Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and officials from the Port Authority and its biggest employee union were in Harrisburg on Tuesday to meet with Corbett administration officials about the funding crisis that could cause a record-breaking 35 percent cut in transit service in September.
Mr. Fitzgerald told the Post-Gazette that the talks were "positive" but would not provide details of what the parties discussed. More meetings will be scheduled. The authority is facing a $64 million projected deficit in its 2012-13 budget.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike has scheduled an open house on plans for a $150 million reconstruction and widening of the east-west mainline between mile 12 and mile 14 in Beaver County. It will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Pierce Arrow and Auburn rooms of the Beaver Falls Holiday Inn, 7195 Eastwood Road. Residents can see project plans, locations of bridge replacements and planned detours. Project team members will be available to answer questions.
The project, which will impact North Sewickley, Big Beaver and Homewood, includes widening of the existing mainline from four lanes with a 10-foot median to six lanes with a 26-foot median, including replacement of the Beaver River Bridge; replacing three bridges crossing over the turnpike; and detours on local roads. Construction tentatively is scheduled to begin in 2014 with completion in 2018.
On to other traffic matters. Construction will limit traffic to a single lane on the westbound Parkway East in Downtown Pittsburgh tonight (Wednesday) and Thursday night, PennDOT announced. The restriction will be in place between the Second Avenue off-ramp and the Smithfield Street Bridge, west of the Grant Street exit, weather permitting, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. both nights. All ramps and exits will remain open. Crews will prepare the road for concrete patching scheduled this weekend. Elsewhere on the Parkway East, PennDOT has postponed road work planned on the outbound side near Monroeville on Wednesday through Friday.
The bridge and ramp from Bedford Avenue to southbound Interstate 579-Crosstown Boulevard and Seventh Avenue will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Sunday for painting. Also, traffic on the ramp from the southbound Veterans Bridge to Sixth and Seventh avenues will be reduced to a single lane from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Sunday for expansion dam replacement.
A lane will be closed on the Webster Avenue/Bigelow Boulevard overpass connecting Seventh Avenue and Washington Place in the area of I-579-Crosstown from 8 p.m. today (Wednesday) to 6 a.m. Thursday for debris removal.
The overpass is between Seventh Avenue to Washington Place. Crews will remove debris from bridge painting containment areas. Restrictions will occur as needed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The two center lanes on the inbound lower deck of the Fort Duquesne Bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) to 2 a.m. Thursday for crash barrier repairs at the split on the Downtown end. All exits and ramps to stay open.
Completion of the seemingly endless Thompson Run Road bridge project in Ross has been pushed back again. The first completion date was in November, then Allegheny County gave the contractor an extension through the end of April. Now public works says the work will be done by the end of May.
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