Our ailing HOVs

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

It’s a headache that’s going to last awhile.

The entry gate of the Parkway North HOV lanes at McKnight Road will stay shut for several weeks because of an equipment malfunction, meaning more traffic on the mainline and longer morning backups until it is fixed.

Other entrances are open and the problem does not affect afternoon rush hours.

Here’s the explanation from PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi:

“The controller at the McKnight Road HOV entrance is malfunctioning, essentially not sending the correct commands to the gates.  Because this creates a safety concern, we cannot keep this gate open until repairs are made. Unfortunately, a bad controller is an uncommon problem that rarely occurs. Since it is uncommon we don’t keep a spare controller. It will take a few weeks to get a new controller, install, and test it thoroughly to ensure it is functioning appropriately and safely before we open the McKnight Road gate to the public.”

In other HOV news, the Port Authority has set a deadline for Thursday for bids to supply replacement parts needed to fix and reopen the Wabash Tunnel, which was damaged by a truck Oct. 22 and has either been closed or restricted to one-way outbound traffic since then. Full reopening is still at least two months away, and possibly longer.


UPDATE: THIS WORK HAS BEEN POSTPONED. Part of Route 88 in Bethel Park will be closed on Saturday and Sunday for bridge repairs. The closures are scheduled for 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days from Churchill Road to Clifton Road for work on the bridge over Piney Fork. Traffic will detour via Berryman Avenue, Stewart Road and Brownsville Road.

Inspection of the Route 48-Mosside Boulevard Bridge over Turtle Creek in North Versailles and Monroeville will cause single-lane closures at times from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

Route 910 in Indiana Township will close long-term Feb. 11 for replacement of a bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Cars will face a 12-mile detour along Saxonburg Boulevard, Harts Run Road, Dorseyville Road, Fox Chapel Road, Guys Run Road and Locust Hill Road. Trucks will have a 20-mile posted detour via Saxonburg Boulevard, Route 8 and Route 28. The project is scheduled for completion in October, and is part of the preparation for widening and reconstruction of the turnpike from mile 40 to mile 48. In all, six bridges will be replaced in coming years. The turnpike’s schedule calls for two other closures to start in the early part of this year, on Middle Road in Hampton and Saxonburg Boulevard in Indiana Township.

Route 268 in Armstrong County is closed in both directions from Hilltop Plaza to Old Butler Road in East Franklin Township after a tractor-trailer crash that brought down power lines at Nixon Street and Butler Road in West Kittanning. Traffic is being detoured via Butler Road and U.S. Route 422, according to PennDOT’s Deborah Casadei. It is expected to reopen by 5 p.m.

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