Watch CBS News

PennDOT planning major projects next year for the Parkway East and McKnight Road

Previewing local road projects scheduled for 2024 (Pt. 1)
Previewing local road projects scheduled for 2024 (Pt. 1) 02:45

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Just as construction crews are starting to lift the restrictions on many of our area roads, next up is finding out what's to come for next year.

Some of our most heavily traveled roads will restricted or have lanes closed.

Let's start with a doozy of a multi-year project on the Parkway East.

Everyone who drives it will probably agree that some fresh asphalt would be nice -- and that's what is coming, along with more planned work. 

"This is the first project of many of the Parkway East," said PennDOT District 11 Executive Jason Zang. "This is what we consider a betterment project."

That betterment will be coming all the way from Monroeville to Churchill.

KDKA Photojournalist Dan Vojtko

"We're going to be rehabilitating 11 bridges in there," Zang said. "We're also going to be completely replacing a superstructure and deck on the bridge over Old William Penn Highway." 

This first project is going to take the years. Besides the bridges, it means a total repaving and a new median barrier, which requires restrictions on the three-lane section.

"For the long term, the three lane sections out there are going to be two lanes," Zang said.

The roadway will even be down to a single late at night and on the weekends.

Also, next summer, the work starts on replacing the Commercial Street Bridge outside of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and it will result in some lane restrictions, primarily off-peak.

KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer

2024 is going to be another major year of work along Interstate 79.

From south to north, a new project launches from the Parkway West interchange to the Crafton/Moon Run exit. 

"It's just taking care of an asset that's not destroyed yet and giving it another 15 years of life," Zang said.


They'll maintain two lanes during peak hours and then north of the Moon/Crafton exit, the work will get intense again.

"One of the lanes northbound will crossover into what we call our Express Lane," said PennDOT District 11 Acting Assistant Executive of Construction Doug Thompson. "It will crossover into the southbound corridor, about three lanes maintained all next summer in the southbound corridor -- two South ones separated by a temporary barrier that will maintain one lane of traffic in the northbound direction."

One northbound lane will remain on the northbound side for local access.

North of the Neville Island Bridge, there's some scheduled reflector and line painting that they didn't get to this year. They'll aim to get most of that work done off-peak and at night. 

Now we turn our attention to McKnight Road. 

Previewing local road projects scheduled for 2024 (Pt. 2) 02:05

The work that's going to be done is along the busiest part of the roadway, stretching from Babcock Boulevard to Perrymont in the north and to Venture Street in the City of Pittsburgh. 

It's been about 15 years since the surface of McKnight Road had significant attention and there have been plenty of potholes, water main breaks, and other asphalt-rupturing events. 

"We're repaving the road," Zang said. "We've got bridges in the mix that need preservation-type work."

KDKA / Sky Eye 2

The amount of businesses along McKnight is not lost on Zang.

"It's going to be very challenging with all the businesses up through there," Zang said. 

The work includes completely re-doing the concrete median barrier, so while McKnight is primarily a three-lane road in each direction, Zang says that those sections will be restricted to two lanes for a long-term scenario starting in the spring.

While a lot of work will be done in off-peak and overnight hours, there's so much work to do that it can't be squeezed into a single construction season.

"That goes to the summer and fall of 2025," Zang said.

To say the least, it's going to be complicated and create significant traffic disruption, especially around the bridges.

By this time next year, as we go into the holiday season again, crews will likely have taken a hiatus along McKnight Road.

That's not to say there won't be issues still by then. It's too early to tell that much right now. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.