Drivers Deal With Detours, Back-Ups On Busy Friday NightBy Ralph Iannotti

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rush hour traffic is normally a bit of a challenge in Pittsburgh, especially on a busy Friday night, but it was made extra difficult on this Friday night because of rising flood waters in the aftermath of Thursday’s heavy rains.

On one side of the Golden Triangle, the 10th Street Bypass was under water.

Curt Lawhead, of Bellevue, works downtown. He watched the 10th Street Bypass all day from his window at work.

“I looked out the office window, and I could see the rivers were high this morning. I didn’t realize the roadways were as well,” he said.

On the other side of town, the Parkway East “Bathtub” area was closed early, before the roadway was overtaken by the Mon River.

PennDOT closed the section of highway around 4:30 p.m., before the homeward rush kicked in. They did not wanting a repeat of last month when several drivers had to be rescued after they drove into rapidly rising flood waters on the flood prone stretch of highway.

The following detour is in effect:

  • From westbound I-376, traffic will take the Grant Street (Exit 71A) off-ramp
  • Turn left onto Fort Pitt Boulevard
  • Bear left onto the westbound I-376 ramp toward Fort Pitt Bridge/Airport
  • End detour

Diane Webb was driving back home to Green Tree when she got stuck in traffic.

“It’s taken me 45 minutes to come this far, and I’ve only come from the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, so this is such an inconvenience this way,” she said.

A frustrated Kenneth Dunbar, of McDonald, said while sitting in his car, “I’m trying to get home, and you know, I’ve got to pick my daughters up, and this is very inconvenient.”

The “Bathtub” starting seeing water about three-and-a-half hours after the road was shut down.

As the waters kept rising, the North Shore River walk and park were flooded by early evening. Some other side streets around town were under water as well.

It was the start of a busy weekend in the city, including a Friday night show at the Benedum Center.

People KDKA talked to, who drove into town, said they weren’t going to let the flooding and traffic jams prevent them from seeing a performance of “Swan Lake.”

A man from Shadyside said, “We did sort of swing around and come down over on Forbes, to circle around this [detour]. It was a little difficulty, but no big deal.”

The Mon Wharf was also closed due to flooding.

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