Outbound 376 reopened after man on exit sign caused closure
A man threatening to jump from a sign overlooking outbound Interstate 376 in Green Tree caused major traffic delays on Saturday morning until Allegheny County police negotiators coaxed him down.
So began a day that officials had expected to become a traffic nightmare with nearly overlapping sporting events and a popular rib fest, all on the North Shore.
But thousands of fans left Heinz Field early from a game with a noon start as Pitt trounced Delaware 62-0. That seemed to free up parking for arriving Pirates fans, whom officials warned to get to PNC Park early for a 4 p.m. game and plan to park elsewhere even if they had a prepaid parking pass.
“No traffic whatsoever, and I came down (Route) 279,” said Barry Mansell, 49, of Ellwood City, who arrived at the North Shore at 3:30 p.m.
Shortly before 5 a.m., Green Tree police officers spotted a man sitting on a concrete barrier along the Greentree Road overpass spanning the interstate, police Chief Bob Downey said.
He told police that he was OK, so police departed, Downey said. A short time later, the man apparently climbed a chain link fence lining the overpass and climbed onto a lighting shelf for the exit signs hanging above the overpass, he said.
PennDOT closed the outbound lanes, funneling traffic onto the Parkway Center Mall ramp, and then back onto the interstate at the Green Tree entrance, causing lengthy backups on Greentree Road and other nearby areas.
A PennDOT traffic camera showed the man alternately pacing, holding his head, sitting and crouching as negotiators talked to him from about 20 feet below on the highway.
Green Tree firefighters used a bucket lift on a firetruck to get the man down from the sign shortly before 8:30 a.m. Downey said it wasn't clear why the man was threatening to jump. Medics took the man, who wasn't identified, to an area hospital for observation.
“It's just one of those things,” said Malcolm Seaholm, 79, of Green Tree, who found himself briefly delayed on Greentree Road as he drove to the borough's park just as emergency officials were reopening roads and ramps. “It's just an incident. Things happen.”
Traffic for the noon Pitt-Delaware football game wasn't affected by the Green Tree incident, with traffic flowing smoothly throughout the morning on the main arteries into the city.
Jeff Finfrock, 55, of Peters threw a football with family members in the lot at Reedsdale Street and Tony Dorsett Drive. More than 200 spaces remained open in that lot by 11:30 a.m., and Finfrock said that's been common over the past couple of years.
“I am shocked this lot isn't full,” Finfrock said. “It's pretty empty for all the horror stories we've been hearing.”
Paramedics treated 20 people on the North Shore for heat-related medical issues Saturday afternoon, including the Pitt mascot, spokeswoman Sonya Toler said. Six people were transported to hospitals, she said.
Staff writer Bob Bauder contributed. Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 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.
- Animal activists targeting Vick at Steelers preseason game
- Judge allows conspiracy lawsuit against UPMC, Highmark to proceed
- Killings of police officers leave departments on edge
- Food assistance rises in Western Pa. despite drop in jobless rate
- Pope Francis calls for abortion mercy
- 3 from Allegheny County charged with Medicaid fraud
- Pittsburgh councilwoman introduces pair of bills to protect animals
- Port Authority’s plan for car-free communities slow to bear fruit
- Newsmaker: Bob Gilbert
- Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
- Woman commits suicide in North Braddock police holding cell