Traffic patterns in Downtown Pittsburgh will change again on Monday as part of construction for Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s $291 million Bus Rapid Transit system between Downtown and Oakland.

Beginning at 4 a.m., traffic on Sixth Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Ross and Grant streets. The two lanes closest to U.S. Steel Tower will remain open, one lane in each direction, but the two lanes closest to BNY Mellon Park will be closed through the end of the year.

Sidewalks for pedestrians will remain open on both sides of the street.

Contractor Independence Excavating Inc. will be cutting the concrete in that area as part of preliminary exploratory work at the site. The company has a $27.9 million contract to create exclusive bus lanes and six new stations for buses along the Downtown portion of the route dubbed the University Line.

Work started on Sept. 13 to relocate a 12-inch water main and a 15-inch storm drain on Fifth Avenue along Triangle Park, across Market Street from the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel. That area has been limited to one lane of traffic in the far-left lane headed toward Fifth Avenue Place, but that will change early Monday so that far-right lane closest to the park is open and the two other lanes closed.

The contractor normally works on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday work could be added if the project falls behind schedule.

The project will create bus-only lanes and traffic light priority for buses between Oakland and Downtown using Fifth Avenue inbound and Forbes Avenue outbound. The goal is to create more efficient, predictable service by eliminating traffic jams that cause buses to bunch together.

The system also will use 15 electric buses to reduce air pollution.

Contracts for construction in Uptown and Oakland are expected to be awarded early next year.

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Ed Blazina

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at