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SHARON Standing to get a lot of bucks for their bang



Published: Fri, May 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The mayor believes filmmakers will be willing to pay to film the dropping of the bridge.

SHARON, Pa. -- Mayor Robert T. Price has found another way to make money off the impending implosion of the Oakland Avenue Viaduct.

Price told city council Thursday that he has learned there are companies that will pay the city to allow them to film the concrete structure dropping 60 feet onto the Shenango Valley Freeway for use in future films.

The mayor said he's already sent a letter to the Pittsburgh Film Office trying to locate filmmakers willing to do that, adding that the city could get as much as $5,000.

That money would go to Mercer County Unit of the American Cancer Society, along with the money being raised from ticket sales for the right to be the person who pushes the button to bring down the bridge.

Thousands of tickets have been sold at $1 each.

Demolition work on the bridge has begun, but an implosion date is not final.

Price had said he expected it to be late this month and that it would be on a weekend.

Much interest: Meanwhile, between 600 and 700 people have contacted the city about being able to watch the bridge fall.

That could be a problem, Price said, because the demolition contractor wants everyone to be 1,000 feet away.

Because the viaduct is on a curve above the freeway, it can't be seen from 1,000 feet away in any direction except straight up.

The bridge is owned by the county, which is replacing the structure using federal grants.

Price said he and the county bridge engineer are trying to work with the demolition contractor to arrange for people to get closer to the scene.




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