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Parkway East traffic not as bad as expected

| Saturday, June 1, 2013, 3:15 p.m.
Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review
Traffic is backed up on the Parkway East inbound on Saturday, June 1, 2013, because of the closure of one side of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

Traffic backups on the Parkway East turned out to be shorter than expected on Saturday, despite the Squirrel Hill Tunnel's closure on a night when the Penguins and Pirates drew tens of thousands of people into the city, a PennDOT spokesman said.

At 7 p.m., the inbound traffic jam did not reach Wilkinsburg, PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said. Driving the detour route in midafternoon took about an hour, he noted.

β€œI think a lot of people either went into Pittsburgh early or took alternate routes knowing that the Squirrel Hill Tunnel was closed,” he said.

Melissa Nadeau, 38, drove from Monroeville with her husband, Ken, 36, and son Hayden, 6, to watch the Penguins game on the big screen outside the Consol Energy Center. They arrived at 3:30 p.m. and said they had to slog through traffic but had planned on the backup.

β€œIt's Pittsburgh,” she said.

State police said they did not receive any complaints from motorists.

The $49.5 million repair project has closed the inbound tunnel lanes from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Workers are replacing concrete slabs in a 100-foot section of the tunnel.

Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7900 or mwereschagin@tribweb.com.

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