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Overnight closures planned for Parkway East, Fort Pitt Tunnels

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

2 p.m. UPDATED ITEM BELOW: PennDOT has pushed Route 19 reopening in Pine to Wednesday because of expected cold weather tonight.

The good news: PennDOT agrees with reader Paul E.’s suggestion to add a second left-turn lane at the end of the southbound off-ramp on Interstate 79 at Bridgeville. But the change will be part of a bigger improvement project in that area, and there’s no scheduled start date for the work, meaning no immediate relief for the backups going toward Cecil.

The westbound/inbound Parkway East will be closed between Grant Street and the Fort Pitt Bridge for the next five nights as construction continues in the “bathtub” section, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced. The closures will occur from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.

Inspection of the Fort Pitt Tunnels will cause a series of overnight closures in both directions over the next few weeks. The closures will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily and force traffic to use the West End Bypass and West Carson Street as a detour. The inbound closures started Sunday night and will continue through Thursday; then next Sunday and Nov. 13, 14 and 15. Outbound closures will occur Nov. 19, 20, 26 through 29, Dec. 2, 3 and 4.

Noblestown Road from Weaver Street to Obey Street is closed due to a landslide, according to Pittsburgh public works.

Much of the widened and reconstructed Route 19 in Pine will open with a new five-lane configuration Wednesday morning, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced. Work to remove long-term traffic restrictions is scheduled Tuesday night, with completion expected by 7 a.m. in the 2.3-mile work zone. Some northbound restrictions will remain in place during completion of sidewalk construction and paving as weather permits through the winter, PennDOT said. The overall $18.1 million project is scheduled for completion in the spring.

PennDOT reopened the ramp from the inbound Boulevard of the Allies and Parkway East to the Liberty Bridge on Friday after about a month of construction.

The outbound Liberty Tunnel will be down to one lane starting at 10 p.m. today (Monday) through Thursday for maintenance. Restriction lifted by 5 a.m. daily.

Two railroad crossing improvement projects were scheduled to close heavily traveled roads today (Monday). In Baldwin Borough, Streets Run Road was to close between Route 51 and Delwar Road at 9 a.m, and stay shut until about 4 p.m. Wednesday. In Dravosburg, Route 837 was to be blocked off between the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge and Mansfield Bridge from 9 a.m. through about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Port Authority expects the Wabash Tunnel to remain closed to inbound traffic at least through the end of the year. From the authority’s website:

Due to damage sustained in an accident, the Wabash Tunnel will be open only to outbound traffic for approximately the next 10-12 weeks.

On the evening of Oct. 22, a tractor trailer truck struck and damaged traffic control boxes and gates at the tunnel’s South Side entrance.

These boxes and gates normally control the flow of auto traffic into the Wabash, which is only open in one direction at a time. Because these features are damaged, Port Authority cannot switch the tunnel to provide safe inbound access during the morning rush.

Fixing the damaged parts requires several steps that will take approximately 10-12 weeks to complete, including a request for quotation (RFQ) process, ordering and shipping of replacement parts, and installation.

Once these steps are complete, the Wabash Tunnel will be able to resume its regular operating schedule, including inbound access.

In the meantime, the tunnel remains open to outbound auto traffic at all times.

Inspection of ramps and bridges in the area of the Birmingham Bridge, Forbes Avenue and the Boulevard of the Allies may cause lane closures and traffic shifts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday. Affected areas are Forbes between the Birmingham Bridge and Allies; Brady Street between Second Avenue and Forbes; Birmingham Bridge ramps under Allies; and the Allies ramp to the inbound Parkway East.

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