Transportation
8:09 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Major Overhauls Planned for South Hills Roads

Construction crews are scheduled to overhaul three major roadways in the South Hills of Pittsburgh this year and next.

It will take a $15 million investment from state, local, and federal government to fully redo the intersection of Route 51 and Route 88 in Overbrook. In addition to bridge repairs on each highway, crews will install a jug handle to streamline traffic at the commonly congested intersection.

South Hills Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak said unbeknownst to many drivers, much of the two roadways is made up of bridges running over small brooks — hence, "Overbrook."

"The bridges are literally crumbling, and it's an unsafe situation," said Rudiak. "So, this project is going to completely reconstruct those bridges and also help traffic move more smoothly through that intersection."

Rudiak said a project of this sort has been on the books since the 1960's, althought the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's website puts the start date at 1992. PennDOT said construction is expected to begin this fall and conclude in 2014.

The intersection was severely flooded this July due to sudden, heavy rainfall. Rudiak said she thinks the water management issues should be solved with green infrastructure, such as a bioswale to absorb rainwater.

Brookline Boulevard Improvements

Rudiak said the business districts of many South Hills neighborhoods will be boosted thanks to upgrades along Brookline Boulevard next year.

"This includes reconstruction all the way from Pioneer Avenue all the way down to Starcamp Street. We'll be looking at complete resurfacing, new parking meters, new drain inlets, new street lighting, new sidewalks, new curb cuts, new foliage, new trees," said Rudiak. "It's going to look really fantastic."

The $7.3 million project is slated to begin next March and conclude in November of 2013. Rudiak said it's been in the planning stages since the late 1990's.