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Squirrel Hill Tunnel Closure Frustrates Drivers, Causes Traffic Backups

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- PennDOT kept its promise. The inbound lanes of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels were closed for the weekend on Friday evening.

As expected the closure led to a huge bottleneck leading to the Edgewood-Swissvale Interchange, which is the last exit before the tunnel.

"It's been almost an hour from when we started back there," said one driver of the congestion.

Drivers are taking a detour down Braddock Avenue to Forbes Avenue and through Squirrel Hill before returning to the Parkway. Some are questioning the timing of the closure.

"You know all this stuff's happening," said another driver. "Why would you close the main road down? It doesn't make no sense."

The closure really caught out-of-town visitors by surprise.

"I live in Norfolk, Va. We got our own problems with tunnels," said one driver.

"We're not from Pittsburgh, so this is pretty difficult - getting into Pittsburgh," said another person driving through town.

Police have been positioned along the detour to help keep traffic moving.

The $49 million tunnel improvement project is expected to take about two years. This weekend marks the first of eight closures as PennDOT does the long-term rehab work.

Drivers are advised to be patient and give themselves some time.

"I'm on vacation," added another driver. "I have time for this; it's okay."

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