PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Drivers who use Route 28 can expect a change starting Monday. PennDOT is permanently closing the northbound ramp from Freeport Road to the Highland Park Bridge.
This is a huge change for the thousands of drivers who also use the Highland Park Bridge. After everything is done, the loop as if you are coming from Aspinwall will be modified to allow drivers from Sharpsburg to make a left to the ramp.
"It eliminates some of the weaves and merges that have to occur there in such a short period of time," PennDOT District 11 District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said.
During construction, every ramp in the interchange will be relaxed. Only the one from Sharpsburg to the bridge will be eliminated.
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"In addition, some of the ramps around Aspinwall-Sharpsburg area were getting near the end of their useful life and needed some updating and some reconstruction," Moon-Sirianni said over Zoom.
The ramp closure comes as construction continues on 28. The $47 million project will ideally get rid of the bottleneck near the bridge. It will have two through lanes in each direction and longer acceleration and deceleration lanes. In the near future, PennDOT is looking to widen 28 inbound near Fox Chapel to two lanes and eliminate the last bottleneck between Kittanning and Pittsburgh.
"After both these projects are completed you will be free-flowing, two lanes each direction from Kittanning the whole way down to Pittsburgh," Moon-Sirianni said.
Everything is expected to be done by the end of the 2023 construction season.
PennDOT says the closed ramp will be used as a pedestrian detour while the structure over Freeport Road is being reconstructed.
For drivers traveling northbound on Freeport Road:
- Continue to drive past the permanently closed ramp
- Turn left onto Fox Chapel Road
- Make a left onto the ramp to the southbound lanes of Route 28 towards Pittsburgh
- Take the left-hand ramp to Exit 6 (Aspinwall)
- Then follow the ramp to the Highland Park Bridge
The detour around the closure can be seen below:
During this closure, crews will be doing reconstruction work, as well as ramp and utility work.
The ramp will be permanently closed, starting at 9:00 a.m.
for more features.