PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This morning, some commuters were forced to make adjustments as Port Authority crews began work on the inbound Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel.
In all, they are replacing 400 feet of track. As a result, inbound T traffic is being detoured through Allentown.
The repairs are expected to take up to 20 days, which is creating some issues for commuters.
Norma Campbell and Maureen Harvey were on the T today. They said things went smoothly with minimal delays.
The Port Authority said that’s the goal. They estimate there will be 20 minutes added to a typical rush hour commute.
The T screeched over the rails along Arlington and Warrington Avenues into town and stopped at the First Avenue Station. While the lines haven’t had regular routes since 2011, they’re frequently used as a backup.
“I’m glad they maintain them. Obviously, it’s a very nice safety valve to have those tracks available so they can repair other parts of the system,” Harvey said.
Black Forge Coffee Owner Ashley Corts said she saw the backups with the extra light rail traffic. She just wishes her business could reap the benefits.
“I just wish there was something that we can do to get the T to stop here, at least during construction, to help us out a little,” Corts said.
The Port Authority said it’s not possible since a state mandate doesn’t allow any add-on service that had been cut.
Bus riders will also see a delay, which Anthony Sroka felt firsthand.
“Due to the construction, my bus had to take a long detour and I missed my connecting bus to my job,” Sroka said.
Additionally, several shuttles between Station Square and Steel Plaza are available.
The good news is that this will be the last major rail project this year.