PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Long-suffering South Hills drivers will get no reprieve in 2015 as the work on Route 51 intensifies.
The six miles from Lebanon Church Road to Bausman Street is slated for a major facelift this summer, starting with revamping the drainage all along the road.
“[It] will help a lot of water conditions that we run into in storm situations along that corridor,” says PennDOT’s Dan Cessna.
While the lanes won’t widen on this stretch of 51, it will get a new traffic signal system – that promises to improve the flow of traffic – and an entirely new riding surface across all lanes.
And that means lane closures mostly at night and on the weekends.
“Our goal would to be to have unrestricted travel during peak travel periods,” Cessna said.
Of course, in the middle of this is the intersection of Routes 51 and 88, and one of the biggest disruptions of this project will come in April or May. That’s when northbound 88 from Transport Street to 51 will close for almost five months.
“That will facilitate the replacement of culverts in the intersection,” said Cessna.
But Cessna says the good news all along 51 is “we would expect to reestablish full traffic by the end of 2015.”
As 51 heads for its wrap-up, another South Hills connection will just be going under the knife. Cessna says the Liberty Bridge will be undergoing a complete renovation.
Slated to get rolling in late summer, PennDOT is not mincing words about this doozy.
“This will have major impacts on traffic,” Cessna says.
With all the concrete slated to be replaced, not to mention steel repairs, a new lane control system, and lots of paint – there will be round the clock lane restrictions.
“Two lanes of traffic into the city in the morning, two lanes out of night, and then have one lane in the opposite direction,” said Cessna.
And the Liberty Bridge work will be with us for quite a while.
“All of 2016 and into 2017,” Cessna added.
The price tag on the Liberty Bridge rehab is $70 million.
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