Some 12,000 daily riders of the Port Authority’s light rail Red Line are going to have to find an alternative mode of transportation for six months starting March 27.
The transit agency will replace a nearly mile-long stretch of deteriorating tracks and street pavement in Beechview.
This section on Broadway Avenue, “has reached the end of its useful life,” according to Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie. And it has required “22 costly repairs” since 2008 to keep it open.
The Red Line provides service from the South Hills to Downtown and the North Shore.
Vehicular traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction in the work zone and parking will be limited to one side of the street.
“At first, it’s always a difficult transition. It’s just like when construction starts on a highway and for the first few days, or a week, people are trying to figure out what the best option is for them,” Ritchie said.
PAT is providing some options for inbound Red Line passengers:
- Get off the Red Line just south of the construction zone; hop on a rail shuttle, hook up with the Blue Line and take that to Downtown or the North Shore.
- Get off the Red Line and take a shuttle bus through the construction zone and get back on the Red Line at Fallowfield.
- Or take a bus from the Mt. Lebanon station to Downtown via West Liberty Avenue.
Ritchie said outbound passengers can just do the reverse.
Port Authority officials will host a community meeting Feb.18 at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Beechview to answer questions about the $8.4 million construction project.
Some of those questions are likely to come from business owners. Pete Wagner owns The Huddle on Broadway Avenue. He said he’s lucky because his bar-restaurant has a parking lot.
“There are other businesses who have absolutely no parking at all and most certainly, the IGA store will be hurt, our bank is going to be hurt. Dentists – all businesses will be hurt.”
According to Ritchie, following earlier meetings with business and community leaders, the Port Authority implemented some changes to lessen the public impact, including concentrating the work in one construction season, instead of spreading it over two seasons.