More Traffic Headaches Ahead Thanks To Ramp Closure Outside Liberty Tunnels

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are more headaches ahead for drivers who live near the south end of the Liberty Tunnels.

Drivers are already dealing with the northbound Route 51 overpass being closed, and now, drivers heading in the southbound direction will have problems, too.

There’s a lot of new asphalt around the Route 51 and West Liberty intersection these days, and now it’s the ramp to southbound 51’s turn.

“Motorists are going to need to look for some alternate routes or give yourself some extra time, we are doing lots of construction work,” said PennDOT District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan.

The work that started on the bridge last weekend had already snarled 51 traffic as all cars have to detour through the light outside the Liberty Tunnel; but with the closing of the southbound 51 ramp from the tube, it’s not going to be pretty.

“It is going to create more congestion issues for motorists, particularly in the afternoon trying to get out of the city,” Cowan said.

The detour to southbound 51 will mean a right turn out of the tunnel onto northbound 51.

“Take northbound 51 to the Parkway West, loop around at Banksville, and come back to southbound 51, Cowan said.

But that loop around at Banksville is a point of concern because detouring traffic will have to cut left into exiting Banksville traffic from the Parkway West, in a very short distance.

“It’s unfortunate that is the way the roads are designed and there’s not much we can do about it at this time,” Cowan said.

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Options for getting out of town and into the South Hills are limited. If Liberty’s out, then Fort Pitt is it.

“There are 50,000 motorists who use the outbound tunnel on a daily basis, so that may not be the best alternate route,” said Cowan.

And, yes, PennDOT is keeping an eye on the Penguins.

“We’d like to have these ramp restrictions lifted prior to a Game 7 if needed,” Cowan said.

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