PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The arrival of warmer temperatures to our area is once again ushering in the start of roadwork season.
There are some major roads that will be seeing some significant restrictions this weekend, including part of Route 28 and Interstate 79.
“As the sun appears, so do the orange barrels, as many like to say,” said PennDOT’s Jim Struzzi.
He says a good forecast means a lot of roadwork on the way and it starts with a biggie this weekend.
“For motorists that travel Route 28, this is the section they’ve been waiting for, the beginning of the reconstruction of the interchange with the 31st Street Bridge,” said Struzzi.
Northbound Route 28 is set to close at 8 p.m. tonight between the 31st and 40th Street Bridges to replace a water main. It also means the so-called express lane will shut down.
When it reopens at 11 a.m. Sunday, the 31st Street Bridge interchange with Route 28 will close, and stay closed for three years.
The traffic signals at the bridge will be turned off permanently, and Rialto Street – which is usually closed during the wintertime – will instead be closed for a much longer period.
“Rialto Street will remain closed for the duration of the East Ohio Street improvement project, so through 2014,” said Struzzi.
However, Route 28 isn’t the only concern this weekend as another major project starts on Interstate 79.
This weekend, drivers will see one lane of traffic getting by between Wexford and Warrendale. On Monday, two lanes will open, with one lane closed around the clock to accommodate the work.
Struzzi says single lane traffic on I-79 in the area of the bridges over Mingo Road will begin at midnight for additional work needed to set up a long-term work zone. Also, no restrictions will occur this weekend on Warrendale-Bayne Road.
But the big focus is the Route 28 project, one we’ll hear a lot of in the coming years.
“For now, free flow of traffic on 28, and they’ll remain off until the project is completed; and when the project is completed, you’ll have two lanes traveling under the 31st Street Bridge,” said Struzzi. “So no more stopping on Route 28.”
Also, today marks the first full day of road work in the Wexford Flats. PennDOT crews will be expanding Route 19 in that area to add a center turn lane and make other improvements.
McCandless police worked the major intersections.
Backups did occur when North Allegheny High School started and ended its day and during the height of the morning and afternoon rush hour.
“Contractors are in the process of making just a few minor adjustments,” McCandless Police Chief Gary Anderson said. “I’ve spoken with the officers that worked up there today. Their take on it was it was about as smooth as it could be for the first day.”
The work is expected to take about a year and a half. During that time, drivers will be dealing with single lane closures from about 9:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.