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Race to close roads Downtown and elsewhere on Sunday

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

The first running of the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler footrace will close streets in Downtown Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods on Sunday. The race starts at Station Square and continues through the West End, North Shore, Strip District and Lawrenceville before returning to Downtown via Liberty Avenue. The course includes four bridges: West End, Andy Warhol, Rachel Carson and 16th Street. The entire course will close at 8 p.m. West End streets reopen by 9:30, North Side 10:30 and the rest of the course by noon. More information can be had here.

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The rationale for raising transportation taxes and fees in Pennsylvania is that they haven’t been increased since 1997 and inflation has eaten away at the revenue they generate. But some who support these inflationary adjustments are not on board with raising the threshold for projects requiring union-level prevailing wages. That $25,000 threshold hasn’t changed since 1961. So adjusting for inflation is good, except when it’s not.

There’s a good chance that the much-debated transportation funding bill will be derailed if unions and pro-union legislators don’t give a little. Rural lawmakers who are loath to increase funding for public transit need something to take back to their constituents, and raising the wage threshold could enable boroughs and townships to save money on smaller projects.

Sure, it would be nice if such side issues could be kept separate and the transportation bill voted up or down on its merits, political considerations aside. World peace would be nice, too.

More on transportation funding, from today's Post-Gazette, here and here. The Post-Gazette's editorial from earlier this week is here.

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mrzip

From the emailbox:

Getting America to Work, a nationwide coalition advocating for federal investment in the nation’s bus and rail transit systems, is urging Congress to stop scheduled cuts to the tax-free benefit for commuters using public transportation to get to work.

Current law allows workers and employers to pay up to $245 in monthly transit costs with tax-exempt dollars. This is the same maximum tax-free amount allowed for a similar benefit for those who drive to work and pay for parking. However, on January 1, the transit benefit maximum is scheduled to be cut almost in half, to $125 per month, while the parking benefit will remain at a maximum of $245.

“Keeping parity between commuter benefits for transit and parking is nonpartisan, common sense policy,” said Joe Costello, executive director of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority and chairman of Getting America to Work. “Transit benefits encourage more workers to use public transportation, reducing traffic congestion, the demand for gasoline and air pollution. I urge Congress to preserve transit-parking benefit parity.”

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menatworkThe Squirrel Hill Tunnels will be open for the weekend. Overnight lane closures will be lifted by 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There will be several traffic stoppages on the Parkway East from midnight Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday between Squirrel Hill and Edgewood-Swissvale during erection of an overhead sign. Traffic in both directions will be stopped for up to 15 minutes at a time.

Just a reminder that the Liberty Tunnels close at 8 p.m. every day except Sunday, reopening by 5 a.m.

Red Line service may be delayed from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. today during the Beechview Halloween parade.

Work on a temporary roadway at Butler Street and One Wild Place in Highland Park was to begin today. Crews are removing the traffic island and the eastbound right-turn ramp from Butler Street to One Wild Place to prepare to build the temporary roadway. Drivers will make the right turn at the traffic signal. The work is part of the Heths Run Bridge replacement project and is designed to keep traffic flowing when the bridge is shut down. The temporary roadway through the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium parking lot will be for cars and light trucks.

The bridge that carries Prestley Road over Chartiers Creek in Collier will open to unrestricted traffic today. The project to replace the bridge deck and bearings, paint and make roadway improvements began in early March. Substructure painting will continue through November but will not affect traffic. About 6,000 vehicles per day use the road.

Overnight lane closures on Route 51 in Overbrook near the Route 88 intersection will occur tonight and on weeknights through Nov. 9. The restrictions are possible after 7 p.m. daily between Ivyglen and Maytide streets during manhole and pipe installation. Work will conclude by 6 a.m., except on Saturdays, when it will conclude by 10 a.m.

Northbound and southbound detours at the construction project on Route 837 at the Route 51 interchange in West Elizabeth will continue through Nov. 22.

Repairs to the Hulton Bridge will continue to cause alternating one-way traffic on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Nov. 8.

Bridges need to be washed, and PennDOT will be redding up the 40th Street Bridge across the Allegheny River starting Friday. Lane closures are possible weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Nov. 15. Bridge washing also will cause lane closures on the eastbound Boulevard of the Allies and on Forbes Avenue in the area of the Birmingham Bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through next Wednesday.

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