Route 28 traffic patterns to change |

Route 28 traffic patterns to change

Tom Fontaine

Motorists this weekend will encounter new traffic patterns on Route 28, but preparations for the changes will result in delays starting Thursday night.

PennDOT plans to split inbound traffic in the area of the 40th Street Bridge. Motorists wanting to cross the bridge will use the right southbound lane, while those passing through will be directed to a left “express” lane that will cross over to the northbound passing lane to bypass the intersection and traffic signal at the bridge.

Inbound motorists who miss the express lane will be able to get back on Route 28 by going through the signal at the bridge.

Although one goal of the $120 million Route 28 project is to create a highway with no traffic lights between the North Side and Kittanning, PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi said the new express lane won’t be a preview of life after construction, scheduled for completion in 2014.

“You won’t have to stop at the signal (at the 40th Street Bridge), but you won’t have the free flow of movement that you will when the project is complete,” Struzzi said. The two lanes being used by inbound and outbound traffic will be narrower than standard lanes.

To prepare for the changes, at least three traffic stoppages lasting up to 10 minutes each will occur northbound between 10 p.m. Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday as crews install overhead signs. New lines will be painted on southbound lanes from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Lane closures also will occur on the Liberty Bridge inbound and Interstate 579 northbound from midnight to 5 a.m. so crews can install alternate route signs for motorists looking to avoid the Route 28 work zone.

Elsewhere in the corridor, Route 8 southbound and its ramp to Route 28 northbound in Etna will close from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday so crews can work on sign foundations.

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