Traffipocalypse 2012


PennDOT Previews 2012 Construction Projects


As the new year begins, PennDOT’s District 11 is dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s on bids and contracts for the upcoming major construction work for 2012.


So, hell on earth. Maybe the Mayans were right.

P.S. I’m just teasing you, Hittsburgh! Rocking my sarcasm to the fullest.


  1. Butcher's Dog
    January 4, 2012 3:40 pm

    We could save a bunch of money on road repairs if the Mayans are right. I’m surprised some political body hasn’t formulated the coming year budget with that in mind. I mean, we plan snow removal budgets factoring in the lowest possible total, then moan when our funds are gone by mid-February, right?

  2. bucdaddy
    January 4, 2012 3:44 pm

    From the headline I thought this was going to be about the Parkway West yesterday. I had the misfortune of getting caught in the awfulness after taking Bucdaughter to the Amtrak station at 7:20 a.m. I once drove to Toronto all night in a snowstorm for the first three hours so bad I couldn’t see the edges of I-79, and wasn’t nearly as terrified as I was yesterday, crawling along at 2 mph in a whiteout until I said hell with it and got off at Kirwan Heights and sat for an hour at the Collier Town Square Starbucks.

    I did a hell of a job of driving, if I may say so myself, because somehow, despite sliding sideways a half dozen times, I didn’t hit anybody, and nobody hit me. So if you were behind me yesterday, you did a hell of a job too.

    Took us 4 1/2 hours to get home, three times as long as usual.

  3. KGC
    January 4, 2012 3:48 pm

    “When the work is complete, the false ceiling in the tunnel will be gone revealing the arched roof of the tunnel, lighting will be updated and raised further up the tunnel wall and everything will be cleaned.

    In short, the Squirrel Hill Tunnels will look just like the Liberty Tubes but with tiles covering the walls.”

    Now they just need to add BIG signs that say.. “If you slow down we WILL shoot you.” What is it with tunnels and Pittsburgh drivers? Afraid a brick wall was installed overnite?

  4. nycldenise
    January 4, 2012 3:50 pm

    And yet, I still managed to giggle at the last pictures. Silly Mayor, product endorsement is only for “celebrities”.

  5. spoon
    January 4, 2012 4:01 pm

    “PennDOT is asking for drivers’ patience and understanding in advance.”

    Wasn’t it @Woycheck who had angry PennDOT workers yelling at him while they stood around watching someone else patch a hole?

    Liberty tubes are still being worked on also. Looks like they’re getting scrubbed. Hope they do something to the facade because it looks like a bomb dropped.

    @bucdaddy, my usual 30 minute ride home via Parkway West took me 2 hours last night. I had to jump on 79 to weasel my way around.

  6. Z
    January 4, 2012 4:11 pm

    These pictures do not adequately depict the horror felt by those of us who live in the eastern suburbs and work in the Robinson twp area. 2 Tunnels and one of the closing 8 times over the next 2 years is too monstrous to imagine.

  7. red pen mama
    January 4, 2012 4:21 pm

    @Z, I have a guest room available in Moon for a reasonable price. You have to share with my son, though.

    @bucdaddy, aw, if I’d’ve known I would’ve met you for coffee. I was totally stuck in that traffic trying to get to work.

  8. bluzdude
    January 4, 2012 7:13 pm

    If I need to visit Pittsburgh this year, I think I’ll fly from Baltimore rather than drive.

  9. Mike S.
    January 4, 2012 7:45 pm

    Thank God the aesthetics of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel will be improved. Every time I get stuck behind someone driving 35 MPH (clearly concerned about their impending death via tunnel), I think to myself how much the experience could be approved if only the tunnel had an arch ceiling instead of a flat one.

  10. Null Register
    January 4, 2012 10:37 pm

    Actually, the Sq. Hill Tunnel ceiling is more than aesthetics. From the PennDOT 11 site: “Remove the existing tunnel ceiling to improve vertical clearance… Upgrade exisiting tunnel over-height truck detection system for State Route 376 WB.”

    This is a big deal. Some of the congestion is due to over-height trucks being stopped and U-turned on the east end of the tunnel. They need to shut down both directions so the trucks can make the U-turn safely. This happens more often than most people realize. The extra height and improved detection should help.

    The higher ceiling -might- also lead to faster driving. Roads with wider lanes usually produce faster driving. The visual perception of more “openness” may have a similar effect.

  11. unsatisfied
    January 4, 2012 11:25 pm

    great. make the squirrel hill tunnel a bigger hole for the tunnel monster to live in.

  12. Dan (Not Onorato)
    January 5, 2012 8:05 am

    @11. unsatisfied….was that a euphemism?

    Sorry…had to…dont blame me…Ginny started it! HA!

  13. Nipper
    January 5, 2012 9:46 am

    Is it really the tunnels themselves that cause the backups? Or is it the idiotic road design of 4 lanes merging into 2 before each tunnel?

  14. Scott
    January 5, 2012 9:52 am

    Funny….all you suckers who live in the East and South Hills consider the Rt 28 corridor hell. In reality, we can get downtown from O’Hara Township/Fox Chapel in less than 15 minutes, and in less than 45 during rush hour. Cut those times down to 10 & 20 minutes once the construction is done in two years. In either case, commute times are far better than anything Parkway-related. And the schools/property values are pretty nice, too. Best part of town to live in, hands down! Tunnels? No thanks.

  15. bucdaddy
    January 5, 2012 11:47 am

    @bucdaddy, aw, if I’d’ve known I would’ve met you for coffee. I was totally stuck in that traffic trying to get to work.

    Would that you had, RPM. If you had, you’d have seen this:

    Toward the end of our stay at the Starbucks, a woman came in the door and I decided to ask her how the roads were. I was astonished to learn she was a Chartiers Valley school bus driver who had just finished a run out in that mess. (There was no two-hour delay or anything, she said.) Can you imagine? Mrs. Daddy said, “Buy that woman a coffee,” and I did.

    The other thing that sucked … I couldn’t get my windshield wiper squirter thingies to work; my car had sat outside overnight and apparently the tubes froze. So at various points on the way home (to Morgantown), I had to pull off a ramp and throw snow on the windshield. There was another whiteout squall near Mount Morris that convinced me to get off the highway and try taking U.S. 19 the rest of the way, on the theory that if I was going to crash, I’d rather crash at 10 mph than 55. Even then it got so hard to see we ended up pulling off into a roadside dive for 15 minutes or so until it cleared up.

    Awful, just awful.

  16. Butcher's Dog
    January 5, 2012 2:12 pm

    On the other hand, down here in Myrtle Beach, the sun has shone constantly since we arrived on Sunday (night time hours excluded) and the windows of the condo are open now to let in the warm Southern air.

    Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful.

  17. bucdaddy
    January 6, 2012 1:14 am

    Biiiiiiiite meeeeeeeeee, doggieeeeeeeeee.

  18. Butcher's Dog
    January 6, 2012 8:58 am

    @bucdaddy: Are you always this cute when you’re angry?