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June 13, 2002

Oakland street paving planned

Nine streets in Oakland are expected to be re-paved this summer. But construction of an underground pedestrian tunnel that would affect traffic on Fifth Avenue for six-eight weeks has been delayed until summer 2003, according to the city's Department of Public Works.

The tunnel will connect the UPMC medical campus north of Fifth Avenue at UPMC Montefiore with a proposed parking garage in the 3400 block of Fifth. (See May 30 University Times.) Tracy Westwood, assistant to the director of Public Works, confirmed the tunnel postponement. She said that Public Works Director Guy Costa will go before City Council next week to seek approval of next summer's construction.

Westwood also confirmed the streets to be re-surfaced in the Oakland area this summer.

"The paving projects do not have a firm schedule," Westwood said. "We need some flexibility because of weather delays. Each project usually takes about two to three days to complete, including preliminary stripping of the old pavement."

Oakland streets expected to be re-paved by city crews include: South Bouquet Street, from Fifth Avenue to Bates Street; Terrace Street, between DeSoto and Lothrop streets; Thackeray Avenue, from O'Hara Street to Fifth Avenue; Bigelow Boulevard, from Bayard Street to Parkman Avenue; North Craig Street, between Bayard Street and Centre Avenue; Melwood Avenue, from Bayard Street to Centre Avenue; Louisa Street, from Atwood Street to McKee Place; Ward Street, between the Boulevard of the Allies and Semple Street, and York Way, from Bates Street to the dead end of York Way.

None of the projects is big enough to require nighttime paving, Westwood said, which typically is reserved for projects with heavy traffic flow. Parking will be prohibited during the repaving, although the streets will be closed to traffic only while crews are working during the day. "In the case of some of the wider streets, like North Craig, traffic will be restricted but not prohibited during the repaving," Westwood said. "We try to accommodate traffic flow wherever possible." Signs will be posted at each site, she added.

While the schedule for the pavings is not confirmed, all nine streets are expected to be paved by the end of August, Westwood said. "We try to do all the projects in Oakland before the students return for the fall," she said.

For more information on local street resurfacing, call Public Works information at 412/255-2726.

–Peter Hart

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