PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More changes could be coming to the Parkway West.
PennDOT has applied for a federal grant to pay for part of a project to redesign the inbound and outbound lanes, on-ramps and exits in front of the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
Watching the Carnegie ramp traffic merge into the inbound Parkway West traffic is not for the faint of heart. So, the plan is to keep the entering traffic behind a jersey barrier and continue it in its own lane.
“Then, inbound, we would like to add an additional bridge under the railroad bridge to create a new on-ramp for Carnegie heading inbound that would tie right into the third lane that exits already for the climb up Greentree Hill,” said PennDOT District 11 Executive Dan Cessna.
The Greentree interchange itself would undergo a major overhaul with the cloverleaf ramps eliminated in favor of a diamond configuration.
“Where you have a short on-ramp and then an immediate off-ramp, those conditions would be eliminated,” said Cessna.
Heading on towards the tunnel, where the Parkway Center on-ramp ends, Cessna says, “We’ll extend that ramp and create an exit lane for exit only for traffic only going to 51.”
The Route 51 traffic would use a new, elevated ramp to overfly Banksville Road and eliminate the weaving just outside the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
“That is the issue, and in addition to that, we have a lot of incidents that occur, a lot of the congestion that occurs on the Parkway West is incident related,” Cessna said.
Over on the outbound side, the ramp coming off Route 51 to Banksville and the outbound Parkway would be widened to two lanes and the Parkway traffic would not be required to merge into the main line immediately because the on-ramp would continue to Parkway Center.
And, instead of the third outbound lane disappearing at the Greentree exit, Cessna says, “Ideally, from Greentree to Carnegie, we would like to extend that third lane.”