Five-year Route 28 improvement project at the midway point
By R. A. Monti
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012
New Kensington resident Patrick Perriello uses one word to describe his daily commute to and from Pittsburgh on Route 28: frustrating.
"I leave work around 5 (p.m.) and don't get home until 6:30 or 7," said the 24-year-old Perriello, who works in media marketing for Brunner Inc. in Pittsburgh's South Side.
In the morning, Perriello leaves his house by 8 to be on time by 9.
"It's slow in the morning, but at least it still moves," he said. "Going home, it's so frustrating because it seems to back up forever."
Perriello's story is the same for thousands of Alle-Kiski residents who battle traffic daily on the Valley's main artery into Pittsburgh as a long-term major construction project enters its midway point this year.
Perriello said the reduction of Route 28 to one lane by the former Heinz plant can leave folks sitting in long lines of stalled traffic during the evening rush hour.
PennDOT isn't going to make Periello's commute any easier. Road crews will begin work in April to maintain the bridge that is situated between Millvale (Exit 3) and Etna (Exit 4), according to a report released by PennDOT.
"The work will result in some lane closures," PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi said. "We won't have to shut the road down for any period of time."
PennDOT estimates the bridge preservation project will cost between $3 million and $4 million.
Added to the ongoing work being done to widen the road farther south, the bridge preservation will only worsen the headache that comes with a daily commute to and from Pittsburgh.
Perriello said that the stress of the daily commute has lead him to consider moving out of the Valley.
"I've thought about moving into town just to avoid it," he said. "But, I figure I've done it for this long, I might as well stick it out."
The end of construction is on the horizon for Perriello and other drivers.
Three of the four projects that will be active this summer are scheduled to be done by the end of this year, according to PennDOT.
Completion of the five-year, $120 million reconstruction of the road -- which will make it a four-lane expressway from Pittsburgh to Kittanning -- is scheduled to end in 2014.Additional Information:
Here's a look at current and future construction projects on the Route 28 expressway and their cost.
• $36.5 million widening of the road southbound from the Pittsburgh city limits to Troy Hill Road. That's expected to be completed in 2014.
• $26.3 million widening of the road northbound between the 31st Street Bridge and the Millvale interchange (Exit 3), expected to be completed in July.
• Between $3 million and $4 million preservation of a bridge that spans the stretch of road between Millvale and Shaler. That is to begin in April and end approximately in December.
• $22.5 million relocation of train tracks and building demolition, expected be completed in May.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.