City's paving program nothing to brag about

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has announced that 40 miles of Pittsburgh roads will be repaved this year at a cost of $10 million. This is from his news release:

“This year’s capital budget allows us to invest in our infrastructure and improve even more roads in our city … Paving and resurfacing city streets is just one way that we work to keep Pittsburgh as America’s ‘Most Livable City.’”

Sorry to rain on the mayor’s pavement, but 40 miles is nowhere near the 75 to 100 miles per year that Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski has said he would like to do per year, which is what would be required to keep the city’s street network in good repair. And it’s 20 fewer miles than last year’s program.

While the city has a lot of things to brag about, the condition of its streets is not one of them.

You can view the list of streets to be paved here.


U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster announced on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency will not do another round of reviews on the proposed widening and relocation of Route 219 in Somerset County. This should clear the way for construction on a project that has been talked about and planned for nearly a half-century. With the EPA signoff, the work now needs a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected soon. This Post-Gazette story from February explains why some wanted more scrutiny of the project’s environmental impact and shows where the new road would be built.


How cool is PennDOT? PennDOT is on YouTube.

Today it announced the launch of its channel, “Our YouTube channel is our next step in communicating with our customers in more personal, interactive ways,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said in a news release. Posted there so far are a 25-minute time lapse video of repair work after the May 9 tanker fire at the Interstate 81 and U.S. 22/322 interchange (definitely worth a look), educational and safety videos; and features on PennDOT operations and initiatives.


PennDOT driver’s license and photo centers will be closed Saturday through Monday for the Memorial Day weekend.


roadworkaheadTraffic on Route 65 will be reduced to one narrow lane in both directions starting tonight for a $6.3 million paving project. Starting at 8 p.m., inbound traffic will be crossed to the outbound side from Camp Horne Road in Emsworth to Locust Street in Avalon, with one 10-foot lane maintained in both directions. The restriction will be in place around the clock. Five miles of Route 65 will be resurfaced in Emsworth, Ben Avon, Avalon and Bellevue. The project is scheduled for completion late this year.

Another likely source of big slowdowns is the continuing in-depth inspection of the Liberty Bridge, which may cause lane closures and traffic shifts from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays through June 14. This has already caused some hefty midday jams. Restrictions also are possible from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 1 and 2. No work will be done May 31.

Watch for line painting on the Parkway North and Interstate 79 all week. Keep your distance.

Inspection of the Rachel Carson Bridge over the Allegheny River will begin next week. The bridge will close to traffic and pedestrians from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting, on the following dates: May 28 through 31; June 3 through 7; and June 10, according to the Allegheny County Public Works Department.

The signs are up advertising the closing of Valley Brook Road at Route 19 in Peters on Wednesday as reconstruction of that awkward, shabby interchange begins. You’ll probably like the finished product but it’s going to cost you 16 months of detours. For those east of Route 19, McMurray Road is the official alternate; to the west, Mayview and Boyce roads. You might have some better ways to go.

Inspection of the 10th Street Bridge will cause alternating right-lane closures in both directions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday.


The dreaded alternating one-way traffic pattern will be in effect overnight on Duncan Avenue between Babcock Boulevard and Thompson Run Road in McCandless starting at 6 p.m. weekdays and concluding daily by 6 a.m., with extra police on hand to control traffic. Project is scheduled to be completed in August.

Alternating one-way traffic also will be in effect on Freeport Road from Western Avenue in Aspinwall to the Route 28 Blawnox interchange in O’Hara from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays through late June.

PennDOT announced that Washington Road in Findlay will be closed through early July between Route 30 and Potato Garden Road for bridge work. It’s not a heavily traveled stretch, with about 700 daily vehicles.

Interstate 80 is restricted to one lane in both directions for three miles west of Exit 24 Grove City/Sandy Lake in Mercer County by road work. The restrictions are expected to be in place until Friday afternoon.

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