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

Motorists are encouraged to use transit, including Port Authority’s bus and light rail service, as their commuting choice:

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 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 News

I-579 Long-term Ramp Closures Begin Saturday, January 4, 2020 and Will Continue Through May 23, 2020

Pittsburgh, PA – PennDOT District 11 is announcing long-term ramp closures on the I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector project in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, will begin Saturday, January 4 weather permitting.

Long-term closures will occur from 5 a.m. Saturday morning, January 4 for 140 consecutive days through May 23 on the following ramps:

  • Bedford Avenue ramp to southbound I-579
  • 7th Avenue ramp to southbound I-579

Crews will begin the construction of the last pier and columns, relocate the drainage to each ramp and reconstruct the pavement. To allow this work to occur traffic will be detoured.

Posted Detours:

Bedford Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Boulevard of the Allies/Eastbound I-376 – Cars)

  • From Bedford Avenue, take the ramp to 7th Avenue/Fort Pitt Bridge
  • Turn left onto Grant Street
  • Continue south on Grant Street
  • Take the ramp East I-376 toward Monroeville
  • End detour

Bedford Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Boulevard of the Allies/Eastbound I-376 – Trucks)

  • From Bedford Avenue, turn left onto Crawford Street
  • Turn right onto Centre Avenue
  • Turn right onto 6th Avenue
  • Turn left onto Wood Street
  • Turn left onto the Boulevard of the Allies
  • Take the ramp to East 376 toward Monroeville
  • End detour

Bedford Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Liberty Bridge – Cars)

  • From Bedford Avenue, take the ramp to 7th Avenue/Fort Pitt Bridge
  • Turn left onto Grant Street
  • Turn left onto 6th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue becomes the Crosstown Boulevard
  • Follow Crosstown Boulevard to the Liberty Bridge
  • End detour

Bedford Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Liberty Bridge – Trucks)

  • From Bedford Avenue, turn left onto Crawford Street
  • Turn right onto Centre Avenue
  • Turn left onto 6th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue becomes the Crosstown Boulevard
  • Follow Crosstown Boulevard to the Liberty Bridge
  • End detour

7th Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Boulevard of the Allies/Eastbound I-376 – Cars)

  • From 7th Avenue, take Grant Street southbound
  • Continue southbound on Grant Street
  • Take the ramp to East I-376 toward Monroeville
  • End detour

7th Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Boulevard of the Allies/Eastbound I-376 – Trucks)

  • From 7th Avenue, take Grant Street southbound
  • Turn right onto 6th Avenue
  • Turn left onto Wood Street
  • Turn left onto the Boulevard of the Allies
  • Take the ramp to East 376 toward Monroeville
  • End detour

7th Avenue Ramp to Southbound I-579 (To Liberty Bridge)

  • From 7th Avenue, take Grant Street southbound
  • Turn left onto 6th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue becomes the Crosstown Boulevard
  • Follow Crosstown Boulevard to the Liberty Bridge
  • End detour

Additionally, in preparation for the Phase 5 construction, southbound I-579 will have a single-lane closure from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 4. Crews will relocate temporary barrier and conduct line striping operations. The 700-day closure of the ramp from northbound I-579 to 7th Avenue will continue through August 6, 2022.

Updated Notice as of 4/1/20: The closure and work began at 5:00 AM on Saturday, January 4, 2020 and will stay in place continuously for around 140 calendar days or around Saturday, May 23, 2020. Seventh & Bedford Avenue Ramps for outbound O1, O12, 77, 81, 82 & 83 routes, to the Veterans’ Bridge, the I-579 HOV and Bedford Avenue remain open at this time. The Projected End Date Has Been Eliminated and Remains Open as a result of postponement of work mandated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Upon resumption of construction, when revised end dates are projected, the detour notice will be updated.

Long-Term Closure: Northbound I-579 Ramp to 7th Avenue Closure Begins Friday Night, 9/6, 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 Detour:

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 updated on 4/3/20)*


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

There are currently no current press releases or new information available about this project. Stay tuned for updates!

Archived Press Release Information & Links

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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