New Castle News

June 30, 2013

PennDOT detour creates needless traffic mess

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Earlier this year, PennDOT decided to commence rebuilding the overpasses on I-79 at the Route 422 interchange in Butler County.

This required that the northbound on-ramp to I-79 had to be temporarily closed. It is fine if the bridges needed to be replaced.

What is not OK is the detour to get traffic back on I-79 north if they needed to get off at Route 422. The detour is taking people all the way up to Grove City, even though they could’ve detoured people onto I-79 south and turned around at the Portersville exit three miles south to get back on I-79 north.

I can understand not simply detouring people to Route 108 to get back on I-79 north, due to the hills in Harlansburg being tricky for trucks, but if you’re going to detour people all the way to Grove City just to get back on I-79 north and go through Harlansburg in the process, then how about putting a temporary traffic light at the intersection of Routes 19 and 108?

That intersection needs a traffic light anyway due to how it’s structured. But should traffic be backed up as it is right now on both Routes 19 and 108 because PennDOT can’t think things through when doing construction work on a major interstate?

Police have been directing traffic in Harlansburg at times because there is so much congestion. A traffic light would be more efficient, at least a temporary one until construction on the overpasses on I-79 are finished next fall.

As I mentioned, a permanent one needs to be considered anyway.

You would think PennDOT was getting better at this. But the whole situation just proves that it still doesn’t know what it is doing with our tax dollars.

Joseph Gerard

New Castle Road

Slippery Rock