PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Parkway East drivers will soon be feeling the impact of the Greenfield Bridge reconstruction project.
Pittsburgh Public Works and PennDOT have announced weekend closures of the busy road, which they say are necessary to prepare the bridge for implosion.
The first full closure is scheduled for the city’s official kickoff to the holiday season, Light Up Night weekend. It begins at 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, about an hour after the fireworks display ends Downtown, and runs through 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 23.
Guy Costa, the city’s chief operations officer, said it was not an easy decision to close the Parkway that weekend.
“We don’t want to do it, but it’s one of those things that you have to do,” he said. “If the Greenfield Bridge is going to be demolished between Christmas and New Year’s, we need to close two weekends.”
Costa said any delay in the preparations for the bridge demolition and the city could face a stiff fine by PennDOT.
That same weekend, there’s a Saturday afternoon Pitt home game at Heinz Field, and a Penguins game at CONSOL Energy Center on Saturday night.
The second weekend closure is set to begin at 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4 and run through 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6.
According to Pittsburgh Public Works, crews will be removing the concrete slabs that make up the road surface of the bridge in advance of the implosion that is set for Christmas week.
The eastbound side will be closed from Oakland to Squirrel Hill/Homestead. Click here for a map and detours around the eastbound closure.
The westbound side will be closed from Wilkinsburg/Forest Hills to Squirrel Hill/Homestead. Click here for a map and detours around the westbound closure.
Officials say drivers should expect significant delays during the closures. There will be police officers on hand to help keep traffic moving.
PennDOT is suggesting these alternate detours using the Pennsylvania Turnpike to get around the closure and avoid bigger delays:
- Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville to the Harmar Interchange (Exit 48) and use southbound Route 28 to access downtown
- Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville to the I-79 interchange in Cranberry (Exit 77) and follow I-79 south to the Parkway North (I-279) to Pittsburgh
Lee Ann White, of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, does not think the closure on Light Up Night will have a negative effect on the festivities downtown.
“This is not the first time there’s been closures of the Parkway, and people have made it into town and managed,” said White.