Road construction to slow traffic in North Oakland, Bloomfield
May 11, 2015 12:00 AM
A 1.1-mile section of road that stretches from Finland Street near the southern end of the Bloomfield Bridge along Bigelow Boulevard, North Craig Street and Baum Boulevard to just beyond the Morewood Avenue intersection will be rebuilt.
By Jon Schmitz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A bumpy stretch of three state roads in North Oakland and Bloomfield will get a $13.4 million makeover starting next month.
The 1.1-mile section that stretches from Finland Street near the southern end of the Bloomfield Bridge along Bigelow Boulevard, North Craig Street and Baum Boulevard to just beyond the Morewood Avenue intersection will be rebuilt, causing a variety of traffic restrictions, including full closures and detours, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The project includes full-depth reconstruction of the divided concrete roadway on Bigelow from Finland to the North Craig Street intersection; full reconstruction of North Craig and Baum with a new concrete surface to the Baum Boulevard Bridge, which passes over CSX railroad tracks and the Neville Street ramp to the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway; replacement of the bridge deck and structural repairs; and milling and resurfacing on Baum from the bridge to just beyond Morewood.
Ramps to and from the Bloomfield Bridge will be rebuilt; the concrete barrier on Bigelow will be replaced; accessible curb ramps will be installed; and traffic signals will be upgraded.
Work on the section from the Bloomfield Bridge to the Baum Boulevard Bridge will occur this year; the bridge work and resurfacing on Baum will take place next year, after a winter hiatus from mid-December through February.
The project is necessary because the concrete pavement is in poor condition and the bridge is structurally deficient, PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said. The Baum Boulevard intersections at South Millvale and Morewood avenues are high-crash locations that will get safety improvements as well as high-tech signals pioneered by Carnegie Mellon University that automatically adjust with changing traffic conditions.
“It is anticipated that the much-needed work will cause congestion issues. To help mitigate traffic problems, off-duty police officers will be used” and an aggressive schedule pursued to minimize disruption, Mr. Cowan said. About 20,000 vehicles travel through the corridor on a typical day.
The timing of various restrictions and closures is not yet finalized but drivers this year will see closures of the ramps to and from the Bloomfield Bridge ranging from 26 to 44 days; full closure of the westbound lanes between the Bloomfield and Baum Boulevard bridges for three months and various weekend lane closures. Next year, the Baum Boulevard Bridge will be closed in both directions for up to 80 days. The principal detour will use Liberty Avenue.
Swank Construction Co. of New Kensington, which submitted the low bid of $13.4 million last month, will hold a public meeting to present traffic control plans to affected residents and businesses before construction starts, Mr. Cowan said. A date has not been set.
Jon Schmitz: email@example.com or 412-263-1868. Twitter: @pgtraffic.
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