of the bridge at the end of the month.

Bus traffic returned to the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Saw Mill Run Boulevard Bridge on May 14 following a 14-week closure.

The bridge, which hosts rail and bus traffic, closed Feb. 4 when engineers noticed an expanded joint on the deck of the bridge. Port Authority said the unexpected shift was caused by water penetration on a portion of the concrete support structure followed by freezing temperatures. The original cost of the repairs to the bridge was expected to top $2 million and take up to 12 weeks to complete.

The Port Authority says crews worked during the past three months to reposition the section of the bridge that shifted and installed new supports, anchor bolts, rail joints and bearings.

Light-rail service will return to the bridge following completion of track work at Fallowfield Station in Beechview. The work at the station was expedited after the Saw Mill Run Boulevard Bridge closed unexpectedly.

The track work began May 3 and is expected to be finished by the end of the month. When the project acceleration was first announced, David Huffaker, Port Authority’s chief development officer, said the closure of the Saw Mill Run Boulevard Bridge gave the authority a “rare opportunity” to perform work when the station was not in use.

"This means we will inconvenience residents and riders as little as possible, and hopefully not at all," said Huffaker.

While work is wrapping up on the tracks at Fallowfield Station, Port Authority will continue to operate a rail shuttle between Overbrook Junction and Potomac Station and a bus shuttle between Potomac Station and Station Square.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.