By Rick Dayton

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A scheduled closure of the inbound Parkway East will remain in effect through Sunday morning.

According to PennDOT, the road is closed between the Boulevard of the Allies/Liberty Bridge off-ramp and the Grant Street on-ramp.

The closure is in effect from 6 a.m. on Wednesday through 10 a.m. on Sunday. Crews will be doing reconstruction work between the Allegheny County Jail and the Grant Street interchange.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

All inbound traffic must exit the roadway at the Boulevard of the Allies off-ramp.

When people first heard the news that the inbound lanes of the Parkway East were going to be closed for the better part of a week, they were very concerned. PennDOT says in the first day, things could not have gone better.

“Things are flowing nicely along the detour route,” says PennDOT District 11 spokesman Steve Cowan. “That is mostly because there is not much traffic the day after Christmas. We do anticipate that it will take a little longer tomorrow as people are getting back to work.”

The detour started under the dark of night — as crews started putting up cones and barrels before 6 a.m. Wednesday.  When the lane restrictions went into place, Cowan says it was still smooth sailing.

“Free-flowing most of the day. We didn’t even see the restrictions at the Squirrel Hill Tunnel with all the congestions that typically is there,” Cowan said.

There weren’t even many issues as traffic got closer to town on the detour route at Grant Street and 7th Avenue.  That is largely due to the fact that there are typically 40 percent fewer cars on the Parkway East the day after Christmas.

Cowan expects things to be a bit different on Thursday. The traffic will be lighter than unusual — by 25 to 35 percent — but it could be enough of a bottleneck to create some issues.

“If you are traveling to the airport, or if you need to be somewhere time specific, you might want to look at some alternate routes,” he said.

Crews will work on replacement of expansion dams on a bridge along I-376 and they will also be pouring concrete in large sections of the highway. The weather report looks promising to give PennDOT crews the best chance of completing the work.

“Seeing temperatures as high as 60 degrees over this stretch is wonderful for the contractor,” said Cowan. “It doesn’t look like there is going to be sustained rain, which could be impactful. So, we are very optimistic that they will be able to get the work done in a timely fashion.”

By doing the work this week between Christmas and New Year’s, officials say it will eliminate the necessity to close the inbound Parkway East for five weekends to do the work in the spring.

Even though the Steelers game against the Bengals has been moved from a 1 p.m. kickoff until 4:25 p.m., PennDOT says it will keep its promise and have everything wrapped up by Sunday morning at 10 a.m. so fans can get the game.

The following detours are in effect:

Cars:

  • From westbound (inbound) I-376, take the Boulevard of the Allies/Liberty Bridge (Exit 72B) off-ramp
  • Take the ramp toward the Veterans Bridge (North 579 to 279)
  • Take the left-hand exit to Convention Center/7th Avenue
  • From 7th Avenue, turn left onto Grant Street
  • Follow Grant Street back to the westbound I-376 on-ramp toward the Fort Pitt Bridge/Airport
  • End detour

Trucks:

  • From westbound (inbound) I-376, take the Boulevard of the Allies/Liberty Bridge (Exit 72B) off-ramp
  • Take the ramp toward the Liberty Bridge (to Routes 19/51)
  • Continue across the Liberty Bridge and through the Liberty Tunnel
  • Turn right onto North 51/Truck 19 toward the West End
  • Take the left-hand exit to Carnegie/Airport (West 376 and South 19)
  • For motorists continuing westbound on I-376, take the ramp to Carnegie/Airport (West 376)
  • For motorists heading back into downtown Pittsburgh, bear left towards Uniontown (South Truck 19/51)
  • Merge onto eastbound (inbound) I-376 Parkway West and follow through the Fort Pitt Tunnel
  • End detour

PennDOT will work with the City of Pittsburgh Police to assist motorists at key intersections on the detour route.

Additionally, the following ramps will close to traffic:

  • The Boulevard of the Allies on-ramp to westbound (inbound) I-376
  • The westbound (inbound) I-376 Second Avenue (Exit 71B) off-ramp
  • The westbound (inbound) I-376 Grant Street (Exit 71A) off-ramp

PennDOT also suggests using the Pennsylvania Turnpike as an alternate route.

The outbound side of the Parkway will not be affected by this closure.