Squirrel Hill Tunnel survival guide

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

OK, you’ve decided to throw caution, and possibly a good part of your day, to the wind and travel in the area of Squirrel Hill Tunnel construction this weekend.

Here are some travel tips:

The outbound/eastbound tunnel is the one that is closing, from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday. The inbound/westbound tunnel will be open but traffic may be stopped briefly to move construction equipment. Eastbound/outbound traffic will be squeezed into a single lane at the Squirrel Hill exit. Remember:


There are two official detours, one for daytime and one for after 8 p.m. The idea is to keep the Squirrel Hill business district uncongested during the day, and spare Beechwood Boulevard residents from all-night traffic noise.

Detour by day:


Detour by night:


PennDOT District 11’s website has a link to a project information page where you’ll find traffic cameras (operating while the detour is in effect) and estimated travel times. You can also check out parkway cameras at Build the Southwestern Pennsylvania travel map, slide over to the right of the screen and click the cameras icon, then click on any that appear on the map to get the view.

If you see traffic armageddon, PennDOT suggests this alternative: exit the parkway at Forbes Avenue-Oakland and take Forbes to a left on South Bellefield, and rights at Fifth Avenue and Penn Avenue through Wilkinsburg to the Forest Hills on-ramp.

Of course, your best bet is to avoid the area altogether.


roadworkaheadThere's more for you Parkway East drivers: Overhead sign inspections inbound may cause lane closures from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday from the Business Route 22 exit to the Churchill interchange.

Inspection of overhead bridges and signs continues on the Parkway West this weekend, and lane closures are possible:
--From 10 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday outbound from Green Tree to Rosslyn Farms.
--From 6 a.m. to noon Sunday in both directions between Interstate 79 and Carnegie.
--From 10 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday inbound from Interstate 79 to Carnegie.

Inspections continue on the Parkway West on Monday and Tuesday. Overnight lane closures are possible after 10 p.m. Monday outbound from Parkway Center to Carnegie and after 10 p.m. Tuesday inbound between Carnegie and Green Tree. Work concludes by 5 a.m.

Traffic stoppages are possible on Interstate 79 in Franklin Park from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Sunday just south of the Wexford interchange. Crews from a cable company will work across the highway. Slowdowns are possible from 8:30 a.m. until work wraps at 11 a.m.

Inspection of the Elizabeth Bridge on Route 51 will cause lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays starting Monday through mid-April. Some restrictions may occur on streets under the bridge as well, and some weekend work is possible.

Geotechnical drilling and research for a future bridge replacement on Potato Garden Road in Findlay may cause lane closures north of Strouss and Moody roads from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Monday through Friday.

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