Kennywood Park-goers: Beware of Interstate Closure

Friday, June 8, 2007 5:09 AM
For those of you planning on going to Kennywood any one of the next eight weekends this summer, you may want to take note of this closure. Interstate 376 Eastbound (Parkway East Outbound) from the Squirrel Hill Tunnel to the Edgewood Swissvale exit will be closed the entire weekend for each of the next eight weekends to make repairs to the highway's bridge. This means that those of you going to Kennywood from primarily the south and west will be affected. Those traveling from the east using I-376 West should be ok as the closure only includes the tunnel and the mile or so of road from the tunnel to the Edgewood/Swissvale exit on I-376. If you are coming from the south and west and usually take 376 through the tunnels to the Edgewood/Swissvale, you will need a new route if visiting any of the next eight weekends. Let me offer a few suggestions:

1) Exit I-375 at the Homestead exit, right before the tunnels. When you have exited, contune straight for a mile or so where you will come to a stoplight with a gas station. This is the intersection of Beechwood and Hazlewood Ave. Beechwood is the road you are on and will bare to the left at this light, but you need to continue straight down a hill. THis is Brown's Hill Road. Continue down this road and cross the Homestead Gray's Bridge until you reach the other side of the river. Make a left at the light AFTER the bridge and follow this road all the way to Kennywood.

2) If you are traveling from the west, your best bet is to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) eastbound to I-376 west and exit at Edgewood/Swissvale and then follow normal routes to Kennywood from there.

3) A third, more complicated way, but may detour alot of traffic, is to exit I-376 East at Homestead exit right before the Squirrel Hill tunnel and make the FIRST LEFT after you have exited. This will take you under the interstate to a stoplight. Make a RIGHT at the light onto Forward Ave. Continue straight on this road and it will evetually turn into Commercial Ave, which is a windy steep road that will take you down the mountain and underneath I-376 on the other side of the Squirrel Hill tunnel. Continue on this road under the interstate and back up a hill until you come to Whipple Street. Make a left onto Whipple Street and continue straight until you come out at an intersection with a BP station. Make the right here onto Braddock Ave. and this will now be the same way you get to Kennywood as if you had been able to exit at Edgewood/Swissvale.

Hopefuly you guys can follow those suggestions. I just wanted to give you a heads up on how to get to the park so that you dont lose too much time to travel, get lost, or have to follow the detour setup by PennDOT and spend 11 years going through Pittsburgh's east end (not a great area safety-wise either) to get to the other side of I-376. Hope you find this helpful.

-Jeff R.

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Friday, June 8, 2007 6:12 AM
Also, if you are planning to go to KW soon, remember that the US Open golf tournament will make hotel rooms virtually impossible to get in the area while the event is going on next week. This event will also mean more congestion on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Pittsburgh area.

Arthur Bahl

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Friday, June 8, 2007 8:44 AM
As a Pittsburgh resident who lives right along one of the residential "detours", I am really dreading this weekend. Still, the road repairs need to be done, not much I can do about it.

I might cancel my plans for Kennywood on Sunday, though -- if traffic looks bad enough it's not going to be worth fighting my way over through it.


--Greg
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

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Friday, June 8, 2007 9:37 AM
Thanks for the information, I'll be making my once a year trip to Kennywood in late June, and let me assure you I've had my share of horror stories getting there. Once 376 was terribly backed up, another time the Rankin Bridge was closed. Not being a local I had no clue how to get there. Turned into a huge mess and I didnt wind up at Kennywood until over an hour later than I would have. That first way sounds simple enough.
The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000. Track Record: 89 coasters
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Friday, June 8, 2007 9:49 AM
The first route (over the Homestead Grays Bridge) is usually easily the best way to get to Kennywood from the west, but note that this bridge is itself under construction. It's not bad as long as you're not hitting it during rush hour or on Friday/Saturday night, though (I use that bridge to get the Waterfront all the time, just not during "peak" hours)

The Commercial Avenue route to cut over to Braddock is very windy and might be a bit confusing for out of towners, but it definitely works -- I use it a lot, too. Good suggestion for the people willing to explore a bit. Note that to stay on Forward Avenue ("take a right at the light"), that's a shallow right -- you'll want to be in the right lane, but you're only bearing right. If you take the sharper right you'll be on Murray, which gets you over to the Waterfront while avoid Beechwood, but isn't what we want in this case. You should pass a BP on your left at that intersection, and see a high school to your left at the NEXT light, if you stayed on Forward. Also, Whipple will come to a "T" with Monongahela Avenue -- turn LEFT at the T, then turn right onto Braddock.
*** Edited 6/8/2007 1:54:20 PM UTC by GregLeg***


--Greg
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

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Friday, June 8, 2007 10:09 AM
eightdotthree's avatar GregLeg, where do you live? I live off Braddock Ave, near Pennwood in Wilkinsburgh. The traffic is going to be unbearable this weekend. We already avoid the parkway at all costs on the weekends, but this is gonna keep us grounded all weekend because of all the detours.
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Friday, June 8, 2007 10:10 AM
Its going to be mess,gl to anyone having to go that way.
Racing whippet 76-77
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Friday, June 8, 2007 10:20 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar Thanks for the heads up. I'm actually taking a few first timers there on Father's Day. While I'm sure the park will be a little crowded, I don't want the day to start off badly by getting lost in Pittsburgh.

Would it be a good idea to tack on an extra half hour of travel time? Or is this like 5 extra mins of driving?

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Friday, June 8, 2007 10:44 AM
eightdotthree's avatar I think it could potentially be an extra hour of time depending on the time of day.
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Friday, June 8, 2007 11:35 AM

HeyIsntThatRob? said:
Thanks for the heads up. I'm actually taking a few first timers there on Father's Day. While I'm sure the park will be a little crowded, I don't want the day to start off badly by getting lost in Pittsburgh.


Let me know how that turns out on Father Day, Rob. We're going to Waldameer on that day for the third straight year and the park has been virtually empty the last two. We were at KW on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and the crowd was very light.

Tom


You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

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Friday, June 8, 2007 1:05 PM

eightdotthree said:
GregLeg, where do you live? I live off Braddock Ave, near Pennwood in Wilkinsburgh. The traffic is going to be unbearable this weekend.

I'm on Northumberland St in Squirrel Hill, at the Dallas intersection. So I'm not EXACTLY on the official detour, but I'm very close, and Forbes and Dallas will certainly be impacted (they have been in the past -- Forbes heading towards Braddock gets to be a downright nightmare)


--Greg
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

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Friday, June 8, 2007 1:09 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LdScotsman said:
We were at KW on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and the crowd was very light.

For most of the 90's we hit KW on the Sunday before Memorial day. Crowds are (were) always light.


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Friday, June 8, 2007 1:24 PM
Thank you very much for the information. We'll be there on Monday the 18th. I was going to check PennDot anyway, because Pennsylvania is always under construction (that should be the state motto:)). I worked an event in 2001 in Pittsburgh where one of the exits was closed, and there was some long drawn out detour to get to our destination at a country club.
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Friday, June 8, 2007 1:44 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

GregLeg said:
I'm on Northumberland St in Squirrel Hill, at the Dallas intersection.

Wow, I actually used to live right around the corner on Dalzell and have two good friends who live at that same intersection. Small world.

Forbes leading into Braddock is a disaster at rush hour and will be this weekend. I sometimes take that way home after work and usually regret it.
*** Edited 6/8/2007 5:50:04 PM UTC by eightdotthree***


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Friday, June 8, 2007 5:45 PM

GregLeg said:
The first route (over the Homestead Grays Bridge) is usually easily the best way to get to Kennywood from the west, but note that this bridge is itself under construction. It's not bad as long as you're not hitting it during rush hour or on Friday/Saturday night, though (I use that bridge to get the Waterfront all the time, just not during "peak" hours)

*** Edited 6/8/2007 1:54:20 PM UTC by GregLeg***


If that way is easily the best way, why is that not the offical way to get there?


The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000. Track Record: 89 coasters
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Friday, June 8, 2007 6:31 PM
eightdotthree's avatar "We recommend Kennywood visitors coming from the West and North take the PA Turnpike to Exit 57 and then I-376 WEST toward Pittsburgh to exit 7 (Edgewood Swissvale) thus missing the Parkway construction altogether.

Kennywood guests who elect to use the Parkway East (i.e., I-376 outbound from Pittsburgh towards Kennywood) should follow the posted PennDot detour route."

That is their recommended route. However, you will run into tons of traffic from the Turnpike as well. The Edgewood Swissvale exit is the last exit before the Tunnels.


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Friday, June 8, 2007 7:45 PM
There are now Kennywood arrows placed off of the Homestead exit of I-376 east. I saw them today. These arrows will guide you to the park, im assumming, via the first detour option I posted. Nonetheless, Kennywood has made it a point to guide you to the park with their famous arrows from the Homestead exit. Good luck with your trips, you shouldnt have any trouble finding the park. I would definately allow an extra 30 mins+ travel time though.
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Friday, June 8, 2007 9:04 PM

stljason1 said:
If that way is easily the best way, why is that not the offical way to get there?

Because PennDOT is a very political organization and the detours they have posted are definitely the routes that will generate the least amount of citizen complaints ... trust me, it has VERY little to do with road capacity, shortest distance, or any crazy notion like that ...


Brett, Resident Launch Whore Anti-Enthusiast (the undiplomatic one)
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Friday, June 8, 2007 9:45 PM
Actually, Its 8 weekends throughout the summer. They say they're trying to schedule it during non-heavily traveled times.

And it will be 8 different areas of the Parkway East. Hence why Kennywood tells you to avoid the Parkway all together.

And they're saying the detour around the construction area could take up to 2 hours. I'd just avoid the area! (And i'm praying its done when I need to drive in on Monday.)

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Saturday, June 9, 2007 12:02 AM

UdoTch said:
Actually, Its 8 weekends throughout the summer. They say they're trying to schedule it during non-heavily traveled times.

Apparently, a weekend containing BOTH the Three Rivers Arts Fest AND the US Open doesn't qualify as a "heavily traveled time".

Idiots.


--Greg
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

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