Cap Urban Connector 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.

Alternative Mobility Options

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

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

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.

Current Construction News

Southbound I-579 Daylight Rolling Stoppages Underway through Mid-November During Cap Construction Project Work

PennDOT District 11 is announcing daylight rolling stoppages are underway on southbound I-579 and associated ramps for the I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector project in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County.

Intermittent, short-term rolling stoppages of five minutes or less will occur twice a day on southbound I-579 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. through mid-November as crews install caisson rebar cages. Additionally, the stoppages will occur on the Bedford Avenue, 7th Avenue, and Bigelow Boulevard ramps to southbound I-579.

Local Restrictions: Beginning on Monday, 9/9, Chatham Street is Closed through December

The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure advises that the northbound lane of Chatham Street between Bigelow Blvd and Centre Ave. will be closed long term beginning the week of September 9, 2019 at 7 a.m. and remain closed until December 2019.

The restriction is necessary to allow the contractor to perform various construction activities such as excavating behind existing retaining wall at Abutment 1, installing temporary shoring, and constructing new abutment and park area for the “CAP Project”.     

Traffic will be detoured along Centre Ave. to Sixth Avenue and then to Bigelow Blvd/Webster Avenue.  The southbound lane of Chatham Street will remain open.

When traveling through the work area, use caution and expect delays. The work is being performed by JB Fay Co., If you have any questions concerning this closure, please contact their Project Manager, Chuck Grabner, at 412-779-8354.

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.


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 Releases

There are no current press releases available at this time. Please check back for more up-to-date information soon.

Archived Press Release Information & Links

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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