Nearly two years of construction on the Highland Park Bridge interchange with Route 28 should come to an end next month.

The latest benefit from the $47.3 million project came Friday, when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation opened the new northbound lane of the highway. As a result, motorists will find free-flowing traffic from Pittsburgh’s North Side to Kittanning with a separate exit lane onto the bridge.

A new southbound lane at the interchange, which also includes an exit lane to the bridge, is expected to open next week.

Those changes are designed to eliminate traffic bottlenecks at the bridge, where for decades two lanes of traffic have merged into one near the bridge for through traffic and another to exit onto the bridge. The project also extended acceleration and deceleration lanes to improve safety.

Golden Triangle Construction Co. also eliminated a dangerous merge point for northbound traffic exiting onto the bridge by widening the entry point into a separate lane and installed a traffic light for motorists traveling across the bridge toward the interchange to address another merge problem.

“It is very exciting to reach this milestone of Route 28 having two lanes of unrestricted free flow traffic after generations of transportation professionals have worked collectively on this effort for decades,” said Jason Zang, PennDOT’s district executive, in a news release. “We thank the men and women who worked day and night, in adverse weather conditions, next to speeding traffic to deliver this final major improvement on Route 28.”

The agency has been working since 2009 to eliminate traffic and safety problems for motorists entering and exiting Pittsburgh on the highway. The projects have included adding exit lanes and eliminating traffic lights at the 31st and 40th Street bridges and installing lane barriers to prevent head-on crashes.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said additional work around the Highland Park Bridge interchange  is expected to continue until mid January.

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