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Tunnel closure, with a twist; planning a long bike trip

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

tunneldetour

PennDOT again will close the outbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel for construction this weekend, but with a twist -- the on-ramp to the outbound Parkway East at Edgewood-Swissvale also will close, sending drivers on a detour from the usual detour. The tunnel and ramp will close at 10 p.m. Friday and reopen by 6 a.m. Monday.

This weekend’s work has two posted detours. A daylight detour (in effect 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) follows Forward Avenue, Beechwood Boulevard and Forbes Avenue to a left on South Braddock Avenue, right on Penn Avenue through Wilkinsburg to Ardmore Boulevard and the on-ramp in Forest Hills.

The night detour uses Murray Avenue instead of Forbes Avenue. The use of different detours is to reduce traffic jams in the Squirrel Hill business district by day, and residential-area traffic by night.

The inbound tunnel will remain open through the weekend.

Delays of more than 90 minutes were reported during last weekend’s closure. PennDOT recommends avoiding the area if possible.

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Gasoline prices in Western Pennsylvania dropped 8 cents per gallon in the past week to an average of $3.56, AAA Fuel Gauge reports. Pennsylvania ranks 24th in the country for the state average price of gasoline, $3.49. The lowest average price as of Tuesday was Wyoming at $3.334 and the high was Hawaii at $4.366. The Western Pennsylvania average is 4 cents above the national average of $3.52. In recent weeks, we had been 20 cents higher, so that’s a nice development. The national average has dropped 16 cents in the past month and is 34 cents below the average a year ago.

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike will install recharging stations for electric vehicles at four service plazas this summer: Oakmont, New Stanton, Bowmansville in Lancaster County and King of Prussia in Montgomery County. They will be in the rear of the parking lots, behind the service plaza buildings. Customers can pay with credit cards. The price will be announced before the stations open. Eventually, all 17 service plazas will be equipped to juice your Prius or Volt.

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Seth Gernot, an expert on bike tours of the Great Allegheny Passage, our soon-to-be 335-mile connection to Washington, D.C., will teach a class on how to prepare — how to equip your bike and yourself and where to stay overnight — on Friday from noon to 1 p.m. at Bruno Works, 945 Liberty Ave., Suite 500, in Downtown Pittsburgh. Free to the people, and you’re welcome to pack a lunch.

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roadworkaheadIntermittent lane closures are possible for the next three months on the sister bridges over the Allegheny River in Downtown Pittsburgh as crews make steel repairs. Work will begin on the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Friday, with traffic restricted to one lane in both directions. The work will progress to the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson bridges. Work hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and no more than one bridge at a time will be restricted, per Allegheny County public works.

Audubon Road will be closed from Fern Hollow Road to Little Sewickley Creek Road in Sewickley Heights from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday during paving.

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We’re still experimenting with it, but we’d love to have you drop by and “like” our Facebook page, Pittsburgh On the Go, where you’ll find a bunch of transportation stuff. Today we posted about a nice expansion project on the Montour Trail, motorcycle fatalities, money problems at Philadelphia’s transit agency (sound familiar?) and the aforementioned Squirrel Hill Tunnel closure.

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