Cap Urban Connector: Construction Project Updates

The I-579 Cap Urban Connector Project (also known as the Cap Project) will consist of the construction of a new “cap” park structure spanning over a portion of I-579. The Cap Project is bounded by Washington Place, Centre Avenue, Chatham Street, Bigelow Boulevard and land to the north of Bigelow Boulevard.

HDR Engineering is the designer/engineer for this project. The City of Pittsburgh is holding the construction contract and the Sports and Exhibition Authority is coordinating with the City on the administration of the project. PennDOT is responsible for construction management and oversight, with sub-consultants supporting construction management and inspection. Upon completion, the City of Pittsburgh will own and maintain the Cap Park.

A Notice to Proceed for construction was issued on June 24, 2019. Construction completion is anticipated for November 2021.

Alternate Mobility Options

Important Note: Please be advised that Port Authority is currently operating on reduced service schedules as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some neighborhood and local service has begun to return to normal service, but many routes have yet to routine to their regular schedule. Customers are required to wear masks when riding and vehicle capacity limits will remain in place until further notice.

For more information on how bus and light rail service is being impacted and ways that the Port Authority is responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, visit their Covid-19 response page here.

Drivers are encouraged to use transit, including Port Authority’s bus and light rail service, as their commuting choice to save money and reduce stress:

From the south, motorists are encouraged to use any of the following public transit options:
– The Blue Line or Red Line from South Hills Village Garage
– The Blue Line from Library Station
– Y1-Large Flyer from the Large Park and Ride in Jefferson Hills or the Century III Park and Ride in West Mifflin

From the east, motorists are encouraged to use any of the following public transit options:
-P7-McKeesport Flyer, 52L-Homeville Limited or 61C McKeesport from the Duquesne Park and Ride
-P1-East Busway All Stops, P2-East Busway Short from the Wilkinsburg Park and Ride
-P12-Holiday Park Flyer from the Alpine Village or Holiday Park and Rides
-P69-Trafford Flyer from the Forest Hills Park and Ride
-P76-Lincoln Highway from the North Versailles Park and Ride

Real-time applications are also available, via Port Authority’s True Time, the Transit app, Moovit,Google maps, and much more, to simplify your commute and provide you with the information to plan your trip on a day-to-day basis.

Want to learn more about how to park and ride? Learn more about Port Authority’s regulations, safety and security, schedule information, and park and ride facilities locations across Allegheny County.

CommuteInfo – Vanpool & Carpool Program Options

In addition to commuting via Port Authority’s buses or light rail lines, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission offers a CommuteInfo Program, focused on providing residents in the 10-county region with customizable information on vanpool, carpool, biking, and transit options to match your needs.

Current Construction Notices

I-579 Ramps to Reopen On Friday Morning, 7/3, and Single-Lane Restrictions To Continue Occurring On The Ramps Moving Forward

PennDOT District 11 is announcing the reopening of two ramps on the I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector project in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, will occur Friday morning, July 3.

The ramps from 7th Avenue and Bedford Avenue to southbound I-579 will reopen to traffic at 6 a.m. Friday morning. The ramps were closed on January 4 to allow crews to conduct the construction of the last pier and columns, relocate the drainage to each ramp, and reconstruct the pavement

Single-lane closures will occur on the ramps as work continues on the overall project. Additional details will be provided prior to the restrictions being implemented.

Long-Term Closure: Northbound I-579 Ramp to 7th Avenue Closure Begins September 6, 2019 and Will Continue Through Early August 2021

PennDOT District 11 is reminding motorists the long-term closure of the ramp that carries traffic from northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County begins Friday, September 6 weather permitting.

As part of the I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector project, the ramp from northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue will close to traffic at approximately 8 p.m. Friday, September 6 for 700 consecutive days through August 6, 2021. Crews will place concrete barriers at the ramp, southbound I-579 will be shifted into two 11-foot wide lanes, and line painting operations will occur through Saturday morning. Approximately 2,250 vehicles use the ramp each day. Posted detours include:

Northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue:

  • From northbound I-579, take the PPG Arena/Centre Avenue off-ramp
  • Turn right onto Washington Place
  • Turn right onto Fifth Avenue
  • Turn right onto 6th Avenue
  • Turn right onto Grant Street
  • Follow Grant Street back to 7th Avenue
  • End detour

Motorists traveling from the east into downtown Pittsburgh should consider using the Second Avenue (Exit 71B) or Grant Street (Exit 71A) off-ramps from inbound (westbound) I-376 (Parkway East).

The long-term closure is required for pier construction within the limits of the ramp to support the bridge cap structure. A total of four piers will be constructed. The work includes deep foundation work consisting of 42 caissons drilled to a depth of 35 feet, 42 new concrete columns which will support four pier caps that range from 86 to 106 feet in length to support the 126 pre-stressed adjacent box beam bridge. Additionally, the contractor will stage equipment and material on the closed ramp for other project work including the bridge structure, highway lighting under the bridge, and the reconstruction of the ramp.

*Last updates made on 8/7/20*


For more information on the Cap Project

To learn about additional details on the project including information on sustainability, funding, and public input please visit the Pittsburgh Sports & Exhibition Authority’s project page.

Interested in receiving regular weekly updates? Enroll in the email distribution list by sending Steve Cowan an email, at stcowan@pa.gov, with the subject line “Subscribe — I-579 Cap Project” and include your email address to be contacted at.


Project Press Releases

Current Press Release(s) Information & Links

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 8/7/20: I-579 Overnight Lane Restrictions Continue Next Week in Pittsburgh

Archived Press Release Information & Links

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/31/20: Southbound I-579 Overnight Lane Restrictions Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/30/20: Northbound I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restriction Changed to Southbound this Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/24/20: Northbound I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restrictions Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/17/20: Northbound I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restrictions Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/10/20: Northbound I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restrictions Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/2/20: I-579 Cap Overnight Work Continues This Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 7/2/20: I-579 Ramps to Reopen Friday Morning, 7/3, in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 6/26/20: I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restrictions Continue This Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 6/19/20: Southbound I-579 Overnight Closures Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 6/18/20: Southbound I-579 Overnight Closure Friday Night in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release on 6/16/20: Southbound I-579 Lane Restriction Tonight in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 6/15/20: Northbound I-579 Lane Restriction Tonight in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 6/5/20: I-579 Overnight Closures Continue Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 5/29/20: I-579 Weekend Overnight Closure Time Changes Begin Tonight in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 5/26/20: Northbound I-579 Overnight Closures Begin Tonight in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 5/15/20: I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restrictions Continue Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 5/8/20: I-579 Cap Overnight Lane Restrictions Continue Next Week in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from 4/27/20: I-579 Cap Project Resumes Tuesday in Pittsburgh

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of March 9: Southbound I-579 Lane Restriction 3/14 – 3/15

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of December 27: I-579 Long-Term Ramp Closure Back in Effect

Post-Gazette Article Week of December 9: Two I-579 Ramps Near PPG Paints Arena Reopen Temporarily

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of October 28: I-579 Long-Term Ramp Closures Begin Monday, 11/4

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of October 21:
Northbound I-579 Overnight Restrictions Continue Week of 10/21

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of October 14: Northbound I-579 Lane Narrowing Begins Friday Night, 10/11

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of September 30: Northbound I-579 Improvements Continue this Week

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of September 23: Northbound I-579 Rolling Stoppages Underway

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of September 16: Southbound I-579 Stoppages Underway

PennDOT Press Release for Week of September 9: I-579 Improvements Continue 9/11-9/12

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of September 2: I-579 Overnight Closures Continue 9/3-9/6

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of September 2: Ramp from Northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue to Close Long-Term on 9/6

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of August 26: Multiple Closures & Detours Announced for 8/26-8/29

PennDOT Press Release In Effect between August 12-29: “Cap” Project Local Restrictions & Closures

City of Pittsburgh Press Release for Week of August 19: Chatham Street Nightly Closures

PennDOT District 11 Press Release for Week of August 19: Various Detours Posted for Overnight Improvements

PennDOT Press Release for Week of August 12: Overnight Improvements Causing I-579 Lane Closures

PennDOT Press Release for Week of August 5: Various Ramp Closures for Signage & Lighting Work

PennDOT District 11 Press Release from July 11: Announcement of Construction Beginning on 7/15

City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission Meeting on October 23, 2018: Final Land Development Plan Given Final Approval

City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission Meeting on December 5, 2017: Final Approval Given for the Design of Project

Public Meeting Held on June 27, 2016: Third Public Meeting Presenting the Preferred Park Layout


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