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Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel closure could cause delays this weekend

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By Adam Smeltz
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 9:42 a.m.

Bus and light-rail T riders who pass through the Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel could see delays as long as 15 minutes this weekend.

The tunnel closed to traffic about 7:30 a.m. Saturday and could remain shuttered through Sunday, said Jim Ritchie, a spokesman for the Port Authority of Allegheny County. He said unscheduled repairs to an electrical line forced the closure.

It wasn't immediately clear when the work by Duquesne Light would be complete, although a spokesman for the utility company said it should be finished by late Saturday night. He said the problem involved an electrical cable failure.

Ritchie said the Port Authority expects the 3,500-foot tunnel will reopen in time for Monday-morning commuters. Used only by local bus and T traffic, the passage links Station Square in Pittsburgh and South Hills Junction.

Buses and Red Line and Blue Line T service will be detoured during the closure, according to the Port Authority. Inbound T cars will follow the former Allentown Line to bypass Station Square. Outbound T service will follow an inbound rail between the Panhandle Bridge and South Hills Junction.

Inbound T riders who want to disembark at Station Square should take the T to First Avenue, then transfer to an outbound rail car, Port Authority officials said. They said outbound riders who are leaving Station Square should board on the inbound side of the platform there.

Meanwhile, riders traveling inbound from Station Square can take outbound service to South Hills Junction, then transfer to an inbound train. Or they can take a bus route into Downtown from the stop at East Carson Street and the Smithfield Street Bridge, the Port Authority reported.

Buses that normally use the tunnel will follow inbound detours through Allentown and an outbound detour through the Wabash Tunnel.

More details are available through the Port Authority's customer-service line: 412-442-2000. The number for the hearing-impaired is 412-231-7007.

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