FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2017
Wolf Administration Announces Start of I-279 Parkway North Improvement Project
Officials Mark Work Zone Safety Awareness Week
Pittsburgh, PA – Today, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, PennDOT officials announced the beginning of the $87.94 million Interstate 279 Parkway North Improvement Project in the city of Pittsburgh and Ohio and Ross townships, Allegheny County.
“The commonwealth is committed to providing investments for a safe and reliable transportation system,” said Governor Wolf. “The I-279 Parkway North project will deliver quality improvements for tens of thousands of travelers who use the roadway on a daily basis.”
The project includes concrete patching and overlay on eight miles of Interstate 279, preservation of 20 bridges and 49 overhead sign structures, repairs to 29 walls, ramp work, lighting improvements, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane operation systems upgrades, and other safety and construction work.
Preparatory work is currently underway and will include the closure of the HOV lanes for line painting beginning Monday, April 10. Major improvement work will begin on Monday, April 17.
Work in 2017 will occur in the southbound direction with several different traffic configurations. Two southbound lanes will be maintained during peak travel times, however, motorists should be aware the following will occur:
- A single-lane of southbound I-279 will be crossed over into the northbound lanes between Camp Horne Road (Exit 8) and the Perrysville Avenue (Exit 5) interchanges;
- All southbound traffic will be shifted into the HOV lanes at the Perrysville Avenue interchange and back into mainline I-279 near the Venture Street interchange;
- Overnight and weekend lane restrictions will occur south of the McKnight Road interchange;
- Various ramp closures will occur throughout the construction season; and
- Lane narrowing and traffic shifts will occur throughout the entire corridor in both directions.
“Motorists will see a variety of traffic patterns on I-279 this construction season,” said District Executive, Dan Cessna. “We urge travelers to slow down and use caution in the work zone while we begin this important regional project.”
PennDOT officials, the Pennsylvania State Police, and regional construction crews marked Work Zone Safety Awareness Week with today’s announcement.
According to preliminary 2016 PennDOT data, there were 266 crashes involving work zones in the district which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence Counties. Since 2012, 13 fatalities have occurred within the region’s work zones.
Reports show 86% of these crashes occurred in dry road conditions and more than 60% occurred during daylight hours.
PennDOT reminds motorists to avoid aggressive driving behaviors, maintain a safe following distance and abide by posted work zone sign instructions.
Drivers must turn on vehicle headlights in all posted work zones, and drive the posted speed limit. Pennsylvania law states that motorists caught driving 11 mph or more above the posted speed limit in active work zones automatically will lose their license for 15 days.
When traveling in work zones PennDOT offers safety tips including:
· Stay alert and pay attention to flaggers and signs;
· avoid all distractions;
· don’t tailgate;
· allow yourself extra time;
· exercise patience; and
· expect the unexpected.
Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
MEDIA CONTACTS: J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Steve Cowan, PennDOT, 412.429.5010
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