A number of restrictions and closings are scheduled on main highways serving Pittsburgh this weekend despite the Pitt football game at Heinz Field tomorrow and the Pirates games tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.
Meanwhile, the West Hills DUI Task Force has scheduled sobriety checkpoints, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will continue its "Smooth Operator" program, targeting aggressive driving, through Sunday night.
PennDOT has advised drivers to plan for the worst, "strongly" urging them to find alternative routes or expect to deal with major delays.
A single inbound lane of the Parkway East/Interstate 376 will remain open from 9 p.m. today to noon tomorrow from Churchill to the Edgewood-Swissvale interchange to accommodate Panthers fans. Then all lanes of the highway will be closed to inbound traffic until up to 5 a.m. Monday.
When the highway is closed, traffic will be detoured off at Churchill to William Penn Highway and Penn Avenue through Wilkinsburg to Braddock Avenue to return to the parkway.
A number of ramps also will be closed over the weekend, including the Wilkinsburg and Forest Hills inbound on-ramps, the outbound exit ramp to Forest Hills/Route 30 and the outbound exit ramp to Churchill Road.
The mainline of the Parkway East will remain open in the outbound direction.
Some other noteworthy construction alerts:
• The Parkway North/I-279 will be closed in the inbound direction approaching the North Side from 9 p.m. today through 8 a.m. tomorrow, and from 9 p.m. tomorrow through 5 a.m. Monday. PennDOT's contractor will be paving in the area of East Ohio Street, part of work associated with a new ramp from Route 28 to I-279.
• Traffic will be limited to a single lane outbound on the Parkway West in Robinson from the Route 22/30 interchange to the Business Route 60/Route 60 junction for paving, from 8 p.m. today through 6 a.m. Monday. Also, the outbound on-ramp at Robinson Town Centre will be closed.
• Traffic from the Parkway West outbound to I-79 south will be reduced to a single lane from 8 p.m. today until up to 3 p.m. Monday for painting and repairs on an I-79 overpass in Robinson.
Contractors are making up some work originally scheduled for last weekend but canceled at the last minute because of forecasts of rain and high winds.
Meanwhile, the West Hills DUI Task Force will be stopping drivers at highway checkpoints and sending out roving patrols in municipalities west of Pittsburgh over the weekend, looking for people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
PennDOT said the Smooth Operator program will continue through the weekend. On Wednesday, troopers dressed as highway construction workers issued a total of 46 citations in a work zone on Route 22 in Westmoreland County, including a driver doing 65 mph where the posted speed limit was 35 mph.
Joe Grata can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1985.