By John Shumway

SQUIRREL HILL (KDKA)- Drivers in the East End will have to find another way to get around the Squirrel Hill Tunnel this weekend.

The inbound lanes closed around 9 p.m., and they will not reopen until 5 a.m. on Monday.

And the path to a new and improved Squirrel Hill Tunnel has been a less than desirable one for the folks on the detour route through Regent Square and Squirrel Hill.

For the seventh time, the tunnel has shut down.

For musician Erin Yanacek that means some advance planning.

“A little bit nerve-racking making sure we can get to our gigs on time,” she said.

Those along this route have learned that when the tunnel closes, there will be heavy traffic.

“It’s very noisy, there are backups in all directions,” said Jim Reddy, of Park Pizza, which is a business along the route.

The good news, we’re nearing the end of the road construction project.

This weekend, the inbound tunnel will get a new driving surface and some concrete work while drivers take the long way around.

“You’re talking about 43,000 vehicles on a typical Saturday reduced to one lane, so motorists are going to see backups,” said PennDOT District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan. “We ask motorists to please be patient; if you know alternate routes, please use them.”

And businesses say they will be hurting.

“We need people to drive it in from the North Hills and the South Hills and they are not going to do it,” said Angelo Proakis, of the Smallman Street Deli.

The posted detour has traffic forming a single-lane at the Edgewood/Swissvale exit.

Daylight detour (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.):

  • Exit at Edgewood/Swissvale (Exit 77)
  • Make right onto South Braddock Avenue
  • Left onto Forbes Avenue
  • Left onto Beechwood Boulevard
  • Right onto Forward Avenue
  • Access ramp to westbound I-376

Night detour (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.):

  • Exit at Edgewood/Swissvale (Exit 77)
  • Make right onto South Braddock Avenue
  • Left onto Forbes Avenue
  • Left onto Murray Avenue
  • Bear right onto Forward Avenue
  • Access ramp to westbound I-376

Suggested alternate detour (if westbound Parkway East is congested):

  • Exit onto northbound Route 8/Ardmore Boulevard at Wilkinsburg (Exit 78) interchange
  • Continue north on Penn Avenue
  • Make left onto Braddock Avenue
  • Make right onto Forbes Avenue
  • From Forbes Avenue, follow detours provided above.

This is the last inbound closure, but there is another outbound closure scheduled for July.

PennDOT expects the project to be finished in August.

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