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Two tunnels to close Friday for repairs; another to reopen

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 4:51 p.m.

Two major Pittsburgh tunnels will close on Friday because of ongoing repairs, while a third tunnel is to reopen on Saturday after being closed for three months, PennDOT and Port Authority officials said.

The Squirrel Hill Tunnel's outbound lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday so workers can replace concrete slabs, test the ventilation system and make other improvements as part of a $49.5 million project. It's the tunnel's first closure in eight weeks.

Signs will direct motorists to take Parkway East's Squirrel Hill exit and turn left onto Forward Avenue. From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the posted detour will follow Beechwood Boulevard, Forbes Avenue and South Braddock Avenue. From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, it will take motorists along Murray Avenue, Forbes and South Braddock.

The Liberty Tunnel's outbound lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Aug. 12 so workers can replace the concrete arch at the tunnel's exit and the arch wall in the middle of the tunnel. PennDOT is spending $18.8 million on improvements.

The detour will follow McArdle Roadway, Merrimac Street, Woodruff Street and Saw Mill Run Boulevard.

Port Authority said the reopening of the Wabash Tunnel at 6 a.m. Saturday will give motorists another option during the Liberty Tunnel closure, as well as the planned two-year closure of West Carson Street outbound. The tunnel is a shortcut between West Carson near Station Square and Route 51. It closed in mid-April so workers could repair the gate system that controls traffic based on what time it is.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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