• 700-day closure of I-579 ramp underway for urban connector project


    PITTSBURGH - A 700-day closure of a northbound Interstate 579 ramp began Friday as part of the $29.34 million I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector project, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced.

    The closure of the ramp that takes drivers from northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue in Pittsburgh is scheduled started just after 8 p.m.

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    For 700 consecutive days, the ramp PennDOT officials said is used by 2,250 vehicles each day will remain closed. It is expected to reopen Aug. 6, 2021.

    Crews have placed concrete barriers at the ramp, and southbound I-579 is being shifted into two 11-foot-wide lanes. Line painting will take place through Saturday morning.

    The following detour will be posted:

    • From northbound I-579, take the PPG Arena/Centre Avenue off-ramp
    • Turn right onto Washington Place
    • Turn right onto Fifth Avenue
    • Turn right onto 6th Avenue
    • Turn right onto Grant Street
    • Follow Grant Street back to 7th Avenue
    • End detour


    Drivers who travel from the east into downtown Pittsburgh should consider using the Second Avenue (Exit 71B) or Grant Street (Exit 71A) off-ramps from inbound (westbound) I-376 (Parkway East), according to PennDOT.

    During the closure, crews will construct four piers to support the bridge cap structure.

    >> PREVIOUS STORY: Pittsburgh leaders approve $32M for I-579 ‘cap’ project

    “The work includes deep foundation work consisting of 42 caissons drilled to a depth of 35 feet, 42 new concrete columns which will support four pier caps that range from 86 to 106 feet in length to support the 126 pre-stressed adjacent box beam bridge. Additionally, the contractor will stage equipment and material on the closed ramp for other project work including the bridge structure, highway lighting under the bridge, and the reconstruction of the ramp,” a news release from PennDOT said.


    The end result of the I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector project will be a 3-acre greenspace spanning I-579, linking downtown Pittsburgh and the Hill District. The greenspace will include pedestrian pathways, bicycle routes, rain gardens for stormwater management and design elements from neighborhood artists.

    >> PREVIOUS STORY: Work on public park over Crosstown Boulevard underway

    Additional construction work that will need to be done includes retrofitting existing retaining walls and bridges, roadway reconstruction, drainage improvements, traffic signals, highway lighting and landscaping, according to PennDOT.


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