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Parkway West Construction Gets Underway

As PennDOT nears completion on the two-year long, $49 million rehabilitation of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels next month, it’s beginning work Wednesday evening on the first of three Parkway West (I-376) projects.

One outbound lane will be closed as workers install traffic control signs Wednesday and Thursday from midnight until 5 a.m.

This first project involves construction of a fourth outbound lane, about a mile long, from Rosslyn Farms to I-79. PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said he expects this part of the $3.72 million project to be completed by the spring.

“This will have minimal impacts on motorists. There still will be three lanes heading west bound in that area,” said Cowan.

After the new lane is constructed I-376 will have two lanes continuing west on 376, one lane dedicated to the I-79 off ramp and the other lane will be used to either continue on or use the off ramp.

This portion of the project will also consist of shoulder reconstruction, milling, drainage improvement, sound barrier instillation and overhead sign structure replacement.

But the impact on motorists won’t be minimal when the second and third projects begin later this year.

The $13.7 million dollar rehabilitation of the ceilings in the Fort Pitt Tunnels will begin in the fall and will have nightly lane closures and several full weekend closures. According to Cowan, the schedule for closures has not been determined.

The third phase, totaling $72.8 million, will include major reconstruction of the roadway from the tunnels to I-79 in both directions. Overnight lane closures are expected next year toward the Carnegie Interchange and in the three lane stretches of the Parkway. The full work is scheduled to be completed by late 2015. 

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.