By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Route 65 in the Manchester area is closing Wednesday morning, so the 16,000 daily drivers will have to either use the detour or find a new way around the closure.

Just when you’ve gotten used to the one-lane traffic for construction on southbound 65, here comes the biggest change of the project.

“Traffic is going to get off at Beaver Avenue exit, continue southbound on Beaver Avenue, and then we’ll put them back on southbound 65,” PennDOT Dist. 11 spokesman Steven Cowan said.

A Route 65 bridge needs to be rehabbed, so traffic will be detoured, although pedestrians will still be able to walk underneath.

The detour includes traffic lights.

“We will have police officers at least the first few days, maintaining traffic through those lights,” Cowan said.

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There’s a twist to this detour that drivers need to be aware of on the south end of the detour: you’ll be able to exit to the left through a little tunnel to rejoin 65 for your ride into the city. But if you want to go to the West End Bridge or North Shore, you need to continue straight.

No doubt daily commuters will quickly get used to the split on Beaver Avenue, but this effects more than just daily commuters. For Guns N’ Roses next week, all the Pirates games through mid-September, every concert and the beginning of football season at Heinz Field, fans coming in 65 are going to have to deal with this.

PennDOT is working with the teams and the venues and has no desire to inconvenience fans, but…

“There’s really no way around it,” Cowan said. “We have to complete this work.”

The detour begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday.