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Liberty Tunnels closing earlier, starting Wednesday

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

 

roadworkaheadPennDOT has announced that the Liberty Tunnels will close in both directions at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, two hours earlier than the current schedule. The extra time will allow a contractor on the $18.8 million fourth phase of tunnel renovations to apply three coats of paint to the interior and allow drying time before the daily scheduled reopening at 6 a.m. The outbound closures will be delayed on Thursday and Saturday, however, until two hours after the end of the Penguins games.

The lane closure scheduled for the outbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel tonight will be delayed until two hours after the completion of the Pirates-Reds game. The inbound lane closure is scheduled to start at 9 p.m.

Route 51 will have a northbound lane closure between Ivyglen Street and Maytide Street in Overbrook from 7 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday during demolition work. Remember, Route 88 is restricted in the same area (see Monday post for details.)

The closure of a section of Pearce Mill Road in Pine for reconstruction and slide repairs has been extended to mid-December. The road has been closed from the Route 910 intersection south to Brown Road since June. When the $2.6 million project started, PennDOT estimated the closure would end in early October. The project was extended because of the need to correct an additional slide. A separate bridge project on Route 910 in that area is on schedule and the road will reopen later this month, according to PennDOT.

The new Middle Road bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike is scheduled to open on Friday, according to turnpike spokesman Tom Fox.

Also from the turnpike, the E-ZPass express lanes at the Warrendale toll plaza will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday for maintenance. Drivers during that time will have to use the conventional E-ZPass lanes that require traffic to slow down to 5 mph

Police officers have reappeared at the West End Circle to direct traffic that was backing up from the closure of West Carson Street. We reported last week that the officers were no longer being deployed there, and the result was serious delays. We got a good report on how traffic has improved since the off-duty officers were redeployed.

The Borough of Bellevue has alerted residents that Route 65 resurfacing is expected to cause traffic delays starting Wednesday night and continuing through the weekend. As soon as we get the particulars from PennDOT, we’ll post them.

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Plenty of orange barrels still out there

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

 

menatworkInspection of the Hulton Bridge will cause alternating one-way traffic at times from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays starting today and continuing through Oct. 11. Police will direct traffic at both ends of the bridge, which connects Harmar and Oakmont. Motorists were advised to expect delays.

Work by utility crews will cause daytime traffic restrictions at times on Route 51 in Overbrook. Single-lane traffic is possible from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the northbound side between Stewart Avenue and Maytide Street through Friday. Lane closures are possible on the southbound side between Maytide and Glenbury Street during the same times on weekdays through Oct. 18.

Relocation of utilities in advance of a major reconstruction project will cause traffic restrictions on Route 88 near Route 51 starting tonight. Alternating one-way traffic is possible weeknights between Tariff Street and Route 51 starting at 7 p.m. daily through early November. Restrictions will be lifted by 6 a.m. PennDOT is preparing for a major reconstruction of the Route 51-Route 88 intersection to replace aging bridges and improve traffic flow. The project will include a “jug handle” for northbound Route 51 traffic to access Route 88.

Inspection of the ramp from the Boulevard of the Allies to the outbound Parkway East in Oakland will cause partial lane closures at times from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday.

Washing of the Sewickley Bridge will cause alternating one-way traffic at times on weeknights starting at 10 p.m. and concluding by 6 a.m., through Oct. 9. The work also might cause single-lane closures on northbound Route 51 near the bridge.
 
Crash barriers will close the two center lanes on the outbound lower deck of the Fort Pitt Bridge from 10 p.m. today to 1 a.m. Tuesday. All ramps and the Fort Pitt Tunnels will remain open.
 
Repairs to a Parkway East bridge over Ardmore Boulevard in Wilkinsburg will cause single-lane traffic on outbound Ardmore from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through Friday.

The right lane on northbound Route 8 between Ranalli Drive and Cook Road in Richland will close from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 11. Southbound traffic will not be affected.

Crack sealing may cause lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Oct. 11 on the following roads: South Park Road between McMurray Road in Bethel Park and Brownsville Road in Whitehall; McLaughlin Run Road between Bower Hill Road in Bridgeville and McMurray Road in Bethel Park; Fort Couch Road between McMillan Road and Warwick Drive in Upper St. Clair; Hamilton Road between Route 88 in Castle Shannon and Baptist Road in Bethel Park; and Noblestown Road between Carol Drive and Hill Road in Collier.

The northbound right lane and sidewalk on the Jerome Street Bridge in McKeesport will close from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday for inspection. The bridge takes Lysle Boulevard across the Youghiogheny River.  Southbound lanes will not be affected.

The city of Pittsburgh will be paving streets in Beechview, Bloomfield and Brookline this week. Restrictions are possible from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. as follows:

MONDAY and TUESDAY
South Atlantic Avenue from Penn Avenue to Liberty Avenue

WEDNESDAY
Jillson Avenue from Parquet Street to Brookline Boulevard.
Parquet Street from Bodkin Street to Jillson Avenue
Kenilworth Street from Dead End to Jillson Avenue

THURSDAY
Jillson Avenue from Parquet Street to Brookline Boulevard
Parquet Street from Bodkin Street to Jillson Avenue
Kenilworth Street from Dead End to Jillson Avenue
Alcott Way from Shiras Avenue to Crosby Avenue

FRIDAY
Starkamp Street from Bellaire Avenue to Pear Way
Bellaire Avenue from Whited Street to Starkamp Street

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE KNIGHT'S WHO CAN'T PUNCTUATE, Erie, Pa.

knights

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Avoiding the weekend road work

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Reposting some weekend traffic advisories for your viewing pleasure, with updates.

The ramp from the Liberty Bridge to northbound I-579-Crosstown Boulevard has reopened after a morning closure.

Oliver Avenue has been closed to thru traffic between Wood and Smithfield streets this week because of a water main break near the old Saks Fifth Avenue that damaged underground utilities. This has proven to be a royal pain for transit riders because traffic from the parking garage on Oliver must exit on Wood, where several South Hills buses operate. The Port Authority says it will take at least until Monday morning for Duquesne Light to finish repairs and backfill the hole in the street. A handful of bus routes that use Oliver are on detour. UPDATE: The city has stationed a traffic cop at Wood and Oliver to speed things up a bit.

If you're headed up to wine country in northwest Pennsylvania, be advised that Interstate 79 bridge construction in northern Butler County reduces traffic to one lane in both directions at U.S. 422. It usually backs up on the northbound side around mid-afternoon on Friday. Southbound backups are a fact of life on Sundays, starting in the early afternoon. Using Route 19 between Portersville and Grove City adds 10 to 12 minutes to travel times but that beats sitting in traffic for 20 or 30 minutes during those peak periods.

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The 36th running of the Richard S. Caliguiri Great Race is on Sunday morning and will close streets Downtown and in Oakland and Squirrel Hill. Information for runners, spectators and those who wish to avoid the entire thing will appear in Saturday’s print edition.

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There’s lots more to look out for in your weekend travels (see below) but no closure of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels — just the usual morning lane closures that end by 10 a.m.

menatworkThe Liberty Bridge will have lane closures all weekend in both directions to allow a contractor to remove pavement and get a look at the condition of the deck structure. The fun starts at 10 p.m. Friday and restrictions will lift no later than 6 a.m. Monday.

Washington Road-Route 19 in Mt. Lebanon will have lane closures as work there continues. Traffic in the northbound lanes will be shifted to the southbound side, with one lane open both ways, from Connor/Gilkeson Road to Alfred Street from 10 p.m. Friday to approximately 10 a.m. Saturday. At 10 p.m. Saturday, southbound traffic moves to the northboard side with one lane open both ways until 6 a.m. Sunday. Lane closures also will occur on Connor and Gilkeson near the Route 19 intersection as crews place pavement markings.

Replacement of a grade crossing will cause a detour on the Red Line this weekend. The Dormont Avenue crossing will be replaced, with the detour in effect in both directions from 7 p.m. Friday through the end of service Sunday. Red Line service will detour via the Blue Line between Overbrook Junction-Willow and South Hills Junction. A rail shuttle will operate between Overbrook Junction and Dormont. Bus shuttles will operate between Dormont and Fallowfield. Another rail shuttle will connect Shiras and South Hills Junction.

So, if we’ve got this straight, here is the itinerary for a ride from Mt. Lebanon to Downtown: board train, ride to Dormont, switch to bus shuttle, ride to Fallowfield, board rail shuttle to South Hills Junction, transfer there to inbound Red Line train. Easy peasy!

Parking restrictions and changes to traffic patterns on Dormont Avenue will be posted during the work. Part of the lower lot of Dormont park-n-ride is closed through Oct. 6 for staging of construction equipment.

Bridge inspection will close a lane of the outbound Parkway East where is crosses Swinburne and Frazier streets in Greenfield from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday. No restrictions inbound.

The Roberto Clemente Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh will be closed from noon to 10 p.m. today. A 40-foot rubber duck will be placed in the river. We are not making this up.

duck

Pitt’s homecoming festivities will close Bigelow Boulevard between Forbes and Fifth avenues from 6 p.m. today to 2:30 a.m. Saturday for a fireworks extravaganza and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for staging of buses to haul the student body to Heinz Field for a gridiron tilt with the University of Virginia.

An early heads-up for next week: Route 88 will have alternating one-way traffic between Route 51 and Tariff Street starting at 7 p.m. Monday and continuing every weeknight through early November, for relocation of a gas line in preparation for the big Route 51-Route 88 intersection project. The traffic restriction will be lifted by 6 a.m. daily.

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The danger of teens driving teens

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

 

teencrash

A new study focuses on the danger of teens driving teens.

Released today by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, it reports that drivers ages 15 to 17 are about eight times more likely than drivers ages 18 to 24 to have a fatal crash if teenage passengers are in the vehicle.

There has been an upward trend in such fatalities in the past 10 years, even though overall crash deaths for younger drivers have decreased, the authors said. From a news release:

Researchers did not explore reasons behind the upward trend. However, the study points out that the 10-year period of analysis essentially mirrors the time when text messaging grew from an occasional activity to a practice that now largely defines youth culture.

In addition, research by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows that speeding became a more common factor in teen-driver fatal crashes during that decade.

“Total teen fatal crashes per year declined, but the relative risk for young drivers carrying teen passengers actually increased substantially – at this same time, text messaging exploded in American society,” says Russell Henk, a TTI Senior Research Engineer and primary author of the study. “We can’t scientifically state that there’s a direct link between those two things yet, but it seems reasonable to suspect a connection.”

The full report is here. Pennsylvania since 2011 has limited the number of teenage passengers who can ride with holders of junior licenses to one, not counting family members.

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Oliver Avenue has been closed to thru traffic between Wood and Smithfield streets this week because of a water main break near the old Saks Fifth Avenue that damaged underground utilities. This has proven to be a royal pain for transit riders because traffic from the parking garage on Oliver must exit on Wood, where several South Hills buses operate. The Port Authority says it will take at least until Monday morning for Duquesne Light to finish repairs and backfill the hole in the street. A handful of bus routes that use Oliver are on detour.

----------

The 36th running of the Richard S. Caliguiri Great Race is on Sunday morning and will close streets Downtown and in Oakland and Squirrel Hill. Information for runners, spectators and those who wish to avoid the entire thing will appear in Saturday’s print edition.

----------

There’s lots more to look out for in your weekend travels (see below) but no closure of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels — just the usual morning lane closures that end by 10 a.m.

menatworkThe Liberty Bridge will have lane closures all weekend in both directions to allow a contractor to remove pavement and get a look at the condition of the deck structure. The fun starts at 10 p.m. Friday and restrictions will lift no later than 6 a.m. Monday.

Washington Road-Route 19 in Mt. Lebanon will have lane closures as work there continues. Traffic in the northbound lanes will be shifted to the southbound side, with one lane open both ways, from Connor/Gilkeson Road to Alfred Street from 10 p.m. Friday to approximately 10 a.m. Saturday. At 10 p.m. Saturday, southbound traffic moves to the northboard side with one lane open both ways until 6 a.m. Sunday. Lane closures also will occur on Connor and Gilkeson near the Route 19 intersection as crews place pavement markings.

Replacement of a grade crossing will cause a detour on the Red Line this weekend. The Dormont Avenue crossing will be replaced, with the detour in effect in both directions from 7 p.m. Friday through the end of service Sunday. Red Line service will detour via the Blue Line between Overbrook Junction-Willow and South Hills Junction. A rail shuttle will operate between Overbrook Junction and Dormont. Bus shuttles will operate between Dormont and Fallowfield. Another rail shuttle will connect Shiras and South Hills Junction.

So, if we’ve got this straight, here is the itinerary for a ride from Mt. Lebanon to Downtown: board train, ride to Dormont, switch to bus shuttle, ride to Fallowfield, board rail shuttle to South Hills Junction, transfer there to inbound Red Line train. Easy peasy!

Parking restrictions and changes to traffic patterns on Dormont Avenue will be posted during the work. Part of the lower lot of Dormont park-n-ride is closed through Oct. 6 for staging of construction equipment.

Bridge inspection will close a lane of the outbound Parkway East where is crosses Swinburne and Frazier streets in Greenfield from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday. No restrictions inbound.

The Roberto Clemente Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh will be closed from noon to 10 p.m. Friday. A 40-foot rubber duck will be placed in the river. We are not making this up.

duck

Pitt’s homecoming festivities will close Bigelow Boulevard between Forbes and Fifth avenues from 6 p.m. today to 2:30 a.m. Saturday for a fireworks extravaganza and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for staging of buses to haul the student body to Heinz Field for a gridiron tilt with the University of Virginia.

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Groups try to push Legislature on transportation

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Transportation advocates are keeping the heat on the Legislature to pass a comprehensive transportation funding bill this fall.

The American Society of Civil Engineers, Pittsburgh section, pulls no punches with this front-page article in its September newsletter.

asce

On Tuesday, scores of business and labor organizations, in a display of unity between groups accustomed to battling one another, gathered in Harrisburg to release a letter urging lawmakers to act.

business

labor

And from today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this editorial urges the House to get moving on the issue.

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menatwork

The Squirrel Hill Tunnels will be open this weekend.

Inbound traffic on Route 51 will be restricted to one lane at times from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Friday from Stewart Avenue to Maytide Street while crews from Duquesne Light trim trees.

Cleaning of the inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel will cause one lane to close at 10 p.m. today and Thursday. Work wraps up by 5 a.m. both days.

Lane closures are possible on Noblestown Road at Scotts Run Road in Collier from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through Tuesday.

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