PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you are heading to any of the major events this weekend in our town, it’s probably less than encouraging to learn that PennDOT is closing two tunnels.
The last thing you want to do is be sitting in traffic when your event begins, so PennDOT says plan ahead and know your normal driving routine may not work this weekend.
Almost 40,000 fans at PNC Park, another 25,000 inside and outside CONSOL Energy Center and 23,000 at First Niagara Pavilion for Brad Paisley.
That’s a whole lot of cars on the move with PennDOT closing a tunnel and two tubes for the weekend.
South Hills’ drivers take heed; the inbound Liberty Tunnel closes tonight for the entire weekend.
“Except for about a five-hour window beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon when it will be opened to allow Pens fans to access the Liberty Tube to get to the game,” Steve Cowan, PennDOT District 11 spokesman, said.
The outbound Liberty Tube will also be closed during the overnight hours.
But because of the sports crowds leaving town, it won’t close “until two hours after the Pirates game on Friday night and two hours after the Pens game on Saturday night,” said Cowan.
Over on the Parkway East, the inbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel will shut down tonight at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m.
So, if you don’t want to miss the face off, first pitch or downbeat, PennDOT says avoid it all together.
“We would suggest taking the Pa. Turnpike to the Harmar exit, and then 28 into the city,” Cowan said.
Yes, Route 28 has its share of construction going on, but Cowan says “there was going to be an installation of a water line on Route 28 southbound this weekend. We decided to cancel that work to help accommodate people coming from the east into Pittsburgh.”
You might even consider going to Cranberry and down the Parkway North.
“It’s a roundabout way but it beats sitting in traffic for an hour and a half to two hours in some cases,” says Cowan.
If you are heading for the Brad Paisley concert from the east, the recommendation is head for I-70 across to I-79 in Washington and then up to the Parkway West.
If you plan to just tough it out in the Squirrel Hill Tunnel detour, add about two hours to your travel time to be safe. By the way, the next Squirrel Hill closing will be the last weekend in July.