PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The city’s traffic nightmares are only going to get worse – starting this weekend.
The outbound Liberty Tunnel is still closed until Aug. 12.
But also, starting tonight, outbound West Carson Street from the West End Bridge to McKees Rocks will be closed for two years of construction.
Bumping and bouncing from the West End to McKees Rocks, this was the final day to travel the stretch of Route 51 before the orange barricade brigade takes over tonight for the next two years.
“It will be a new concrete roadway, new sidewalks all marked out and a much safer corridor,” said Dan Cessna, PennDOT District 11 executive.
It’s a lot of work and a long time to detour traffic to the other side of the Ohio.
“All the traffic that normally is on this road is going to be on Ohio River Boulevard, plus the traffic that’s always on the boulevard; and I sit in traffic 15 minutes anyway waiting to get across,” said driver Karen Weinhofer, of Stowe Township.
Cessna says in order to replace the wall and viaduct holding up the lanes and replace all the utilities underneath, there’s no choice but to close both outbound lanes.
It’ll detour 16,000 drivers and the 6,000 daily riders on 300 Port Authority buses every day.
The inbound lane will remain open throughout the construction.
“That allows for access to all the businesses that are along that side of the highway,” said Cessna.
That’s something Chuck Schneider is thankful for, and hopeful his auto repair customers will stay loyal and endure the detour.
“I’m hoping everybody will give me a call and I’ll direct them in,” said Schneider.
The following are PennDOT’s bus detours:
20 Kennedy, 21 Coraopolis, 22 McCoy, 24 West Park
These routes will not serve Downtown Pittsburgh during the long-term detour that begins August 3. Instead, they will use the McKees Rocks Bridge and Route 65 to and from Allegheny T Station on the North Shore. Riders may make the free transfer between bus and light rail to complete their trip to/from Downtown.
26 Chartiers, 27 Fairywood, 29 Robinson and 31 Bridgeville
These routes will not be detoured. However, inbound delays are possible, particularly during the a.m. peak, and significant delays are likely to occur outbound, especially during the early weeks of the closure when new traffic patterns are becoming established.
28X Airport Flyer and G2 West Busway-All Stops
These routes will detour outbound using the West End Circle, Steuben Street and Chartiers Avenue to Chartiers Ramp and the West Busway. All busway stations will be served during the detour. They will remain on regular route inbound except in cases of blocked traffic on West Carson, when they may detour via the West End (all normal stops will be served when this detour is used). Riders should expect delays in both directions.
G3 Moon Flyer and G31 Bridgeville Flyer
These routes will be detoured outbound using the Fort Pitt Tunnel and Parkway West, bypassing the West Busway. They will remain on regular route inbound except in cases of blocked traffic on West Carson, when they may detour via the West End (all normal stops will be served when this detour is used).