A planned closure of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel is leading to delays of more than an hour for some travelers.
PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi said travelers on Interstate 376 East inbound experienced delays of nearly an hour and a half as they were steered off of the Parkway toward detours. At about 10 a.m., traffic jams stretched about a mile long, reaching the Forest Hills exit. During the past two weekends, when the tunnel has been closed, traffic has been backed up for as long as two hours.
The Squirrel Hill exit inbound closed Friday at 9 p.m. and will remain closed through 5 a.m. Monday. All inbound traffic must exit at the Edgewood-Swissvale exit and detour through Regent Square and Squirrel Hill. During the day, the posted detour uses South Braddock and Forbes avenues, Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Avenue, seeking to lessen congestion in the Squirrel Hill business district.
The night detour keeps traffic on Forbes to Murray Avenue to reduce impact on residences along Beechwood Boulevard.
The $49.5 million tunnel rehabilitation project will remove the drop ceiling in the tunnel to raise the height of the tunnels, reducing the number of times that traffic is stopped because of overheight trucks.
First Published October 13, 2012 9:30 AM