PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The 10th Street Bypass in Pittsburgh remains closed as crews work to remove an icy mess.
The bypass has been closed since last Friday. It was initially closed because of flooding concerns. Over the weekend, that water froze. A PennDOT manager says removing the ice from the bypass is a bigger job than they thought.
They hope to have the bypass open no later than Tuesday afternoon.
KDKA’s Lisa Washington Reports:
PennDOT workers used excavators, graters and lifts, as they worked throughout the night to pick up and move the huge chunks of ice on the 10th Street Bypass.
“There’s just a large volume, that’s the issue,” said Jason Zang, Allegheny County Maintenance engineer for PennDOT.
The bypass was covered with water when the Allegheny River began to surge Friday. Once the temperature dropped over the weekend, it turned to ice.
“The water had a chance to ice and become ice, so it’s basically four feet of ice and slush that they’re moving out with excavators and high lifts,” Zang said.
Picking up the ice is only part of the problem. The other challenge is where to put it. Some of it is being dumped back into the Allegheny River.
“We’ve run out of places to put it, so now we’re trucking it out of the area, so it’s proving to be a much larger effort that the Parkway was,” Zang said.
With more snowfall expected, PennDOT will have to balance its resources to continue work on the bypass and attend to the interstates and roadways across western Pennsylvania.
“It’s just careful balance of resources making sure we have enough people out on the roads patrolling, treating the roads,” Zang said.
As always, PennDOT said their priority will be making sure the interstates and major roadways like Routes 28 and 22 are clear.
Meanwhile, the City of Pittsburgh’s reduced holiday Public Works crews were hitting the problem areas on Monday afternoon. They were also answering complaints, like in Lower Greenfield.
“You see that bike lane is clear,” said Greenfield resident Joe Tunder. “Roads are still messed up.”
Mike Gable, the city director of Public Works, points out the equipment used on the bike lanes is small and not designed for streets.
“It isn’t just about streets, we have multiple assets to take care of, and if we didn’t do the bike lane, I’m sure we would get a lot of heat from the bikers, too,” said Gable. “I don’t know how many people are out biking at this temperature, but there are.”
Gable says they are using Plow Tracker to make sure they get to all the streets, but they are not only fighting snow and ice, they’re also battling expectations.
“We’ve put a lot of material down and people have expectations it’s going to melt now at zero degrees, it’s not going to do it,” he said.