PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The multiyear process of transforming Route 28 from the 20th century to the 21st has picked up speed. For all that time you’ve spent crawling towards the one lane merge point on 28, this one’s for you.

“We expect mid-September to reopen the two lanes northbound in addition to the two lanes inbound, and they’ll both be, all four lanes will be down under the 31st Street Bridge,” Dan Cessna, of PennDOT, said.

That’s right, where you see dirt today; you will be driving in less than a month and beyond.

“Those four lanes will be in their permanent location at the 31st Street Bridge interchange,” said Cessna.

Re-establishing two lanes northbound will free up the 31st Street intersection to launch into its final phase, and its completion and the reopening of the connection to the 31st Street Bridge.

“We would expect the interchange to be fully complete by the end of the year,” said Cessna.

And now, here comes the dropping of the proverbial other shoe.

“Phase 5 is coming, so this two lanes northbound is going to be pretty short lived,” Cessna says. “Later this year, south of that area we will actually implement the one lane closure again in the outbound northbound direction.”

That’s so the final phase of construction in the old St. Nick’s Church area can get rolling.

And this time, Cessna says the one lane northbound “will start further towards the city then it does now, but it will be very short. It would rejoin two lanes prior the 31st Street interchange.”

So, enjoy the three months of no restrictions while you have them because when that lane closure returns in December it will be with us for almost another year.

Also, the removal of the church has allowed PennDOT to add elbow room to the project’s finale.

“It’s basically only four feet wider than it would have been, but it makes a big difference,” Cessna said.

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