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Development & Transportation

Major Construction On Route 28 Close To Completion

Route 28 outbound, heading away from the city, will be closed overnight through Saturday as workers begin the final push in a four-year project to streamline the artery that runs along the Allegheny River from the northeast.

The major construction, which eliminated traffic lights and created separate exit and entry lanes for the 31st and 40th street intersections, has meant ever-changing traffic patterns and lots of congestion. This last phase includes adjusting lanes, paving and removing and adding barriers.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Cowan said drivers will have to endure a few more changes before the permanent lanes are in place.

“We will be reopening the ramp from East Ohio Street to northbound (outbound) 28 and simultaneously closing northbound I-579 ramp from the Veterans Bridge to northbound Route 28,” he said. “We’ll close that ramp for a few weeks until we can reopen the entire project.”

When the entire five-phase project is completed, drivers on the busy corridor will have two traffic-signal-free lanes inbound and outbound — a far cry from the commute before 2010.

“For many years there were traffic signals at the 31st and 40th Street intersections with Rt. 28 … it just created quite a congestion issue,” Cowan said.

The upcoming changes include:

  • On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Route 28 outbound will close from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Chestnut Street to the 31st street bridge.
  • On Friday and Saturday the inbound side of the roadway will be reduced to one lane during the same hours.
  • On Friday through Monday the inbound ramp from the 40th Street Bridge will close from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Next week (exact date TBD), East Ohio Street ramp to Rt. 28 outbound reopens.
  • Next week (exact date TBD), I-579/Veterans Bridge to Rt. 28 outbound closes.

This final $15.7 million phase will be rounded out with the planting of greenery and trees, line painting and artistic panels illustrating the area’s history along the roadway, at a later date.
Cowan expects the major construction work to be finished and the route to be normalized around Thanksgiving.