PennDOT: Interstate 279 commuters should expect heavy traffic delays Monday
Commuters who take Interstate 279 should anticipate heavy traffic delays Monday — especially those heading north from Pittsburgh in the afternoon, PennDOT officials said.
From Friday night through Saturday, road crews rerouted lanes on a roughly five-mile stretch of Parkway North in Ohio and Ross townships and imposed new speed, stopping and lane restrictions in both directions.
"Monday, I expect heavy congestion, especially during the afternoon rush hour," PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said Saturday. "It will take motorists a few days to adjust to the new configuration."
The lane closures severely snarled the city's outbound traffic Friday night.
On Saturday afternoon, cars were backed up along multiple I-279 on-ramps, including at Madison Avenue near East Ohio Street in Pittsburgh's North shore. Traffic flowed somewhat freely on the main interstate but at speeds reduced to 45 mph in several work zones.
The major lane changes begin just south of McKnight Road interchange. Northbound traffic splits into two lanes — a local lane that stays to the right, and an express lane that veers left over the carpool lanes and onto a newly created lane bordering I-279 southbound travelers.
The express lane will not provide motorists access to Perrysville Avenue (Exit 5), Bellevue/West View (Exit 7) or Camp Horne Road (Exit 8).
On I-279 South, all three lanes (two southbound, one northbound) will be narrowed to 11 feet.
Traffic is reduced to a single-lane northbound from the Fort Duquesne to Veterans bridges.
The changes and increased restrictions continue through the Camp Horne exit.
Among other restrictions:
• The northbound on-ramp from Perrysville Avenue to I-279 will be closed through late July so the ramp can be lengthened by about 800 feet and a bridge can be widened.
• The carpool lanes south of Venture Street will remain closed throughout the project. The Bedford Avenue carpool ramp will reopen to traffic following major events at PPG Paints Arena.
The $88 million I-279 Parkway North Improvement Project includes the preservation of 30 bridges and 49 overhead sign structures, repairs to 29 walls, lighting improvements, carpool lane upgrades, concrete patching and overlay and guard rail and drainage improvements, with work being done by Trumbull Corp. and Lindy Paving.
Workers also will install an anti-icing system on the bridges at the McKnight Road interchange.
Check the latest traffic conditions and view live video feeds at 511PA.com. Subscribe to Parkway North updates by emailing email@example.com with "Subscribe — Parkway North" in the subject line.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.