By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Now that the North Shore Connector is open, PennDOT is scrambling to get a project designed to build a pedestrian walkway so people arriving for major events won’t have to fight traffic to get to Heinz Field.

The $8 million pedestrian walkway will be suspended under the new “T” bridge over Allegheny Avenue and will allow fans to cross above the road and descend by stairs or elevator to the area outside Gate C at Heinz Field.

“It will not provide a direct connection to Heinz Field,” PennDOT’s Dan Cessna said. “We would expect that would be possible, but again that would require modifications to Heinz Field which are beyond the scope of this project.”

The project also includes a ramp from the “T” station across Ridge Avenue which would serve CCAC students daily and special event pedestrians as well.

“It’s an effort to get pedestrians lifted up out of the main streets where they’re going to be intermingling with traffic because the end goal is safer pedestrian access,” Cessna said.

Cessna says the state will pay half the cost with the Steelers, casino, city and county equally sharing the rest.

Design work should be finished by summer with construction to start next year and be finished by late in 2014 or early in 2015.

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