HOV Closure begins Monday on I-279 Parkway North Improvement Project
Preparatory Work Starts for New Northbound Traffic Configuration
Pittsburgh – PennDOT District 11 is announcing the closure of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for the start of major improvements in the northbound direction of I-279 (Parkway North) in Ohio and Ross townships and the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, will begin on Monday, February 19.
The $87.94 million I-279 Parkway North Improvement Project includes concrete patching and overlay, preservation of 30 bridges and 49 overhead sign structures, repairs to 29 walls, ramp repairs, lighting improvements, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane operation system upgrades, sign work, guide rail and drainage improvements, and an anti-icing system installation on bridges at the McKnight Road interchange. Work will occur in the northbound direction in 2018.
“Although PennDOT is still focused on winter weather, construction season is quickly approaching,” said District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni. “Preparations are underway to begin the next phase of the important and impactful I-279 Parkway North Improvement Project.”
Beginning at 4 a.m. on Monday, February 19, the HOV lanes will close to traffic around-the-clock through March 11. Crews will begin preparatory work including barrier removal and installation, line painting, fiber optic cable removal, and other miscellaneous construction activities prior to shifting northbound mainline I-279 traffic into the HOV lanes near the McKnight Road/Evergreen Road exit. The new configuration is anticipated to begin Sunday, March 11.
Additionally, motorists will see the following traffic patterns and improvements:
• A single-lane of northbound traffic will be crossed over into the southbound lanes at the Perrysville Avenue interchange to just north of the Camp Horne Road interchange.
o The left-hand lane of northbound I-279 that is crossed over will be the EXPRESS lane. All traffic using this lane will not have access to the Perrysville Avenue (Exit 5), Bellevue/West View (Exit 7), and the Camp Horne Road (Exit 8) interchanges.
o The right-hand lane of northbound I-279 will remain in place and be the LOCAL lane. All access to the Perrysville Avenue, Bellevue/West View and Camp Horne Road exits must be made from the local lane.
o The Perrysville Park and Ride off-ramp from the HOV lanes will serve as the Perrysville Avenue exit. Motorists will not have access to the Perrysville Avenue (Exit 5) off-ramp.
o To accommodate the crossover and work, southbound lanes on I-279 will be narrowed to 11 feet between the Camp Horne Road (Exit 8) and Perrysville Avenue (Exit 5) interchanges. Northbound lanes in that section will remain 12 feet wide.
o The new pattern is anticipated to be implemented March 11.
• A long-term closure of the southbound Route 65 ramp to northbound I-279 will occur as crews conduct expansion dam replacement and bridge deck repairs. Traffic will be detoured. Work will begin in early to mid-April and conclude in approximately mid-June.
• Mainline I-279 will be reduced to a single-lane on the North Shore viaduct between the Northbound Route 28 Chestnut St/East Ohio St/Etna (Exit 1D) off-ramp and the northbound I-579 merge point for approximately sixty days as crews conduct expansion dam replacement, bridge deck repairs, and roadway reconstruction. Work will begin when the southbound Route 65 ramp closure work concludes in mid-June. Motorists can use the alternate route via northbound Route 28 and Madison Avenue.
• The ramp from the Veterans Bridge to northbound I-279 will be lengthened by approximately 1,000 feet and the ramp from Madison Avenue to northbound I-279 will be lengthened by approximately 2,000 feet. The intent is to relieve merging issues and congestion in that area, particularly during the evening rush hour.
• Widening of the bridge that carries mainline I-279 and the northbound Perrysville Avenue on-ramp to allow the lengthening of the ramp by 800 feet.
• Camp Horne Road and Union Avenue resurfacing.
• Perrysville Avenue northbound on-ramp closure begins in early to mid-March through early July.
• The Bedford Avenue HOV will reopen to northbound I-279 for two hours after major evening events at PPG Paints arena. A single-lane restriction will occur on mainline I-279 to accommodate the merge.
• Alternate routes with signage and message boards will be implemented to assist fans leaving PNC Park after Pirate games. Additionally, police officers will work key intersections around PNC Park to help alleviate traffic.
Other items of note:
• The Tripoli Street Bridge will reopen to traffic in late February.
• East North Avenue Bridge rehabilitation work will occur in 2019.
• Route 28/East General Robinson Street roadway improvements between Anderson Street and Chestnut Street will occur in 2019.
• HOV improvements, including resurfacing and lane operation system upgrades, will occur in 2019.
• The FHWA/PennDOT Work Zone Ramp Signal Pilot Project will begin in mid-to-late March on the Bellevue/West View on-ramp to southbound I-279.
Crews from the Trumbull Corporation and Lindy Paving will conduct the work. Please use caution and obey the posted work zone speed limit while driving through the area. Work zone safety is everyone’s responsibility.
To help keep motorists informed as work progresses, PennDOT has created an email distribution list for I-279 Parkway North traffic advisories and construction updates. Enroll by sending email addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Subscribe – Parkway North” in the subject line.
Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 850 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.