PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Motorists traveling through I-79 in Allegheny County this weekend, and the next three, will have to find a detour to get around a $43 million project taking place on the Neville Island Bridge.
Major traffic delays are expected and the impact will be felt in several towns as PennDOT is shutting down all of the northbound lanes of the Neville Island Bridge, saying the work is essential for preservation.READ MORE: Allegheny County Health Director Says Delta Variant Is Fueling Rising Cases, Hospitalizations
The project includes steel and deck repairs as well as painting.
It’s estimated about 40,000 people use the bridge every day. The detour only adds about 10 minutes to the commute but it’s a frustrating problem for the town’s drivers to go through.
Drivers will be detoured off the Coraopolis/McKees Rocks interchange then brought back onto I-79 from Kilbuck Street.
“It’s because of the detour there’s a lot of traffic but normally there’s not this much,” said Lucas Decaria, a Coraopolis resident.
Neighbors say they’ve noticed a specific issue right off of the exit.
According to them, people get confused and make some dangerous moves to get to their destination.READ MORE: 'Itchy Mites:' Preventing Bites And The Itch That Comes With A Mite Bite
“There’s a large amount of people stopping in the middle of the road,” Decaria explained. “Then you got all these trucks turning left from the right lanes, there’s gonna be a bad accident.”
There’s also the issue of congestion, with residents saying the detours through Coraopolis and Sewickley don’t necessarily mean better attraction to the towns, just traffic.
“I’m really concerned about peak hours,” said Corey Lehey, another Coraopolis resident. “It’s not as bad as I thought but peak hours like lunch it’s really hard to turn out towards further up where it bottlenecked on 51.”
Officers will be on hand to direct traffic and make sure everything moves quickly.
When closed, the bridge will be shut down from 8:00 p.m. on Friday night until 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
The closures won’t be done once this year’s project is finished.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Temperatures Continue Rising On Thursday
Next year, the southbound lanes will be closed for repairs on that side of the bridge.