West Carson work means headaches for commuters and area businesses
Closing the outbound lanes of West Carson Street from the West End Bridge to McKees Rocks is causing headaches for some business owners and for motorists snaking through a detour — and there's two years to go.
The closure started Aug. 3, kicking off the first phase of a $39 million construction project. Work will include replacing a 335-foot, structurally deficient viaduct that supports part of Route 51 between the West End Circle and Stanhope Street just north of the Corliss Tunnel.
“It's a mess, but it's as good as can be expected, I guess,” said Pittsburgh police Sgt. James LeVier. “Just plan ahead and be a little more patient if you're coming through the area.”
He said PennDOT officials have tried to make changes to ease traffic congestion as problems arise.
PennDOT posted detours on the West End Bridge, Route 65 and the McKees Rocks Bridge. Inbound traffic will travel in a single lane on West Carson Street, which will remain open to pedestrians throughout the project. The work is expected to be complete by late August 2015.
PennDOT said in July the department would monitor the detour route, deploying police officers at key intersections and adjusting traffic signals to try to minimize delays. Spokesman Steve Cowan said about 8,000 drivers use outbound West Carson on a typical day, and so far no accidents have been reported.
“Changing the traffic pattern caused some pretty heavy confusion that first day, so we put up more signs and stationed police officers at four intersections during peak hours,” Cowan said. “It always takes motorists a few days to adjust.”
Cars weaving around Pacific Pride's diesel pumps struggled through tight traffic in the evening rush hour Tuesday where a newly installed traffic light at West Carson and Riverside streets slowed traffic.
Butch Battaglia, co-owner of Battaglia Auto Recycling around the corner, said he received less than two weeks' notice from authorities about the detour. Drivers have been using the business's driveway to avoid the congested roadway.
“They put the light out here for us. They've got cops. They're trying, but whether that will affect my business, only time will tell,” Battaglia said.
Crews are scheduled to resurface cracked pavement, rebuild broken sidewalks and replace aging railings and utility lines while upgrading the drainage system, lights and traffic signals.
Pedestrian improvements include building a wider sidewalk between the West End Bridge and its busway entrance with a crossing just beyond. The sidewalk will shift to the inland side from there to Stanhope Street with additional clearance space for trucks and buses.
Police officers will be stationed at four intersections from 6 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m., including at the West End Circle, West End Bridge and Route 65, Route 65 and the McKees Rocks Bridge, and the Route 837 ramp to northbound Route 51, which is closed to through traffic.
Port Authority of Allegheny County spokeswoman Heather Pharo said riders should expect delays on outbound detours for bus routes using West Carson and the West Busway. All routes in the 2-mile corridor are subject to altered traffic patterns.
Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Megan Harris to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Legally blind Pirates fan hangs on every play, has kept score for decades
- Amid tears, Oakmont church members vow to rebuild from fire
- Teachers’ roles evolve as districts rely more on computers
- Teens charged after man stabbed in Karns City home invasion
- Medical research labs pinched by falling federal funding
- Former civil rights investigator sues agency, alleges discrimination
- Police identify Penn Hills man as victim in Homewood shooting
- Pitt professor’s UV technology destined for Mars in 2020
- Boulevard of the Allies lane closure begins
- Photo Gallery: Junior Great Race
- Squirrel Hill pantry volunteer’s donation eases struggles for families