PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the first weekday commute drivers are dealing with the closure of a major artery into downtown Pittsburgh.

As part of the I-579 CAP Connector Project, the ramp to 7th Avenue and Grant Street closed Friday night. It will remain that way for 700 consecutive days, through Aug. 6, 2021.

The project is the construction of a park that will connect the old Civic Arena site to the Golden Triangle. It is being done by the Sports and Exhibition Authority and City of Pittsburgh.

The now-closed ramp is the staging area for the contractor’s equipment and an area to launch work.

But PennDOT says about 2,250 vehicles use that ramp each day to reach town.

They have posted this detour for drivers to get around it:

Northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue

  • From northbound I-579, take the PPG Arena/Centre Avenue off-ramp
  • Turn right onto Washington Place
  • Turn right onto Fifth Avenue
  • Turn right onto 6th Avenue
  • Turn right onto Grant Street
  • Follow Grant Street back to 7th Avenue
  • End detour

The CAP Project is expected to create a new three-acre greenspace that will include pedestrian pathways, bicycle routes, rain gardens for stormwater management, design elements from neighborhood artists and more.

While this will be a daily commuting challenge, there are a couple of other things to keep in mind:

  • If you miss the posted detour exit, you will be heading for Bloomfield or the North Shore.
  • This will have an impact on crowds coming to Penguins games and concerts at PPG Paints Arena.
  • Coming from the south or east you may need to choose another path to get to the Strip District for on Saturday mornings.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this closure.