The long awaited demolition of the walkway overpass spanning West 12th Street is finally taking place.
Fontaine Glenn was live at the scene Friday morning with more.
Overnight construction crews began work tearing down the West 12th Street walkway overpass Friday. The crew is cutting the walkway into small sections along the support structure. A large crane is removing the larger parts of the walkway.
West 12th Street will remained closed from Cherry to Liberty Streets until everything is cleaned up.
The Erie County Redevelopment Authority hopes the roads will be reopened later Friday afternoon, as long as things go as planned.
A detour is in place using the Bayfront Connector at East 12th Street and Bayfront and I-79/Greengarden and Bayfront.
According to the City of Erie, most local traffic will use Sassafras, Raspberry, Cascade, Liberty and Cherry streets to get around the closure, which is expected to cause increased traffic on other roads, like 26th, 18th, 10th, 8th, 6th Streets and the Bayfront Connector.
Drivers are encouraged to avoid these roads if possible.
The bridge on Liberty Street has a clearance of 12’4’ and the Cherry Street bridge is 13’7”. Semi-trucks should use the Bayfront Parkway to avoid the demolition if crossing the city. Local trucks should use State Street or Raspberry Street and then West 18th Street, which is a city truck route.
For decades, the walkway connected the former Erie Malleable Iron building to Modern Industries.
Fontaine spoke with the CEO of ECRDA who says this is the start to getting jobs and people back in this space.
“Once that’s down, we will begin the effort to go out to bid to demolish. Like I said, the complex, all but a small piece of it, about 80% of it, will come down,” said Tina Mengine, CEO, ECRDA.
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