By SHANNON O. WELLS
The onset of summer means more fun in the sun, but before the season officially begins, PennDOT has some work to do in the Oakland area, and motorists will need to adjust accordingly starting June 10.
A road construction project will close the far right inbound/westbound lane of the Parkway East (I-376) from the Saline Street Bridge to just before the Boulevard of the Allies exit and the Glenwood off-ramp (exit 73) around the clock for 15 days starting at 9 p.m. June 10, PennDOT said.
Bates Street will be closed in the southbound direction at the Boulevard of the Allies through the construction work and northbound at Second Avenue to where the North 885/Oakland (Exit 73B) off ramp hits Bates from 9 p.m. June 10 to 5 a.m. June 15. Motorists can still take the Oakland exit and continue uphill on Bates Street.
The northbound restriction “effectively closes” the on-ramp from Bates Street to the outbound Parkway East, said PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan. Overnight closures of Bates will continue as needed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. June 15 to 25.
Work on the $7.62 million Hazelwood Green project will likely affect motorists using the Parkway East around Oakland for the next couple of weeks. Parts of the project — including installing a turning lane on Route 885 at the intersections with Second Avenue, Hot Metal Street, Greenfield Avenue, and Hazelwood Avenue — began last year. The upcoming work will widen the bridge over Bates, allowing a longer deceleration lane to the Glenwood off-ramp and installing traffic signals at the Oakland and Glenwood off-ramp intersections with Bates.
Cowan said drivers might consider alternative routes, as the safety-related Bates Street closures will make neighborhood access more difficult than usual. PennDOT offers detour options on its website. Closures related to the Hazelwood Green project are intended for the safety of crew members working to add a lane to the inbound Parkway East.
Cowan said closing sections of Bates Street underneath the bridge carrying the Parkway East is for the benefit of drivers and pedestrians.
“It’s a safety concern we’re addressing,” Cowan said, noting demolition work on the bridge over Bates and crane-lifting a girder and precast concrete slabs to the deck. “It’s extraordinarily difficult to maintain traffic with a crane there and keep pedestrians and motorists safe.”
“As much as we don’t like to close a main thoroughfare like Bates,” he added, “it’s just going to be safer for everyone.”
Cowan said the bridge work over Bates will conclude June 25, while the overall project is expected to be finished in September.
Here is a rundown on the various projects and related closures:
The South 885/Glenwood off-ramp (Exit 73A) from the inbound/westbound Parkway East will close from 9 p.m. June 10 through 9 p.m. June 25.
The ramp from Bates Street (Route 885) to the outbound/eastbound Parkway East will close from 9 p.m. June 10 continuously through 5 a.m. June 15. Overnight closures will occur as needed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. June 15 to 25.
Southbound Bates Street will close at Boulevard of the Allies from 9 p.m. June 10 through 5 a.m. June 15. Overnight closures will occur as needed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. June 15 to 25.
Northbound Bates Street will close at Second Avenue to where the Oakland exit ramp hits Bates Street from 9 p.m. June 10 through 5 a.m. June 15. Overnight closures will occur as needed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. June 15 to 25.
- The ramp from inbound (westbound) Parkway East to North 885/Oakland (Exit 73B) will remain open to traffic during the project’s duration.
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Information about infrastructure in District 11, including completed work and significant projects, is available at www.penndot.pa.gov/D11Results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at www.projects.penndot.gov.
Shannon O. Wells is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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