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THERE’S A FREEZE, there’s a thaw, there are potholes. It’s Western Pennsylvania in winter and, in Pittsburgh, there must be a new administration because city crews were out night and day last week with unusual vigor. This happened because Mayor Bill Peduto declared “an-all-hands-on-deck effort” to fill the potholes before the next big snowstorm. The mayor wants residents to call the 311 hotline to report potholes. They can also share their stories on the Post-Gazette’s Facebook page, facebook.com/​pittsburghpostgazette or email transportation writer Jon Schmitz at jschmitz@post-gazette.com. The potholes have come early this year.

WHEN SPRING COMES, the orange cones will come out — but there’s going to be some new construction that motorists can welcome. That will be the start of work for the Pennsylvania Turnpike on the second phase of the Southern Beltway. The work has been delayed for years, but it was revived when Gov. Tom Corbett and the Legislature approved a transportation funding measure that provides $2.5 billion a year for roads, bridges and mass transit. The next chunk of the beltway, scheduled to be completed in 2019, is 12 miles linking Route 22 in Robinson, Washington County, to Interstate 79 near the Allegheny-Washington county line, opening up land for economic growth. Just make it resistant to potholes, please.

PITTSBURGH LOST one of its most unlikely but colorful celebrities this month — Steve “Dirt” DiNardo, head groundskeeper at Three Rivers Stadium for many years. Mr. DiNardo, who lived in Scott, died Jan. 9 of congestive heart failure 21 years after his retirement. In his heyday, the 1970s and ’80s, he was sometimes accused of using his groundskeeping skills to help the home teams, both the Steelers and the Pirates, which locals did not count as a fault. Only in Pittsburgh could a non-player named Dirt become a beloved sports figure.


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