PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On a beautiful Saturday with no rain, no snow and no sporting events, the I-279 Parkway North improvement project drive-through was easy.
The same can’t be said about Monday’s drive.
“Monday afternoon is gonna be really difficult for motorists. If you have an alternate route, you should consider that,” PennDOT District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan said.
The first poke in the ribs happened last night. As part of the set-up, PennDOT shut down the HOV lane headed north on the Parkway before the Pens game ended. They say they had to.
“This weekend is the big traffic shift. They need to get this in place before the big rain happens later tonight, early tomorrow,” Cowan said.
Lots of crews were already working the job Saturday. PennDOT says there’s a lot of work to be done this weekend.
“Shifting traffic from main I-279 into the HOV lanes, they would have to eradicate paint lines, repaint new lines, install a temporary barrier,” Cowan said.
This is a nearly $90 million project. Call it a makeover. They are extending ramps and doing a lot of upgrades, including milling, paving and a lot more.
“There’s a hundred different bridges, walls, overhead sign structures that will be rehabilitated,” Cowan said.
There will be 100,000 cars coming through the area Monday, and it’s not letting up soon.
“We’re doing a lot of work in that area,” Cowan said, “so it’s going to be a few months that there will be pain for motorists.”
This phase is expected to finish up in late August. Other work in the area, however, will continue until the middle of next year.