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Squirrel Hill Tunnel Renovations Begin

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Ready or not, crews are set to begin revamping the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.

Work on the three-year project began at 10 p.m. Monday.

If you live in the east and are feeling a bit panicked about this project, keep in the mind, the work won't be happening during peak hours

That means you won't see restrictions during the morning or evening rush hours.

For now, during the week, inbound traffic will be single lane from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the work will stretch until 10 a.m.

"A lot of effort went into how this project is phased to avoid a full closure like we had to do with the Fort Pitt Tunnels," Dan Cessna from PennDOT said.

This year, all of the work will be on the inbound side. Next year, crews will tackle the outbound tunnel.

The total project will cost over $49 million and includes updates to the electrical, lighting and ventilation systems, among other much needed renovations.

"Structural repairs to the walls and ceiling, tile repairs and installation of a water line and resurfacing the roadway through the tunnel," Cessna said.

Over the summer and fall, there will be eight full weekend inbound closures and traffic will be detoured.

PennDOT is also prepared to work around events in the city.

"Different event sponsors will occasionally contact us, because some of the events are much more significant than others, from a standpoint of whether it's one sports game or multiple sports games, it can be a big difference," Cessna said.

The full weekend closures will be announced at least a week in advance. The first one is scheduled for the end of July.


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