As soon as Mother Nature cooperates, work will begin Monday on a $25.5 million project to improve McKnight Road between Venture Street in Pittsburgh and Perrymont Road in McCandless.
Lindy Paving Inc. was ready to start the work two weeks in a row, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation delayed the start because of overnight weather conditions.
When the project begins, Lindy will begin working weeknights from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. to clean pipes and drains. But the project, which will last until spring 2025, eventually will include a series of lane restrictions and weekend closures at intersections.
The project also will cause some disruption for Pittsburgh Regional Transit riders because the work will result in the elimination of two bus stops in Ross.
Although initially work will occur only at night, drivers can expect full-time closure of one lane of traffic in each direction in areas that have three lanes in each direction. In most situations, left-turn lanes will remain open.
The project will include milling and paving, bridge and culvert preservation, drainage improvements, pipe cleaning and guide rail replacement. Other work will involve improving ADA ramps, replacing water lines, installing new signs and upgrading traffic signals.
Some work also will be done on the Babcock Boulevard/Evergreen Road ramps.
Additional traffic restrictions will include a 12-day closure of the Nelson Run Road interchange, two weekend closures at the Venture Street intersection, two crossovers at the Babcock Boulevard/Evergreen Road interchange, and several overnight ramp closures for paving operations and structure repairs.
The project also will provide some inconvenience for Pittsburgh Regional Transit riders. Part of the work will eliminate adjacent bus stops for the 12 McKnight and 012 McKnight Flyer at Stevens Drive and Brookview Lane, where riders have access to the stops through gaps in lane dividers that will be eliminated.
PRT spokesman Adam Brandolph said it is “unfortunate” the stops will be eliminated and it would be difficult to establish others nearby because they wouldn’t be safe since the area doesn’t have sidewalks.
The stops have limited use: Inbound, Stevens has four riders get on and five get off daily and Brookview has one get on and none get off; outbound, Stevens has six get on and five off, Brookview has none get on and two get off.
The nearest stops are about 1,100 feet south of Stevens and 1,700 feet north of Brookview.
“It’s certainly an unfortunate situation,” Brandolph said. “When there’s a situation like this, we look to see if there is a way we can improve [the stop] or do we have to just get rid of it for safety reasons.
“There may be a need for it, but asking riders to walk along the side of a busy highway is not something we would do. We don’t find it safe.”