By John Shumway

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Winter just started and for the next few months, our biggest concern on the roads will be snow and ice.

However, PennDOT has big plans for the area come spring.

Upcoming work includes projects in Oakland, the Mon Valley and out near the airport.

The canyon that is Forbes Avenue through Oakland is congestion personified. So, get ready because the big machines of reconstruction are coming like a parade from the Birmingham Bridge to Carnegie Mellon University.

“Well, the whole project is a milling and paving, milling the surface and repaving,” PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said.

As you might imagine, PennDOT isn’t about to mess with the rush hours on one of Pittsburgh’s busiest streets so the work will be done off peak and on non-event weekends.

While the configuration of lanes will remain the same up to Craig Street, PennDOT and CMU are teaming up for a major change after that.

“The road will go from a four-lane road to a three-lane road with bike lanes on either side,” Moon-Sirianni said.

There are currently two lanes east and two lanes west. When completed, there will be one lane each direction with a common turning lane.

RELATED: Lane Closures, Detours Planned For Phase 2 Of Parkway North Project

PennDOT does not believe the lane loss will create issues in part because of the new traffic light system that will be installed along the length of the project.

“All the signals will be the latest state of the art technology and they will be timed together throughout Oakland,” Moon-Sirianni said.

Also undergoing a major transformation this year will be the Elizabeth Bridge, which needs substantial steel and deck work. Expect a squeeze play during construction

“Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction,” Moon-Sirianni said.

To the west, it will be another year of work on the Airport Expressway. This time work will be done coming into town from the Airport Interchange to Montour Run.

“This is reconstructing the enter roadway,” Moon-Sirianni said.

It’s a full year’s worth of work, but PennDOT hopes not to slow you down

“We’re going to have two lanes in each direction for sure the way did last year,” Moon-Sirianni said.

Work is expected to begin as soon as the snow stops.

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