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Traffic delays and headaches

| Sunday, June 10, 2018, 11:07 p.m.
Construction markers line Route 28 on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. A planned closure of on-ramp to Route 28 southbound in Tarentum that was supposed to occur this weekend has been cancelled.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Construction markers line Route 28 on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. A planned closure of on-ramp to Route 28 southbound in Tarentum that was supposed to occur this weekend has been cancelled.

Too often we point to government as being inflexible and insensitive to the public's needs.

Surprisingly that's not the case with the recent Allegheny Valley Expressway (Route 28) improvement project.

The $14 million project began early this spring. For Pittsburgh commuters in northern Allegheny County, southeastern Butler County and Armstrong County, it is the major highway used for daily commutes and to get to Pittsburgh sports and entertainment venues.

Traffic delays and detours can make the daily Pittsburgh rush-hour commute as long as 1.5 hours.

About 50,000 commuters from the Alle-Kiski Valley use the roadway. For those taking it to the Armstrong County line, it's 21,000.

The seven-mile long construction project was scheduled to have 12 northbound and southbound lane closings. PennDOT announced last week it has drastically cut that to two closures.

One of the main reasons is the amount of traffic it would have pushed onto Freeport Road, which runs through East Deer, Tarentum and the Natrona Heights section of Harrison.

“Detouring tens of thousands of vehicles onto a road with multiple traffic signals through multiple municipalities definitely would be difficult for motorists and also the local communities,” PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said.

To its credit, PennDOT met with local community officials to get their input. And after they got that input — they acted!

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. That's a long way away.

But the headache will be minimized thanks to the cooperation of PennDOT and local officials.

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