Rte. 28 ready for fast face lift

News June 10, 2003
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A few taps on the behind is probably not going to get a crewmember to move any faster

A few taps on the behind is probably not going to get a crewmember to move any faster. The fact they are working out of a ketchup bottle doesn't matter, either.

The Rte. 28 corridor--a squeezed four-lane road featuring the Allegheny River on one side and a steep hill capped with historic landmarks on the other--is the salty piece of the Pittsburgh transportation system. In an area famous for its sweet, red condiment (Heinz), bitterness is an overpowering emotion during the morning and evening rush.

Tight quarters and heavy traffic are just two reasons why simple maneuvers will not work when the time comes to reconstruct a two-mile stretch of Rte. 28. Predominately a north-south route, the corridor filters traffic into I-279 and I-579 which provide connections to sporting and cultural events in the downtown area and to the airport. Compounding the traveling numbers are the 31st and 40th Street bridges over the Allegheny.

Before the first construction horse is dropped, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) officials are looking at three goals: high speed, high quality and high safety.

"This two-mile stretch is the missing link in a limited access highway system," said PennDOT Senior Project Manager Jeff Clatty. "There are the 31st and 40th Street bridges and two major traffic light intersections. There's also free access to some of the businesses and residences right along this stretch. It's probably one of the more congested areas in our highway system."

For more on the story, read the June issue of ROADS & BRIDGES.

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