New Castle News

March 28, 2013

PennDOT officials preview county projects

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Money is tight, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation promises some significant improvements for the coming construction season.

Dan Cessna, PennDOT district executive, outlined upcoming major projects in Lawrence County for the commissioners at their meeting Tuesday.

He said the department will spend $22.5 million on nine projects in the county this year.

There will be 17 projects under way for a total of $45 million in work that spans last year and this year, he said.

A bigger project is the continued rehabilitation of Interstate 376, under way now between Route 224 in Union Township and Mitchell Road in Neshannock Township, which will be done this summer, Cessna said.

PennDOT also will begin a $6 million project on Route 224, rehabilitating 3.5 miles from the Route 376 interchange, east to Route 18 in the city.

The road will be completely redone in asphalt and bridges along that section will be upgraded. New signs will be posted, including overhead directional signs “to get people to the interstates,” Cessna said.

The project is to be contracted next month with a June 11 start date. The work will take more than a year and will be done around mid-October 2014, according to a PennDOT schedule.

The county is down to 73 structurally deficient bridges, Cessna said, noting that almost 70 percent of the structurally deficient bridges in the county have received attention. These five are scheduled for replacement this year:

•A bridge over Coffee Run in Mahoning Township. The project is to begin May 28 and will take two years, with a projected completion date of Oct. 15, 2015. The cost is between $1 million and $2 million. A half-mile detour is planned.

•A bridge over Squaw Run in Wayne Township, estimated at $1,146,646. Work started in February. Completion is scheduled for July 26.

•A two-structure bridge over a branch of Sugar Creek in North Beaver Township, estimated to cost $2 million to $3 million. The project is to start Aug. 20 with targeted completion date of Oct. 15, 2014.

•A bridge on Route 551 over Deer Run in Pulaski Township, $1 million. Work started last month with estimated completion by Sept. 2.

•A bridge on Route 551, Enon Road, over Little Beaver Creek in Little Beaver Township. The project will cost $1,981,250. Work began last March. Completion is targeted for Nov. 1.

In addition, PennDOT intends to seal coat various roads in the northwest part of the county and do asphalt recycling in some places. High Hill Road in Pulaski is one road where recycling will be done, Cessna said.

Commissioner Dan Vogler complimented Cessna for his attention to the county’s roads and bridges.

Vogler said he and Commissioner Steve Craig “have been here 10 years and your predecessors often didn’t know we existed up here. You do. Thanks for remembering us.”

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)