Stretches of Route 28, Route 65, the Parkway East and the Crosstown Boulevard face major construction and rehabilitation work during 2011.
PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi says the "big one" is Route 28 with work to continue between the 31st Street Bridge and 40th Street Bridge as crews widen the roadway to add southbound bypass lanes to the 40th Street Bridge interchange...
"The next phase of the project, the large scale widening, from the Heinz Plant out to the 31st Street Bridge where it will connect with the project currently underway will start this summer as well."
Because of that, there will be a single lane northbound on parts of 28 between the city's North Side and Millvale until 2014 when the project is completed.
Struzzi says motorists have to understand that this is a major construction project and there's not a lot of room to do the work that needs to be done without impacting traffic but "when it's done, there will be free-flowing traffic through that corridor and there will be a dramatic improvement."
Struzzi says the $17 million rehabilitation of the Boston Bridge on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township will get into full swing in 2011 with some northbound lane closures of the bridge overnight and some weekends. He says this will be a good year to reduce the number of structurally-deficient bridges in the Pittsburgh area.
In addition, PennDOT will do a $14 million rehabilitation of the Crosstown Boulevard (I-579) to the Veterans' Bridge which will involve lane and ramp closures.
Struzzi says the 5 year rehabilitation of ramps and bridges on the Parkway East (I-376) between the Squirrel Hill Tunnels and the Pennsylvania Turnpike will wrap up during this next construction season.
Also, work will continue on the Route 65/Marshall Avenue interchange on Pittsburgh's North Side and there will be a new project in the North Hills, the Wexford Flats, on Route 19 near North Allegheny High School to widen and add turning lanes along the corridor..."If anyone travels that, you know it's very difficult to make left hand turns into any of the businesses up there."
Struzzi says motorists will see a lot of construction in 2011 because those projects are already funded, but the big impact of the transportation funding crisis will come in 2012....
"We're simply not designing projects for the future because we don't have the money to fund the design. A lot of people will scratch their heads when they hear about the funding crisis because they see all the improvements that we are making. But these improvements were planned a few years ago. The true dilemma is there is no plan for the future because there is no money to pay for it."