PennDOT Announces Summer Construction Projects For Western Pa.

Spring is here, and that means PennDOT is about to tear up area highways and bridges. KDKA's Paul Martino has more.

Video Transcript

- Despite the talk of snow, summer's not that far away, and that means that PennDOT is getting ready to tear up and work on local highways and bridges. And PennDOT, today, announced projects totaling nearly a quarter of a billion dollars for this construction season in this area. Paul Martino reports from Route 28 and Aspinwall, just one of the locations for the to-do list.

PAUL MARTINO: Expect plenty of work along this stretch of Route 28 this summer. It's the final phase of work to widen it and eliminate bottlenecks.

Route 28 has been undergoing a much needed widening and straightening for years. In this final segment, PennDOT's spending $47 million to add two lanes near the Highland Park Bridge, another $12 million for paving and bridge work on 28.

CHERYL MOON-SIRIANNI: So that's [INAUDIBLE] to eliminate the bottleneck. We're pretty excited about that going on this year.

PAUL MARTINO: Most of this work will be done overnight. It shouldn't cause too many traffic backups. However, there will be backups elsewhere. The Neville Island I-79 bridge will be closed for four weekends in the southbound lanes, while they spend $40 million to repair and paint the rusty structure.

CHERYL MOON-SIRIANNI: The reason being is we, obviously, can't paint over the top of live traffic. That's very difficult and causes a lot of problems, so we have [INAUDIBLE] to that bridge.

PAUL MARTINO: And if you got a little tired of the paving work on East Carson Street on the South side last summer, get ready to grin and bear it again. The work continues. It turns out, PennDOT is delaying about $80 million in projects this year, because COVID meant fewer highway dollars. PennDOT hopes President Biden's visit today can make up the difference next year.

CHERYL MOON-SIRIANNI: And any dollars he can send our way, we'll be ready to spend it. I'll tell you that.

PAUL MARTINO: Now, you may have noticed, I haven't mentioned the parkways. Never fear. There's plenty of work to be done on the parkways. Paving on the Parkway West out near Tony Dale, more work done on the Parkway East near the Bate Street Exit. I'm Paul Martino, KDKA News.