The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) chose the firm Michael Baker Jr. to provide construction inspection and construction management services for the Squirrel Hill Tunnel rehabilitation project in Pittsburgh.

The project includes updates to the electrical, lighting, control and ventilation systems, as well as addressing structural repairs to the walls and arched ceiling, installation of a water line, bridge repair and rehabilitation, expansion dam replacement, and other miscellaneous construction within the 4,225ft (1,288m) long tunnel.

“Baker possesses a staff with unmatched knowledge of the Department’s policies and procedures,” said Thomas Donatelli, assistant vice president, Pittsburgh Construction Services. “We have the experience that is essential to coordinate complex highway, bridge and tunnel construction projects simultaneously within a busy metropolitan area which includes a vast number of businesses and commuters.”

The tunnel rehabilitation will increase vertical clearance to reduce the number of delays due to over-height trucks; lighting improvements will be made to allow motorists to maintain highway speed through the tunnels; new monitoring systems will be installed to provide a safer environment for the travelling public and an upgrade to the fire suppression system will add to the safety improvements. Night and weekend work will be performed to ease the burden on the more than 100,000 motorists who utilize this portion of the roadway.

Michael Baker Jr. is a unit of Michael Baker Corporation. The work is expected to complete in summer 2014.