PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another weekend means another road closure for the Pittsburgh area.
The delayed Parkway East closure from last weekend will begin tonight as crews continue preparations to demolish the Greenfield Bridge between Christmas and New Year’s.
According to the City Of Pittsburgh, the full-lane closures begin today at 11 p.m. and continue through 6 a.m. Monday.
Guy Costa, Pittsburgh chief operations manager, and city Councilman Corey O’Connor joined the KDKA Morning News to talk about the traffic impact, detours and local business frustration.
Costa says that the closure won’t affect Penguin fans trying to get out of the city Friday night.
“We’re going to begin closing the inbound lanes at 11 p.m., and by the time we get to the outbound lanes it may be closer to 1 a.m.,” said Costa.
Listen to the full interview here:
Over on the outbound side, the closures begin at Exit 72A in Oakland. The Bates Street outbound entrance ramp will also be closed.
On the inbound side, the closures start at Exit 78B in Wilkinsburg. The Edgewood/Swissvale and Squirrel Hill/Homestead on-ramps will also shut down.
Officials are stressing that all truck traffic on the inbound side must follow the posted detour that begins at Wilkinsburg.
Drivers are being advised to expect significant delays, but police officers will be posted around the detour routes to help keep traffic moving.
The detour has some residents and businesses around the Squirrel Hill area frustrated. Councilman O’Connor says he hears the concerns and is working with Public Works and City Council.
“I think Public Works has done a great job and the mayor’s offices in letting everybody know about the closures,” said O’Connor. “What we’ve also done, from the City Council side, is provide free parking on Saturday so we’re trying to entice people to get to the small business districts.”
O’Connor says he knows the closure is frustrating, but “it’s something that we have to do.”
“If we don’t do this now, we’re looking at possibly keeping the bridge closed even longer, and that’s not what we want to do,” he said.
Costa wants people to know that Squirrel Hill is going to be open.
“We’re encouraging people to go up the Boulevard of the Allies, come up through Schenley Park to Beacon Street and [it] will take you right the Squirrel Hill business district,” he said.
PennDOT is also suggesting taking the Pennsylvania Turnpike as another detour option:
- Take the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville to the Harmar Interchange (Exit 48) and use southbound Route 28 to access downtown.
- Take the 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.
Click here for maps of more alternative detours.