Route 28 traffic clogs might end soon
Heavy traffic from the Route 28 reconstruction that has clogged the expressway for nearly four years might come to an early end.
PennDOT did not expect two-lane traffic to resume on the outbound stretch between the North Side and the 31st Street Bridge until autumn of 2014, but crews are ahead of schedule and hope to open a second lane by the end of this year.
“We can't say for sure when the work there will be completed,” said PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan. “There's still a lot that needs to be done to get those lanes under the bridge, but we're pretty well ahead of schedule, and work is progressing.”
The $120 million project started in 2009 to allow traffic on the expressway to travel from Pittsburgh to Kittanning without encountering a stoplight.
Tim Campbell of Arnold said the extra lane cannot open fast enough. The licensed practical nurse said it takes him up to 20 minutes to drive a mile through the Route 28 work zone on the outbound commute from his Bridgeville job in the afternoon. Sometimes he circumvents the traffic with back roads through Troy Hill and enters Route 28 in Millvale where it opens to two northbound lanes.
Should the second lane reopen, it would put him back on Route 28 for good.
“That would be amazing,” he said. “I can't even imagine how good that extra 15 or 20 minutes off my commute would feel.”
Southbound travelers on Route 28 last week got a taste of post-reconstruction life when PennDOT removed a split in the road that had slowed traffic since mid-May approaching the 31st Street Bridge.
On most mornings, vehicles were forced into two concrete chutes where speeds rarely surpassed 20 mph.
Brad Martin, 33, an Equitable Gas operations specialist from New Kensington, said the split's removal eased the headache he got from traveling to the West End.
“It only takes about five or 10 minutes off the trip,” he said, “but the traffic flows so much better. It's definitely a better way to start the morning.”
Cowan said the reconstruction comprises the fourth phase of the PennDOT project.
Although the major closures and detours are projected to dissipate by New Year's Day, motorists might face some obstacles through 2014 as crews complete the final phase. Cowan could not estimate when the sporadic repaving, milling and painting of that phase would finish.
Some motorists who frequently use Route 28 yield a more pessimistic view of the expressway's future.
With 25 years of twice-daily trips on the expressway, David Surma, 50, of Lower Burrell believes the road was fine when stoplights at the bridges controlled traffic. He thinks the new access ramps will exacerbate traffic woes.
“People who avoided 28 are going to start coming in more and more frequently,” he said.
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or email@example.com.
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.
- Downtown holiday parade festive, but turnout low
- Republican presidential candidate Trump reframes claim that Muslims cheered 9/11
- Florida counties fight state on fracking plan
- U.S. must help Syrian refugees but not take them in, Carson says
- Woman dies after bleeding on sidewalk outside Carrick pizzeria
- Group urges Port Authority of Allegheny County to fund more transit routes
- Shooting of Pittsburgh cab driver spotlights risks of profession
- Security policies limit ‘insider threat’ at airports, TSA says
- Pittsburgh nonprofit 412 Food Rescue takes surplus food to needy
- Renovation planned for blighted homes in Garfield
- Forbes Road Career and Technology Center students restore vehicle that will be donated