PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The demolition of the Greenfield Bridge implosion three years ago on Christmas week illustrated the possibility of a full parkway closure between Christmas and New Years.
PennDOT is pulling out the same playbook to close the inbound Parkway East this year on the day after Christmas.
“That’s our lowest traffic time of the year,” PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said. “There’s about 40 percent less traffic on the day after Christmas and the rest of the week, 20 to 30 percent less.”
So at 6 a.m. on Dec. 26, the Parkway will be closed at the Boulevard of the Allies exit ramp with all traffic detoured onto the Boulevard. The closure will run around the clock for the rest of that week and through the weekend until early Sunday morning. PennDOT promises the Parkway will reopen in time for Steelers fans to get to the final game of the regular season at Heinz Field.
Swank Construction will spend those four days replacing the expansion dams and resurfacing part of the road bed near the Allegheny County Jail.
“It was built in 1985, and it’s in need of reconstruction now,” Moon-Sirianni said.
Moon-Sirianni says Swank will speed curing methods to get the concrete set in time to reopen the road on Sunday.
“There’s about five weekend closures that would have been required next year to get this work done,” she said.
The detour will take traffic off the Crosstown Expressway at 7th Street then left on Grant and down the brick street back to the Parkway.
“There are multiple traffic lights and we’ll be working with the Pittsburgh Police and staffing as much as we need to and working with timings if we need to to keep traffic moving,” Moon-Sirianni said.
PennDOT is encouraging the use of alternative routes like the Liberty Bridge to Route 51 to get to the Parkway West on the other side of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, and if you are traveling to Pittsburgh International Airport from points east, give yourself extra time.
Again, the detour starts the morning after Christmas and will continue around the clock that week.