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PennDOT Previews 2012 Construction Projects

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

John Shumway John Shumway
John Shumway joined NewsRadio 1020 KDKA in 2004 as co-host of The KDKA...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the new year begins, PennDOT’s District 11 is dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s on bids and contracts for the upcoming major construction work for 2012.

And there will be equal opportunity pain for commuters from all directions.

The work on Route 28 will roll into its next phase with major work around the 31st Street Bridge. This year, PennDOT’s contractor will continue to construct the wall along the hillside of the project while excavating the trench to drop the driving surface of the road beneath the 31st Street intersection.

The detours along Route 65 in the Marshall Avenue area will continue until August or early September when traffic will return to the reconstructed mainline and work begins on the ramps in that area.

This is the year the Veterans Bridge gets a facelift with a new driving surface and paint job. The plan is to do that work overnight and on the weekends to minimize the impact to rush hours.

That same work schedule is planned for the resurfacing of the ramps coming off the Fort Pitt Bridge. Those ramps connect to the Parkway East, downtown Pittsburgh, the 10th Street Bypass and the Fort Duquesne Bridge.

But by far the largest project of the year kicks off in late March when PennDOT begins the major rehabilitation of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.

The project will require eight closures of each of the tunnels over a two-year period. The resulting detour will send traffic through Wilkinsburg, Regent Square and Squirrel Hill.

PennDOT is asking for drivers’ patience and understanding in advance.

When the work is complete, the false ceiling in the tunnel will be gone revealing the arched roof of the tunnel, lighting will be updated and raised further up the tunnel wall and everything will be cleaned.

In short, the Squirrel Hill Tunnels will look just like the Liberty Tubes but with tiles covering the walls.

The tunnel rehab at Squirrel Hill will go through this summer, the summer of 2013 and wrap up early in the summer of 2014.

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