As the daffodils fade away, the next season springs into bloom in the Pittsburgh area: orange barrel season.
Road construction crews are back at it hard and heavy after the relatively mild winter. Here are the highlights for new projects and major changes in continuing projects in the area this week:
• Maintenance work will begin Monday morning on Pittsburgh’s Swinburne Bridge, the 600-foot span that carries Frazier Street over railroad tracks and Saline Street to Four Mile Run.
The work, which includes replacing deck joint seals and restoring the concrete abutment on the southern end of the bridge, will lead to short-term delays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the 6,000 vehicles that use the span every day. Traffic will be reduced to one lane, and flaggers will be in place as crews switch from working on top of the bridge to underneath it.
The work, which is expected to take about a month, is a follow-up to emergency work on bridge bearings in March. Michael Fachiano Contracting will be paid $230,000 for the work.
These repairs are needed to keep the bridge open while the city is designing a major rehabilitation project.
• Traffic patterns are changing again around the Route 28-Highland Park Bridge interchange.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that the southbound ramp from Route 28 to the bridge and the northbound ramp from the bridge to Freeport Road will close at 7 a.m. Monday through mid-September. The closure is the latest in a three-year, $47.3 million project, which saw the ramp from the bridge to Route 28 open Friday after being closed for two months.
Motorists heading south on Route 28 for the bridge should take the Fox Chapel Road exit, turn right on Fox Chapel Road and right on Freeport Road to the bridge.
For those heading north on the bridge toward Freeport Road, go past that exit to the Sharpsburg exit and turn right at the stop sign onto Freeport Road.
The project by Golden Triangle Construction will establish separate lanes to and from the bridge, resulting in two free-flowing lanes of traffic on Route 28 from Pittsburgh’s North Side to Kittanning. The project should be finished late this year.
• Two days of construction to add traffic calming measures on Shady Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill South neighborhood begin Wednesday.
The city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure said two speed tables will be installed on Beacon Street and Phillips Avenue after data collected in 2021 found that more than 75% of drivers exceed the speed limit of 25 miles an hour.
Speed tables are similar to speed humps, but they have a modified flat top instead of a hump to raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle. The tables will be prominently marked, and warning signs will be installed.
Motorists will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic during the work, which is expected to take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
• Paving will limit traffic to one lane on Ardmore Boulevard this week from the Parkway East ramp to Lennox Avenue in Forest Hills.
Joseph B. Fay Co. will be paving the outbound lanes from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the inbound lanes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The $13.7 million project, which also includes replacing three culverts, drainage improvements and new signs, should finish this summer.
Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.