PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After more than 20 years of Pittsburgh winters, summers and rush hours, the Parkway West is in need of an overhaul.

Work starts Wednesday night on the area outbound from the busway entrance to the Parkway, I-79 decision point.

“We’re actually going to be introducing a fourth lane,” Dan Cessna, PennDOT’s District 11 executive, said

The left two lanes will continue on the Parkway, while the next lane over splits between the Parkway and 79. The far right lane is 79 only.

“In effect, what will happen is it will move the decision point farther away from the interchange, which further enhances safety,” Cessna said.

But to do that, get ready to feel a little squeeze.

“Currently, the lanes are 12 feet in the temporary configuration,” Cessna said. “They are going to be 10 feet, and the final permanent configuration, they will be 11 feet only in that area.”

That narrowing, plus using the shoulder, will get the needed four lanes under the Rosslyn Farms Bridge. As that work continues, the next major job will get rolling next month.

This next job “basically will repave from the tunnels, replace all the barriers, redo the bridge decks and redo the shoulders from 79 to the Fort Pitt Tunnels,” Cessna said.

The work will include major work on the bridges and will last through most of next year.

“There will be a series of lane restrictions, but we will maintain two lanes of traffic during all peak hours.”

Some total weekend closures will take place one direction at a time.

Total closures will also become needed for the removal of the roof in the Fort Pitt Tunnel. That work will start in mid-fall.

PennDOT Planning Several Major Construction Projects For 2014 (1/1/2014)
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