What you won't want to try in your car this weekend

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Being back on the Blue Line after riding the G2 West Busway All Stops for more than a year quickly reminded me of what I dislike about it: inexplicable stops and slowdowns between stations; jam-packed vehicles during peak hours because of inadequate service frequency (not really the Port Authority’s fault -- a fact of life because of scarce funding); riders who mindlessly let their shoulder bags smack into others as they make their way down the aisles; and the ongoing, annoying station announcements about folding strollers, etc. Still, it beats commuting by car by a longshot. One hopes that the authority’s ongoing review of the Light Rail Transit system will lead to changes that speed up service. A good start would be arranging for traffic signal priority at South Park Road and Castle Shannon Boulevard.

While we’re on the subject of public transit, schedules for 17 bus routes will be adjusted on Nov. 18 as the authority makes its quarterly service tweaks: 13 Bellevue, 26 Chartiers, 27 Fairywood, 29 Robinson, 61D Murray, 68 Braddock Hills, 71 Edgewood, 86 Liberty, 87 Friendship, P12 Holiday Park Flyer, P68 Braddock Hills Flyer, P71 Swisshelm Park-Rankin Flyer, Y1 Large Flyer, Y45 Baldwin Manor Flyer, Y46 Elizabeth Flyer, Y47 Curry Flyer and Y49 Prospect Park Flyer. Details available at the authority’s website here, click on service changes.

It may be freezing cold out there but there’s still a good bit of road work ahead before the snow flies. This weekend’s Don’t Try It advisory would be for anyone in the Route 28 corridor who might be headed to Pittsburgh International Airport or other points west.

Inbound Route 28 will be closed for the weekend at the Millvale interchange starting at 8 p.m. Friday. Traffic will be detoured using the off- and on-ramps. Previous weekend closures have led to some pretty hefty delays. Work concludes by 5 a.m. Monday.

Then, on the side of the Portal Bridge that carries traffic from the Fort Duquesne Bridge to the Fort Pitt Bridge, lane restrictions will be in place during resurfacing starting at 10 p.m. Friday concluding by 5 a.m. Monday. This is another possible major delay point.

The McKees Rocks Bridge will be closed in both directions from about 9 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday, with traffic detoured via the West End Bridge. PennDOT is making improvements to improve safety and traffic flow from the bridge to inbound Route 65, adding a signalized right turn lane on the eastbound side of the bridge to replace the current yield condition. This will create a third lane going toward Route 65 -- the left lane will stay left only onto northbound Route 65, the center lane straight ahead onto Termon Avenue and the right lane, which will begin near the center of the bridge, will now have to wait for a green signal to turn southbound on 65. Sometime next week, traffic signals at the intersection and nearby will be retimed to improve flow.

Inspections will cause these restrictions on the Fort Pitt Bridge: two center lanes closed on outbound lower deck and lane closures on the ramps from the Fort Duquesne Bridge and Parkway East from 10 p.m. today (Wednesday) to 4 a.m. Thursday; the right lane will be closed through the inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel and across the upper deck of the Fort Pitt Bridge from 6 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Single-lane closures are possible on Route 65 between Sewickley and the Beaver County line from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (and during the same times on the following weekend) for tree removal and trimming.

Lane closures will occur on the ramp from Seventh Avenue to southbound Interstate 579-Crosstown Boulevard and Bigelow Boulevard-Bedford Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh after 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday as crews work on an overhead bridge. Work wraps up by 5 a.m. daily.

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