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North Shore Connector Project Nearing Completion

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

John Shumway John Shumway
John Shumway joined KDKA-TV in October 1988 as a General Assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Roll ‘em!

That’s a phrase you are hearing more and more around Pittsburgh these days, but this story has nothing to do with big screen blockbusters.

The Port Authority’s North Shore Connector project is only seven months from completion. Along much of the underground project it would appear you could “roll ‘em” today.

The T station on Pittsburgh’s North Side beneath the General Robinson Parking Garage is now undergoing finishing touches. The signs are up and the benches are in. Only a few trimmings remain for the station where Pirates fans will disembark and daily commuters will climb onboard for the three-minute trip into town.

KDKA-TV’s John Shumway walked the tracks today with Port Authority Rail Operations Director Winston Simmonds. It appeared that a train could come from either direction at any time.

The only thing missing was the overhead power lines that provide the trains with power.

At Gateway Center, the new T station’s escalator is in place. Hand rails for the concrete steps will come soon, and once the greenhouse-looking cover gets its glass, they’ll run the vacuum and be readying for the home stretch.

Speaking of “roll ‘em,” with the dampness in the air, and the temporary lighting, the twisting, diving, climbing concrete snake beneath the Allegheny River seems to be the perfect spot to shoot a piece of “The Dark Night Rises.”

At least that’s what the producers thought. However, the Port Authority never let that train leave the station. They said they could not pause for movie filming without jeopardizing the project schedule.

Simmonds said the $524 million project is currently running about $10 million under budget and is on track to begin testing with trains in late December.

If all goes well the first passenger rides under the Allegheny will come next March.

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