PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – PennDOT has plenty of construction plans for 2014, but the Squirrel Hill Tunnel project is nearing completion.

When PennDOT District 11’s construction funding jumped from $200 million to $280 million with the governor’s new transportation funding, the Birmingham Bridge got into the starting lineup for 2014.

A top to bottom rehab is on the way, including, deck, steel, and rocker bearing replacements.

“And we’re going to do a full repaint of the Birmingham Bridge. It’s quite rusty if you get a look at it,” Dan Cessna said.

The impact on bridge traffic should not be significant.

However, consider January as the beginning of the end for the Squirrel Hill Tunnel project.

“We’re going to be done there for likely 30 years,” Cessna said.

But, there’s still work to do in 2014.

“We are on schedule for completion in mid-July next summer and that will include one inbound and one outbound closure to finish the remaining paving inside the tunnels,” Cessna said.

Mostly cosmetic work remains with the biggest missing link being lighting.

“If you notice the entrances, they seem rather dark right now. They will be lit up very brightly by the time the project is completed,” Cessna said.

Another long-needed project is finally going to construction on the Golden Mile Highway – Route 286.

“First phase will include adding a center turn lane basically from Route 22 to the second signalized intersection just past the Phillips Building,” Cessna said.

PennDOT views this as a major safety improvement and should relieve congestion.

“We’re going to be adding a lane. So, we’ll build that to the outside of the roadway and then do resurfacing once the widening is completed,” Cessna said.

In White Oak Borough, an almost identical project will transform Lincoln Way.

“From Route 48 through the business district in White Oak Borough, we’re going to be adding a center turn lane, redoing all the curbs and sidewalks through that area,” Cessna said.

That work should wrap before the snow flies next fall.

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