City Officials, PennDOT Celebrate Center Street Bridge Reopening

| October 28, 2016

IMG_5456OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Center Street Bridge in Oil City has officially reopened following a seven-month rehabilitation project to repair deficiencies along the 172-foot-long structure.

(Pictured above: Mayor William P. Moon cuts the ribbon to officially reopen Center Street Bridge. Also in attendance were PennDOT and county officials and public figures.)

“The seven months was well worth the wait,” said Mike Deibert, assistant district executive of construction at the PennDOT District 1-0 Office. “Any time that we can save an old metal structure and give it another 30 to 50 years of life is something pretty special. It fits in well with the community setting.”

Deibert, along with Oil City Mayor William P. Moon and Oil City Main Street Program manager Kathy Bailey, addressed the public during the October 27 ribbon cutting ceremony held in celebration of the bridge reopening.

Mike Deibert (left) cuts a piece of ribbon for Oil City Mayor William P. Moon (center).

Mike Deibert (left) cuts a piece of ribbon for Oil City Mayor William P. Moon (center).

In his remarks, Moon thanked the state and county, along with city residents who use the bridge daily. Approximately 6,800 vehicles a day utilize Center Street Bridge.

“I want to thank all the citizens for being able to withstand the temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement in town,” Moon said.

Rehabilitation on the 77-year-old bridge, which spans Oil Creek and connects Center Street with Route 8, officially kicked off in March 2016. The project was designed in-house at the PennDOT District Office located in Oil City.

However, work began last fall with utility work along the structure to remove fiber optics owned by Verizon. Costs totaled $2.15 million, made possible by Pennsylvania’s Act 89 transportation funding plan.

Deibert explained that the structure is a tied arch bridge, one of only two in Pennsylvania. The second tied arch bridge in located on South Franklin Street in Titusville.

Work on Center Street Bridge involved the following repairs:

  • Extensive steel and concrete repairs, including repainting the arch
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Asphalt roadway approaches
  • Concrete bridge approaches
  • Concrete sidewalks and curbs and refurbished hand railings
  • Traffic signal work
  • Updated drainage, landscaping and pavement markings

The project contractor was Francis J. Palo Construction of Clarion and also included the milling and paving of Center Street from the bridge to the intersection with Spring and Plummer Streets.

Deibert stated that milling and paving will continue along Plummer Street next year and will be entirely state-funded.

Center Street Bridge Illumination Project

Also announced at the ceremony was a public art project due to start next spring.

Bailey discussed the $80,000.00 privately-funded project, which would involve the installation of colored LED lights along Center Street Bridge.

“It is something that is going to be very tastefully done,” Bailey explained. “You’re not going to see strobing, flashing lights.”

Bailey said the lights will not only highlight the bridge’s features but can also be changed according to the current season or holiday.

The idea stemmed from a similar project completed in Saegertown, Crawford County in 2014.

“It will serve as a public art piece, and really, it highlights the fact that the bridge is a gateway to our downtown,” Bailey stated.

She said $78,000.00 of the $80,000.00 has been funded. Community members may contribute the remaining needed funds.

Vincent Lighting Systems of Pittsburgh will provide needed materials.

Oil City Main Street Program is awaiting bids on the project and will award the contract in November.

Bailey recognized the following project donors and partners: PNC Charitable Trust, Elizabeth S. Black Foundation, Edith C. Justus Foundation, Marjorie Himes Estate, Oil Region Alliance, Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council, Bridge Builder’s Community Foundation and the Law Offices of McFate and Merkel.

For more information on contributing to the Center Street Bridge Illumination Project, call (814)-677-3152, ext. 101.

Copyright © 2021 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Category: Community, Events, Local News, News